Landlords Contents

Landlord contents insurance is less readily available standalone product, than the mainstream landlord insurance (designed to protect buildings). Most of the time UK insurance companies prefer to offer landlords contents insurance products, as an additional option to the main buy to let insurance policy.

If you own a Flat or apartment  or maisonette, you will usually find that the Freeholder of the property will insure the Building as a whole, and then charge you a proportion of the premium. This means that you have to buy your own Landlords Contents Insurance cover - which may prove difficult. Most cover is normally available on a 'new for old basis', for loss or damage (excluding malicious damage by tenants). In addition most cover usually includes replacement of locks following theft of keys, loss of metered water plus loss of rent with a proportion of the sum insured.

Generally landlords tend not purchase landlords contents insurance cover on its own, because the premiums seem quite high, (when compared with the actual amount of items provided for the tenants use). Most landlords are also unaware that most landlord contents insurance policies do not include the fitted kitchens or bathroom suites. So to work out whether it is worth while purchasing such a policy, one option is to calculate the exact value the value of the contents items you are supplying with the rental property. Assume that these items have been damaged or stolen. Now work out the replacement cost in today's money (as many buy to let properties are furnished using older second hand furniture). So the cost may not be too prohibitive, despite the fact that some depreciation against tax is allowable. However no business minded landlord wants to fork out for additional items of furniture too frequently if they don't have too. Sensible landlords know that they'll need to accept high levels of wear tear from tenants coming and going, causing a damage to contents every so often.

Most landlords contents policies come with a valuable additional 'landlords liability insurance' cover attached to the ownership and supply of the contents. For instance if a landlord supplies a a bed for a tenant, (as part of their tenancy), which subsequently collapses with them in it - it is possible in this litigious age, that they could be sued for providing inadequate or dangerous item of contents. Often a claim under the liability section of a landlords contents insurance policy will be far and above the actual value of content in the home! The cost of settling claims can be covered as well (as any associated legal defence costs), which would normally run into several thousand pounds. As each policy is uniquely written, you should always check to see what level of cover you are being offered. Some cheaper policies don't include the liability aspect, and so it may be important to include this cover.

When applying for your landlords contents insurance policy, the insurer will need to ask several questions to establish the rate. Some landlord insurance companies assume that your are letting your property to a professional or working person. However always remember to advise the insurer of the occupational class of the tenant in your property, as there may be a big price difference or exclusion on certain types of tenant altogether. When you receive the policy wording, always remember to check the fine print. You may find there are warranties on the cover. This means you must inform the insurance company if there is going to be any change of tenant, or if the rental property will become empty between tenants. Failure to do so may result in cover becoming invalid.