The best landlord insurance UK is a great way to secure your investment in property. But which provider should you go with?
You should always conduct your own research and get professional, independent financial advice if you are unsure.
However, we’ve conducted some detailed research to help you find the best landlord insurance UK based on product features and customer feedback.
At Emerald Life we provide landlord insurance for a wide range of situations. Get a quote online or call us now for a fast, free quote.
What Makes The Best Landlord Insurance UK?
The cover level of your landlord insurance should be considered because the amounts are going to be unique to each landlord. If a landlord’s insurance company doesn’t allow you to customise your cover level to your situation or gives you the standard amount, they probably aren’t very reliable or may be overselling you cover.
As a landlord, your level of insurance cover may be higher than a normal homeowner. Depending on your building and location the amount of financial assets you are trying to protect could be significant, for example if you own a block of flats or multiple properties.
The cover level amount is going to be unique to your building. Consider how much money you would need if your building were to be a total loss. A total loss would occur when the amount of damage to your building makes the building unable to be salvaged.
To ensure you have the right cover level amount, you will also want to only consider the value of the building minus the land. Since the land won’t be destroyed or repaired, this takes it out of your cover level calculations.
Also, the right level of coverage should pay out exactly what it would cost to replace your current building – known as the rebuild or reinstatement value. This is called the “sum insured” for buildings.
Types of Protection
If a portion or all of the building ends up being damaged, you’ll be on the hook for repairs and rebuilding. You’ll want to look for a landlord insurance cover level that not only has the right amount of rebuild cover, but also protects your building from several specific events.
Check what sort of situations are covered and any general exclusions before buying a policy, even if it seems like the best landlord insurance UK.
Here are a few incidences that could happen to your building that a typical landlord policy covers.
- Falling trees
- Falling objects from airplanes/boats
- Storm or Flood
- Water damage from pipes
Obviously these are specific to your landlord insurance policy and may or may not appear, but this is a general list of events that you may want your building protected from.
You’ll also want to check out the list of exclusions. These are causes of damage that the insurance company will not pay out for. Here are some basic exclusions that are commonly not covered.
- Vacancy – if your property is unoccupied for more than 30 days then you may need a different unoccupied policy. Emerald can also provide that
- Wet or dry rot
- Building settling
- Fair wear and tear
Make sure to look for cover that includes malicious damage – including damage as a result of a break-in. Malicious damage should be covered by most comprehensive home insurance policies so make sure that if you were to experience theft or vandalism that these would be valid claims.
Most policies have general protection that comes included with the initial payment. However, if your situation has some specifics that are not covered under the general policy, you may want to think of purchasing additional cover to protect your finances.
Some insurers may decline to cover you if your flood risk is high – or may include a flood exclusion. It is therefore worth shopping around to make sure you get the best landlord insurance UK to suit you.
Landlord Contents Insurance
Typically, the contents in your building are owned by your tenants. However, if you provide them with some items that are not attached to the walls or floors, such as couches, rugs and beds you may want to purchase additional cover to protect these items.
At Emerald Life we provide £5000 of landlord contents cover free but you can always add more if you wish.
Rent Guarantee/Loss of Rent Cover
Loss of rent cover is another add-on that you can include with another purchase. You may already have loss of rent cover on your policy or you might be able to find loss of rent as an extra. Emerald includes as part of its standard landlord insurance policy cover for loss of rent if the property is made uninhabitable.
Loss of rent income is usually only paid out if a covered claim occurs such as fire, water, or storm damage. If tenants are not able to stay in their prescribed apartments, the claim will pay out for some of the lost rent.
This is different from Tenant Default Insurance, which covers the loss of income if a tenant fails to pay their rent after a certain number of months. This kind of rent guarantee insurance normally requires you to begin proceedings to evict the tenant in order to claim for loss of rent.
Read more about Landlord rent guarantee insurance here.
While home insurance policies typically aim to provide insurance cover for malicious damage to your property, accidental damage taht you do yourself tends to be much more specific. This requires accidental damage cover that extends your home insurance to include one-off, unforeseen accidents such as breaking a window.
Accidental damage cover type can be added on to your landlord insurance to provide additional protection to your property. You can apply accidental damage cover to just your contents, your building, or both. This means greater cover for anything that you or your guests do in the property. It may or may not cover actions of tenants, so it’s worth checking.
Read more about accidental damage cover here.
Needless to say customer service is an important consideration when looking for the best landlord insurance cover UK. Home insurance is not a physical product. It is a contract – an agreement made legal in writing that is designed to give you peace of mind.
For that reason, customer service is something we pride ourselves on at Emerald Life, while many insurers have a very poor reputation. Emerald is also underwritten directly by a Lloyds’ syndicate so is secure in the event of a claim.
If the service isn’t great when you first enquire, how do you expect it to be if you have to make a claim? Landlords insurance in particular can be quite a complex product so always ask lots of questions to makre sure you are getting the right landlord insurance cover for you.
The best home insurance companies are able to communicate with their clients through every medium including the phone, text, email, and social media. They’re response time to each medium offered should be very fast and direct you to the appropriate department to get your answer quickly.
Knowledgeable customer service representatives are also very important. Home insurance policies are a difficult subject, so finding a company that can not only respond quickly and through multiple channels, but also give you a correct and efficient answer will go a long way in making your life easier.
The claims process of an insurance company is probably the most vital aspect of an insurance company.
Response time and level of knowledge will affect this area, but the length of claim time and thorough investigation of a claim are just as necessary.
Also, the consistency of promises made and promises kept concerning financial payout is a huge factor.
Your cover level and type of protection may be healthy, but a high likelihood of a fair claim payout is equally, if not more important.
When searching for the best landlord insurance in the UK, the price will definitely be a big factor. Quite a few things affect the price of your landlord insurance, so here are some key attributes that you can look over to see which will affect you the most.
The age of your building is going to be crucial to determine how much you will be charged for your cover. Older buildings are harder to underwrite than new buildings because newer buildings don’t have nearly as many variations in their structure as older buildings.
If your building is listed this can create additional issues as you are legally obliged to repair any damage with authentic materials and methods.
At Emerald Life we can insure up to Grade II* (Grade B in Scotland) online while we may be able to help with Grade I (or Grade A) if you call us.
Different types of exterior building material and roof material greatly affect the premium. Brick and concrete are seen as standard, but other materials may be covered with an additional premium. And depending on the type of roof material, the price will vary as well. A lot of insurers will have conditions here. You will also need to advise on the percentage of flat roof that you have, as these are more prone to leakage and water damage.
The type of tenants you have will affect the insurance premium as well. Students are often more costly to insure than a couple with children because of the perceived risk to the building.
Depending on whether you are insuring the building, contents, or a combination of both, your insurance cover price will vary.
The location of your building will affect the cost as well. The more metropolitan the area, the higher the cost. The more rural, the lower the price will be in many cases because crime rates tend to be higher in cities.
If you have a short history with a specific company, or you have made many claims in the past, your premium may be higher than someone who has been with one company for many years and has had few claims.
How To Find The Best Landlord Insurance UK
Simply calling the insurance company to get an agent to walk you through what their policies cover and what will be paid it is the most direct, but not always the most efficient. If you determine what is most important for your building and concerns before you talk with an agent, this may be the best process.
There are a plethora of sites that can give you a list that readily compares coverage, price, and claims satisfaction and give you a more comprehensive look. However, it may be too surface-level for you to get a true look at each individual insurance company.
Word of Mouth
Getting a friend to give you feedback on their insurance company is an intimate way to get to know a company. If another landlord trusts a particular company, this may speak more for its value than a salesman convincing you to purchase their plan.
What Does The Best Landlord Insurance UK Cover?
The basic landlord insurance policy will cover the actual structure in case of damage from the occupant, weather, water, and other main perils (but do read the policy conditions and exclusions). Current material cost coverage or “New for Old” cover will always be better, but will also be much more expensive.
Buildings insurance is one of the most important parts of your policy to protect the value of your property if it were completely destroyed. At the same time, buildings insurance also covers lots of smaller but still significant costs like leaks and malicious damage. Buildings insurance is very much a case of preparing for the worst – the complete loss of your property – while still providing plenty of cover for smaller incidents along the way.
If you are buying a buy-to-let property with a mortgage then buildings insurance is likely to be a requirement of your lender to protect their own financial interest in the property.
But remember that if your property is rented then a standard home insurance policy is unlikely to cover you and you should look for proper landlord insurance cover.
Landlord Contents Insurance
Often a landlord won’t have much property inside of the building that is not attached to the structure. However, if you have provided the tenant with furniture or appliances, you can find contents insurance cover that will pay out for your contents. This will not pay for the property of the tenant. They will have to get a contents insurance policy on their own.
Property Owner Liability Cover
Property owner liability cover can help if someone is harmed on your property and decides to take legal action against you.
Such a lawsuit could be devastating financially and so good landlord insurance policies come with a lot of cover. Emerald offers £2m of cover as standard, but you can upgrade to £5m for a small additional premium.
Best Landlord Insurance UK
We’ve done a lot of research to help you find the best landlord insurance UK. These are some popular choices but remember there are plenty of others out there who may be more appropriate for you.
Our research involved analysing each insurer’s products and cover levels and then looking at customer feedback on TrustPilot and Feefo.
HomeLet Landlord Insurance Review
The HomeLet insurance company is centred around helping landlords, letting agents, and tenants protect their property and their assets. Their focus allows them to be a little more tailored than some other insurance companies.
The most customer reviews commented on the knowledge level of the associates that helped them through the process.
The most negative reviews were related to the customers disliking HomeLet’s sales process and feeling like they were being pressured too often.
Their building cover will payout for the perils listed below.
- Collision or impact
- Falling trees
- Theft by forcible means
- Ground heave
- Riot/civil commotion
- Storm or flood
- Malicious acts (not by tenant)
- Oil leakage or escape of water
The maximum amount of liability available is £5,000,000. You can purchase this cover in three different categories. Legal Liability, Occupiers Legal Liability, Employers Liability. Employers Liability can actually be increased to £10,000,000.
Full contents insurance cover is available and starts at £10,000 and the maximum is determined by the amount of property you have in the units.
You can also purchase Limited Contents insurance that maxes out at £5,000.
AXA Landlord Insurance Review
Axa Business has a strong focus on business insurance as their name implies and prides themselves on their advanced claims system which includes emergency cash advances directly to the customer during a claim and video claims call options.
Most customers who left positive reviews were impressed with their efficiency in completing their new or changing needs, and also their ability to customize their insurance to their needs.
Their lower reviews were mostly caused by general confusion concerning the renewal process of the company.
The building cover is going to be conditional on the replacement value of the building, but Axa also offers 50% over the replacement cost if inflation increases unexpectedly.
Their cover for contents maxes out at £75,000.
Axa’s Property Owner’s Liability extends up to £10,000,000 and covers if a third party, a tenant or visitor, brings a lawsuit against you for damages.
Direct Line Landlord Insurance Review
Direct Line began offering car insurance in 1985. Since that time they have added a plethora of cover, including landlord insurance.
Top reviews typically comment on how efficient their claims process is and also note that cancelling with them is very easy and typically they refund the money paid quickly.
The lower ratings usually came from people that did not think their customer service experience went very well.
Fire, escape of water, explosion, earthquake, theft, and storm cover are all typical things that show up on Direct Line’s insurance policy.
This cover level depends on the replacement cost of the actual building.
The contents cover under Direct Line is determined by the amount that needs to be insured. The amount must be verified, however, and certain specialty items, paintings, artifacts, etc., have a £5,000 limit.
The public liability cover maxes out at £10,000,000 and employee liability is available as well.
SAGA Landlord Insurance Review
Saga is an insurance company that is affiliated with a travel company of similar name. They offer services exclusively aimed at 50-year-old and up clientele.
The top reviews had mostly to do with the ease of use centering around their website. Most of their users communicate through their online portal for the initial purchase and for renewals as well.
The negative reviews were aimed at their cancelation policies. The customers were usually required to pay cancellation fees after switching from Saga.
£500,000 is the most Saga will pay out in a claim per building.
Saga’s content cover limit stops at £50,000 per incident.
A limit of £2,000,000 will be paid out to the owner of the policy under Saga’s liability cover.
CIA Landlord Insurance Review
Established in the 1990’s, CIA claims to have competitive pricing due to intimate relationships with leading insurance providers in the UK.
The top reviews noted that CIA’s follow up around renewal time was superb and that was a big reason the customer stayed with the company.
Most of the negative reviews for CIA center around their claims process. The company does not actually handle claims in the house but outsources them to a third party.
CIA Insurance uses AXA insurance as their main underwriting company, so they have the same standard fire, water, earthquake, theft cover protection.
Their content cover stops out at £75,000.
Their liability cover also mirrors AXA, maxing out at £10,000,000.
Simply Business Insurance Review
Simply Business is a fairly large insurance provider with a focus on business and landlord insurance. They have over 600,000 business owners and landlords that they provide service to.
Competitive pricing was the subject of most of their reviews and how quickly the user was able to get the insurance complete. Also, much of their business is done online and most users commented on how intuitive their site was.
Most of the negative reviews have to do with a misunderstanding of coverage and not receiving paperwork via email or post.
Simply business uses an insurance underwriting company named Modus. Their building cover is subject to the amount your building is valued at for replacement.
Similar to Direct Line Insurance, Simply Business contents cover is subject to the verified value of your property inside of your units.
£1,000,000 is the limit that Simply Business insurance will pay out in the event of an eligible liability claim.
Alan Boswell Landlord Insurance Review
Alan Boswell has been around for 35 years and centers around a strong business insurance platform. The hold the “Chartered Insurance Broker” award, a commendation that recognizes them for excellent customer service and sound ethical practices.
Their top customer reviews mostly centre around how friendly their service is. Though they have over 350 employees, their directory system doesn’t take you through a complicated set of dial by number but gets you straight to a customer service representative.
The lowest reviews, which were only a few, mostly had to do with not receiving documents on time or the customer not having the cover explained well to them.
Similar to most policies, the building cover is subject to the value of the replacement cost of your building.
£10,000 is the minimum amount of content cover you can put on your property and it can be increased subject to the verified amount of property value.
Alan Boswell offers a maximum of £5,000,000 liability cover.
Simple Landlord Insurance Review
Simple Landlord insurance focuses on landlord insurance, as their name implies, and sets themselves apart by making their policies more customizable than some other landlord insurance.
Most positive reviews say Simple Landlords are easy to use and efficient. The reviews don’t have as many outstanding service comments but do reflect solid, middle of the road performance.
The negative reviews are pretty straightforward and mostly have to do with their poor customer service.
You can choose your cover level anywhere from £75,000 to £2,000,000 to protect your building from damage. Standard perils include fire, escape water, storm, etc.
Simple Landlord provides cover for your property inside a unit anywhere from £5,000 to £50,000.
The standard liability cover they offer starts at £2,000,000. You can also increase your liability cover level to £5,000,000.
Churchill Landlord Insurance Review
Churchill was one of the UK’s first direct motor insurance. Since then they have expanded into a wide range of products including landlord insurance. Their claim to fame is their bulldog mascot and their commitment to calling 1,000 customers each month to ensure quality service.
The majority of the positive reviews revolve around how easy it was to switch from their current company over to Churchill and their competitive pricing.
Their bad reviews have mostly do to with communication during their claims process. Most said their claim turned out ok eventually, but lack of communication and long claim time was a big problem for them.
Churchill’s building cover can go up to a maximum of £10,000,000 for damage to your structure.
With Churchhill insurance, you can cover the contents of your building for up to £500,000.
£10,000,000 of liability cover is the total amount that can be purchased through Churchhill insurance.
British Gas Landlord Insurance Review
British Gas Insurance is a subsidiary of British Gas which is a heating and gas company that services the UK. Their connection with industrial and residential properties makes thems pretty well poised to be knowledgable in landlord insurance. They actually use AXA insurance to underwrite their policies and handle their claims.
Positive reviews consist of customers noting that getting cashback from purchasing their insurance policy through their website. They also comment that their process for insurance selection is pretty easy as well.
Their negative reviews also deal with the cashback for purchasing the insurance. There were not too many complaints about the insurance policies themselves.
Similar to most landlord insurance, the value of the cover is calculated to equal the value of the replacement cost of your building.
You can purchase contents cover for your building and the max that it will payout will be £50,000.
The total amount of liability cover you can purchase through British Gas is £10,000,000.