What is Landlord Public Liability Insurance? Why Do I Need It?

There are many things to think of when you rent out property – type of tenants, how to deal with emergency repairs, what if a neighbour causes damage to your property and so on.

However, for landlords, public liability insurance is a big one – and one that, sometimes, landlords don’t understand too well.

What Is Landlords’ Public Liability Insurance?

So what is it? In a nutshell public liability insurance covers damage that your property does to someone else, or someone else’s property. Sometimes, the examples that we give can seem a little far-fetched, but the consequences could be severe.

Suppose in a storm a tile blows off your roof and hits the pavement. That’s an irritation for you but you might well be covered under the storm damage provision of your buildings insurance.

Now suppose that tile blows off and hits a car. As this is your property, you are liable for the damage caused, and a tile dropping from a height can cause tens of thousands of pounds of damage.

Further, suppose that tile hits a passer-by. The costs for medical assistance could be hundreds of thousands of pounds – maybe more than the value of the property itself.

What To Look For

So, a comprehensive landlords insurance policy will include public liability insurance (sometimes called third party liability cover). Make sure that you have a sufficient amount of cover. For most people £2m is enough, and Emerald includes that in its cover automatically. Sometimes a landlord may want more cover, in which case for a small amount it is possible with an Emerald policy to increase the cap on landlords public liability insurance to £5m.

It is important to check exactly what your public liability insurance covers. You can find those details in the policy document itself. The definition of your public liability cover does not need to be long (in fact, it’s more helpful for you to understand if it isn’t very long!) but you should make sure that it covers not just the damage caused, but also legal costs and other expenses.

For Emerald Life, it is important to make sure that customers understand exactly their own needs and the cover that they have been offered. You can find Emerald’s policy documents directly on the first page of our landlord insurance page here.

Lastly, with all insurers, make sure that they can honour their commitments to pay out. See who their underwriters are, and check that they have the financial strength that you need. Emerald Life is directly underwritten through the Lloyds of London insurance market, which gives our customers extra comfort that we are backed by one of the largest underwriters in the market.