Landlord Contents Insurance for UK Landlords

Some buy to let landlords may only require contents insurance as the buildings element is already covered in a lease contract. Here’s how to get the best deals on offer in the UK.

Being a landlord can be a profitable business but your property and its contents are at risk of both intentional and accidental damage, and it is very important that you have adequate landlord contents insurance in place. The cost of replacing fixtures and fittings can lead to several months loss of profit and no-one likes to work for nothing!

When do I need contents insurance?

Leaving things to chance is not a good policy. Although you may consider that the cost of replacing the contents of your rented house or apartment is not large if you sit down and work out the value of your contents you may get a nasty shock. It is estimated that for the average family home in the UK the contents are worth a massive £30,000.

Of course, your rented property probably do not have the same value as the contents of your own home, which will cover non-fixed items and personal effects such as jewellery and clothes, but the value of furniture, kitchen equipment, white goods and electrical goods will still be substantial. It is easy to underestimate the value of contents, especially if the items were bought a long time ago. Remember that you should be insuring contents at the replacement value, which will have increased over time, not their original purchase price.

What risks do my contents face?

Natural and man-made damage to your property can include the following:

  • Fire: The BBC has reported just this month (Feb 2011) that house fires have gone up by almost a third since the start of the year.
  • Storm & Flood: It’s been suggested that the cost of flood damage in the UK is due to rise by twenty times over the next century. If you are in an area that is susceptible to flooding you need to cover yourself against this.
  • Burst Pipes: Like a mini local flood a simple burst pipe can wreak havoc with your furnishings and household equipment.
  • Accidental damage: Accidents will happen and windows and other less fragile parts of your house can be damaged unintentionally.
  • Malicious damage: Malicious damage does happen to rented property either by the tenants or their invited (or uninvited) guests.

What will affect my Landlord Buildings Insurance Premiums?

Many factors will influence the price you ay for your contents insurance including:

  • Its location
  • The number and type of tenants
  • The size of the property
  • The standard of security (e.g. are smoke alarms fitted?)
  • Your previous claims history

As with most financial products you can compare providers easiest by going online to the usual comparison sites, but while the cost of the insurance and the exact details of the cover they provide are important you also need to know how good the companies are at dealing with their customers, especially when you make a claim.

Tips for making contents insurance claims easier.

In the event of a claim if you have the following information handy the process may well be much more straightforward.

  1. Keep all receipts and guarantees and a list of all model names and reference numbers.
  2. Check the current replacement cost of the more valuable items such as white goods and electrical equipment regularly
  3. Take photographs and maybe even video of the house contents and keep it in a secure place
  4. Make sure you update your policy on a regular basic (yearly) to make sure adequate cover is maintained.

How to find good Landlord Contents insurance

Most basic landlord insurance cover will include an option for both building and content insurance in the same policy. Having them both in one place will be easier to manage, especially if you have multiple properties.

You can compare policies on the Internet but it is also invaluable to have some word of mouth recommendations as an insurance company is only as good as its actions during a claim.

Whether you are a new landlord renting a former family home or am established landlord with an extensive portfolio of properties, having good and reliable landlord contents insurance will let you sleep easy at night in the knowledge that even if disaster strikes, your business will survive.