Home insurance vs. landlord insurance: why specialist policies win

We explain the differences between home insurance and landlord

Landlord Advice

29 March 2017

Nearly eight out of ten landlords in Britain only own one property for rent, and there are around 2000 new landlords every week.

As a result, a lot of people don't realise they're officially property managers and are coming to the job unprepared. In particular, more than a third (35.6%) of the UK's landlords don't have the right buy-to-let insurance.

There's a big difference between regular home insurance and specialist landlord insurance. Here's how they measure up.

Home insurance

Home insurance is a must-have for safeguarding the property you live in, but it isn't well-equipped for dwellings you let out. AXA has three home insurance policies available, all offering different levels of protection. Each product includes buildings and content cover, with the option to add extras such as:

  • Brand new replacements for stolen and damaged possessions
  • Repairs by approved suppliers
  • Cover for flooding, fire and escape of water
  • Up to £1,000 emergency cash advance on contents insurance
  • A locksmith service if there's a break-in

However, home insurance doesn't cover the additional needs of landlords such as:

  • Liability and legal cover, which offers protection in case your tenants are injured in your property
  • Rent protection, which guarantees your income where the property is vacant due to fire, flood or major damage
  • Alternative accommodation cover, in case your tenants need to vacate the property while repairs are being made
  • Landlord contents insurance, to protect your possessions

Landlord insurance

If you rent out a property and are asking "do I need landlord insurance?" the answer is probably "yes". If you only have home insurance and are renting to tenants, you might not be covered at all. A specialist buy-to-let insurance policy covers you for the events mentioned above. It can also be extended as multiple property cover, in case you decide to expand your business.

Landlord insurance can also help you deal with situations that arise with tenants, particularly where damaged property is involved, or damage which could result in a deposit deduction. You could add accidental damage cover to your policy, which protects your property’s structure, floors and fittings from a range of accidents, from wine stains on the carpets to unexpected damage from a leaky roof. And if your landlord insurance policy includes content cover, this could help you to replace damaged items if a dispute arises with your tenant.

While it's not legally required, specialist landlord insurance is the best way to prepare for costly unexpected events and protect your property investment.