Home insurance vs landlord insurance: what’s the difference?

Landlord advice

2 September 2021

Being a landlord isn’t easy. From mending broken boilers to making mortgage payments and staying up-to-date with landlord legislation – you’ve scarcely got a minute to spare. And if being a landlord isn’t your full-time job, or it’s all happened by chance, you might not think about taking out a landlord insurance policy if you’ve already got home insurance.  

However, there are a few important differences between regular home insurance and a specialist landlord insurance policy. Here, AXA explains more about both landlord and home insurance so you’re armed with the right information to protect your rental property and your investment.


What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance – sometimes known as buy-to-let insurance - is a combination of different covers to protect landlords and the property they’re renting out.

Even if you have the most respectful tenants, accidents can happen, resulting in repairs that could leave you with a costly bill. That’s where landlord insurance comes into play. It offers protection from accidental damage and loss of rental income.

Landlord insurance can 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 including storm damage. And if your landlord insurance policy includes content cover, this could help you replace damaged items if a dispute arises with your tenant.

So, while it's not legally required, a specialist landlord insurance policy is one of the best ways to prepare for the unexpected and protect your property investment.


What is home insurance?

Home insurance - also called homeowner's insurance - is a combination of various covers to protect homeowners and the property they live in.

Home insurance is a must-have for safeguarding the property you live in. It offers protection in the event of a flood, fire, theft or other accidental damage, so you’re not left with the expense and stress of dealing with it on your own.

Home insurance consists of buildings insurance and contents insurance, which you can buy separately or together from the same provider. You’re not legally obligated to get buildings or contents insurance. However, many mortgage providers will insist you have buildings insurance in place for the duration of the mortgage. 


Is landlord insurance different from home insurance?

Yes. While home insurance and landlord insurance sound similar, they’re classed differently because landlords receive an income through their rental property. While both types of insurance will protect you if there’s damage to the building, your home insurance may not cover you if the property is let out to tenants.

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 any damage is being repaired
  • Landlord contents insurance, to protect your moveable possessions


Do I need landlord insurance?

If you let out your property to tenants (whether you’re a full-time landlord or you’ve just found yourself renting out a house you used to live) you may need more than just home insurance. You’ll probably find that many of the buy-to-let mortgage lenders will insist you have a valid landlord insurance policy before you start renting out your property.   

However, the main reason landlords choose to take out a specialist insurance policy is because the risks associated with a rented property aren’t usually covered under a home insurance policy. For example, home insurance won’t cover the legal costs if a tenant takes you to court after being injured in your property.   

Landlord insurance can also be extended to cover multiple properties, which will come in handy if you decide to expand your property portfolio.  


What’s included with AXA’s Landlord Insurance?

With AXA’s Landlord Insurance, you get the core protection you need (including property owners’ liability and buildings insurance) as standard. You can personalise your cover with a range of optional extras including loss of rental income insurance, so you’re only paying for the cover you actually need.  


Being a good landlord is more than collecting the rent. It’s about protecting your investment too. That’s why if you’re a landlord, it pays to get protected from day one with AXA.


You let it, we protect it – from just £174 a year*

  • Tailorable cover you choose to match your needs
  • Cover for up to ten properties with one policy
  • 0% interest on monthly instalments
  • 10% off when you buy direct online
  • In-depth how-to guides in our landlord insurance hub

*10% of our customers paid this or less between January and March 2024.