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Landlord liability insurance – what you need to know

No matter how carefully you look after your rental property, you can’t watch over it 24/7 and accidents happen. If a tenant trips on a broken step and falls badly or a guest of the tenant slips on cracked tile, they can place the blame on a defect or lack of maintenance in your rental property and take you to court.

Rest assured – landlord liability insurance can protect you from injury or damage claims associated to your rental property.  It protects landlords from compensation claims by a third party such as a tenant, their guests, a visitor or a tradesperson.

What is landlord liability insurance?

If someone is injured or their possessions are damaged and they blame a fault in your rental property, your landlord liability insurance policy could pay the compensation costs and legal fees, up to the limit stated your policy.

Compensation pay-outs can increase at a rapid rate when medical costs and lost income is taken into consideration, so it is important to have a valid insurance policy.

Do landlords need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is included as standard in many landlord insurance policies and many landlords decide they need it, but the decision is yours.

Events can be unexpected even if you follow every safety measure and keep your property in immaculate condition, so it is always advisable to take out insurance for peace of mind.

How much liability insurance should a landlord have?

Compensation claims can be very high and your level of cover is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay out for a claim, so most insurers offer cover in the millions.

Due to individual  local authority specifications, commercial landlords may be required to have a particular type of landlord liability cover and they will specify what level is needed.

Public liability for landlords differs from employers’ liability insurance, which provides protection in the event of injury to anyone you’ve hired to work in relation to your property like a gardener, builder, plumber or cleaner.

What could happen without landlord liability insurance?

If you didn’t have a valid landlord liability insurance policy, you would have to pay for your own defence, any damages awarded and potentially the claimant’s legal costs too. The claim will then add on any loss of earnings or ongoing care required by the claimant.

By taking out public liability insurance as a landlord, you could claim on your insurance to cover these costs, which could well run into millions.

Do I need landlord liability insurance if I’m renting to family?

Although it’s not a legal requirement, it is advisable to take out landlord liability insurance if you are renting to family. While it’s unlikely that a family member will take you to court, their guests may bring legal action against you if they’re injured at your property – you can never be sure.

Often landlords who are letting to family or friends think that their standard home insurance will cover the building and contents, however this is not the case if they are not the resident.

Do I need landlord liability insurance if I rent out a flat?

You do need landlord liability insurance for a flat, but the type of policy you require is dependent whether you own the leasehold or freehold. The policy may also provide cover for communal areas that are your responsibility.

For more information on this aspect of residential property management in London or other types of property management insurance cover, contact Redbrick today.

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