How to compare cover for landlords
Buying landlord home emergency cover can be a bit of a minefield. With so many different providers offering various types of landlord services, you need to make sure you do your research and get the right kind of cover to meet your needs. Here you’ll find a quick guide on how to compare landlord insurance to make sure you get the right level of cover at the right price.
How to choose the right type of landlord cover
When looking to compare landlord insurance, you’ll soon see there are lots of different types of cover out there, all of which use ‘landlord cover’ as an umbrella term. If it’s landlord home emergency cover you’re after, you need to make sure that is what the provider is offering. You will find some landlord cover is aimed at protecting landlords if a tenant doesn’t pay their rent. This is a different type of cover altogether!
Decide what level of landlord home emergency cover you need
Landlord insurance providers tend to offer several policies, which vary in the level of cover they provide. They tend to start with basic landlord boiler cover, which includes things like on-going landlord boiler care, repairs to your boiler and its controls, an annual service and boiler certificate.
You may also find they have a separate policy for boiler and central heating care. In addition to covering boiler breakdown and repairs, this type of policy will cover your wider central heating system, including any radiators, cylinders and tanks in your rented property.
Looking for a policy that covers a little more than your boiler and central heating? Most landlord home emergency cover providers will have a comprehensive package that includes landlord boiler cover, central heating cover, plumbing and drains cover and cover for your home electrics. Have a look at the different policies and decide what is right for you.
Compare the contents of the landlord home emergency cover
When you compare landlord insurance, you’ll need to look carefully at what’s actually included in a policy. Here are a few things to consider:
- What is covered (boiler, central heating, plumbing, drains, electrics?)
- What isn’t covered?
- What amount of cover do you have (is there a specific figure?)
- Will you have to pay any excess?
- Are call out fees, repair work and parts all covered?
- Is there a limit on the number of claims you can make or a no-claims period?
- Say your boiler can’t be repaired, will the company replace it for you or pay towards a replacement?
- Do they have a 24/7 helpline?
- Do they have an approved list of engineers they use?
- How quickly do they respond to emergency call-outs?
If the policy isn’t clear to you, don’t be afraid to contact the provider and ask questions. It’s important you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Some providers offer insured plans to look after your Boiler and Heating and other home services like plumbing, drains and electrics, whereas other providers offer non-insured plans. An insured plan will be underwritten by an insurer and also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Non-insured plans are not backed by an insurer and are not regulated by the FCA. Often non-insured or maintenance plans include an annual service of the equipment covered, whereas these may or may not be included in insured plans.
Hometree offers a range of non-insured maintenance "care" plans all of which include an annual service visit.
Compare incentives and extra benefits
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices of landlord home emergency cover, or landlord boiler cover if you’re after a standalone policy, you’ll then want to compare landlord insurance benefits. These are the incentives a provider will throw in to make their policy more appealing and beneficial to you. For example, landlord boiler cover may come with a free annual boiler service and landlord gas certificate - something you’re required to have by law. Not having to pay for this every year will save you money and ensure you remain compliant.
Other incentives may include no excess fees on certain policies or no price hikes, so if you don’t make a claim within a certain period (usually a year), you won’t have to pay a higher price upon renewal.
Does the landlord cover provider have a good reputation?
Whether you’re after complete landlord home emergency cover or a standalone policy like landlord plumbing and drainage cover, you need to buy it from a reputable provider. The best way to find out who gets a thumbs up and who gets a thumbs down is to look at independent reviews and testimonials online.
Don’t just check the provider’s website - they’re bound to only feature the good reviews! Look on other sites like Facebook and Google, where negative reviews are much harder to hide.
Compare landlord insurance costs
Last but not least, it’s important to compare the cost of landlord insurance. The reason we haven’t featured this higher up our guide, is that while the price is important, it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Let’s be honest, 9 times out of 10, the cheapest landlord cover won’t be the best cover. Having said this, you can still secure a good level of cover at a decent price, it’s just about being savvy.
The best way to keep your costs down is to only buy landlord cover that you really need. Check that your boiler, central heating, plumbing, drainage and electrics aren’t covered in any existing policies you have. Think carefully about whether you will benefit from covering all elements, or whether you’d benefit more from a cheaper, standalone policy.
Next, compare quotes using an online comparison website. It’ll make it much easier and quicker to see who offers what and at what price. We’ll say it again, the cheapest isn’t always the best! So check the contents of the policies carefully too.
Finally, get all of the ins and outs from the provider. The policy costs ‘x amount’ now but will it be as cheap after the introductory period? Will they hike up the price even if you don’t need to claim after the first year? Make sure they aren’t just luring you in with a cheap price. Always read the small print!
Do your research, use comparison tools and if in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask. That way you’re almost guaranteed to secure great landlord home emergency cover at a budget-friendly price.
Landlords we’ve got you covered
Don’t forget that we offer a range of landlord care plans at Hometree! Whether you’re after standalone landlord boiler care and comprehensive landlord home care plans, we’ve got maintenance plans to meet your needs. All of our plans include a free annual boiler service and your Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.