Tag: landlord insurance responsibilities

What Is Landlord Boiler Cover?

What Is Landlord Boiler Cover?

If you’re a landlord and wondering whether you need landlord boiler cover, or if it’s even worth it, we’re here to help make up your mind. Taking out landlord boiler cover is essential to make sure your tenants stay warm and cosy and avoid those unexpected boiler breakdowns. Boiler cover, also known as gas boiler cover or boiler breakdown cover, is a type of insurance that protects your boiler if it were to breakdown or encounter a fault. If something was to go wrong with the boiler, the boiler cover will help cover the costs of engineer call outs and labour, as well as an annual boiler service, which is vital to keep the manufacturer warranty valid and the boiler in full working order.

Do I need landlord boiler cover? Is landlord boiler cover worth it?

As a landlord, it’ll be your responsibility to cover the costs associated with a broken or faulty boiler, as well as arranging for an engineer to sort the issue. Your tenants won’t be able to take out boiler cover themselves or arrange the repair themselves, which is why cover is also important in your absence. With your permission and with cover in place, the tenant may be able to arrange an engineer call out or repair if the boiler was to break down in your absence. If you already have landlord home insurance, you may have boiler cover in place as part of your buildings and contents insurance.

Most modern boilers will come bundled with a manufacturer warranty of up to 10 years depending on the installer. If you’ve chosen an installer that’s approved by the manufacturer, you’re more likely to have your boiler protected by an extended warranty. If you’re looking to install a Vaillant or Worcester Bosch boiler, keep a lookout for Vaillant Advanced and Worcester Accredited Installers to take full advantage of an extended warranty. If the boiler is older than 15 years, you may have to pay more for cover as it’s more likely that the boiler will break down due to its age. Some cover products will also have specific terms around whether they can cover you if the boiler has already broken down.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, what’s the point in landlord boiler cover if I have a manufacturer warranty? Your boiler’s manufacturer warranty shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on if your boiler was to run into a fault or break down. The warranty is only there to cover you if your boiler fails or breaks down within a certain number of years. However, if the fault or breakdown is caused by physical damage or limescale, this may void your warranty. It’s important to double check your manufacturer warranty to double check what is actually covered.

Landlord boiler cover takes the stress out of boiler breakdowns and repairs. You’ll avoid having to pay a large sum of money to repair your boiler, as well as a regular annual service scheduled to keep your manufacturer warranty valid. With the cover you’ll also get access to a helpline, unlimited call outs, and the added bonus of repairs to the boiler’s controls should they develop a fault. With cover, it’s always best to double check you’re getting the best deal possible.

What’s the difference between homeowner boiler cover and landlord boiler cover?

Boiler cover for a homeowner will usually include repairs for both your boiler and controls, an annual boiler service, and several call outs included in the monthly price. The main difference with landlord boiler cover is that you’ll get a Landlord Gas Safety Record, which is a legal document that shows that you have had your gas appliances checked annually.

TLA Landlord Insurance Guide (2)

Landlord insurance is not compulsory – think of it as bulked-up home insurance to cover extra perils such as non-payment of rent or damage by tenants – but it can be very costly to go without it if disaster strikes. Our tips help you decide if it’s right for you.

It isn’t a legal requirement but without it you may not be covered if you have tenants

If you’re going to be a landlord, you won’t be breaking the law if you don’t take out specialist insurance. However, if you rent out a property to any kind of tenant and want to be protected in case anything goes wrong, standard home buildings and contents insurance usually won’t cover you – you’ll need a landlord policy instead.

This is because insurers view the risk of renters living in your property – and the chances of them making a claim on an insurance policy – very differently to you, the owner, living in it instead. Two young students who enjoy socialising renting a flat, for example, pose a greater claims risk to an insurer than an older professional couple who own their property.

Also, there may be some cases where a buildings policy is not necessary. For example, if you own a leasehold property in a block of flats and rent it out, you could find the block freeholder has their own buildings insurance which should cover you in the event of any incident such as a leaking washing machine ruining your floor – and the flat below’s ceiling.

Yet not all freeholders will have a comprehensive buildings insurance policy so if you’re in this situation, double-check.

Landlord insurance is ‘bulked-up’ home insurance, covering all the usual, plus tenant issues

Landlord insurance is usually an umbrella term given to different strands of cover bolted together for anyone who owns a home they rent out, and it’s entirely up to you to decide what it includes, though the more you add the more it costs. These are your options:

  1. Buildings cover. To rebuild or repair your home if the structure is damaged.
  2. Cover for YOUR contents. If stolen by someone other than your tenant (see below as there’s separate cover for this) or damaged by fire, flood and more. It will NOT pay out for a tenant’s contents.
  3. Loss of rent. If tenants don’t pay up or are rehoused if your home’s damaged.
  4. Accidental/malicious damage or theft by tenants. If your goods or furnishings are stolen or damaged by tenants.
  5. Legal expenses. If you take action when dealing with tenant disputes.
  6. Public liability. If a tenant or visitor is injured on your property and claims against you.
  7. Property damage due to illegal cultivation of drugs. By your tenant, of course
  8. Eviction of squatters. Where a tenant simply won’t leave.

There are other considerations too: (All of these guides will be available shortly)

  1. TLA Landlord Insurance GUIDE (1)
  2. Membership of a Landlord Association is no Replacement for Cover (GUIDE)
  3. Contents Insurance – Furnished Property Insurance (GUIDE)
  4. Leasehold Flats – All You Need to Know About Buildings Insurance
  5. Buildings Insurance and Mortgage Applications – You Will Need Both When Re/Mortgaging (GUIDE)
  6. Renting Out Your Main Home Insurance (GUIDE)
  7. Making to Make a Claim on Your Landlord Insurance (GUIDE)

Insurers will ask what your tenants do (and may charge more if they’re students or on housing benefit)

When you buy landlord insurance, you’ll be asked what kind of tenant you rent to – usually early on in the application process.

You’ll generally be asked to choose from a dropdown box or to tick a box showing what type of tenant you have. These are the main categories you can choose from:

  1. Employees
  2. Students
  3. Those in receipt of housing benefits
  4. Unemployed
  5. Self-employed
  6. Asylum seekers
  7. Retired
  8. A mix of the above

It matters because the type of tenant you rent your property out to will have an impact on how much you pay for landlord insurance. Choose to let to students or those in receipt of housing benefit (and the unemployed) and you’ll pay more.

This is because these groups’ lack of income – or low level of take-home pay – means they’re a higher risk to insurers, which worry you’ll struggle to fill your rental property. In particular, you’ll pay a much steeper premium if you want your policy to cover you for non-payment of rent.

Not every insurer is willing to cover all types of tenant but most will give you a broad choice of tenant categories. However, you must always make it clear to an insurer who it is you’ll be renting to. Fail to do so and you could invalidate your policy.

You’ll need extra cover if the property is left vacant for more than 30 days

You’ll need extra cover if the property is left vacant for more than 30 days

Most policies will cover you for a claim if your property’s left empty for a short period, usually 30 days – handy if you’re planning a quick renovation or kitchen overhaul. So if thieves broke in or your property suffered damage from a water leak, you’d get a payout.

But if you know the property is going to be sitting empty for several months – for major works, say – you’ll need to tell your insurer and agree additional cover, or pay extra to take out a separate ‘unoccupied property insurance’ policy to add to your existing landlord cover.

If you don’t, you could find yourself uninsured and out of pocket during that period if the property is taken over by squatters, vandalised or damaged by fire or flood.

You MUST provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – if not, you may invalidate your policy

These alarms should be on every floor of the property you’re letting and you’ll need to test them frequently. You also need to make sure the property is safe for tenants – eg, having up-to-date building and electrical installation safety regulation certificates – and carry out any necessary repairs.
Plus, you’ll need to have all gas and electrical equipment checked regularly and ensure it meets safety requirements. Fail to do so and insurers can deem your policy invalid. Your tenants can then take you to court and you won’t be able to use legal cover to fund the claim.