Landlords insurance is an insurance policy that is taken out for rental properties. Its purpose is to cover the landlord (property owner) from any financial losses that are sustained as a result of the rental business.
The basic landlord’s insurance policy cover includes the buildings, plus an optional insurance to cover the contents of the building that belong to the landlord but not to the tenant.
Just as a standard home insurance policy, the risks covered include fire, explosion, damage due to lightening strike, earthquake damage, damage due to storms and floods, escape of oil and water, subsidence, vandalism and malicious damage, and theft. Some insurance policies exclude damage resulting from terrorism and act of God. Sometimes deliberate damage caused by tenants is excluded but is available as an optional extra.
Most insurance companies will also offer rental guarantee insurance. This will pay the rental for a limited period if the tenant fails to keep up payments on his rent. The insurance can also include the cost of eviction. The cover also applies if for some reason (for instance flood) the property becomes inhabitable for a period.
Landlord liability insurance protects the landlord in the instance that the tenant sues him for damages resulting from any accidental injury that can be attributed to a defect in the property. It also is a requirement if the landlord temporarily or permanently employs any persons as part of the rental business.
The cost of evicting squatters can also be covered. Evicting squatters can be a difficult and somewhat convoluted process as by squatting they are breaking no laws assuming that they were able to enter the property without actually breaking in. Although recent changes to the law mean that it is easier than it used to be to obtain an interim possession order on the property, it can still take some time to get it through the court, and it is expensive.
The bottom line is that you should not let your property without proper landlords insurance. Your personal home insurance will not cover you.