12 January 2022

Landlord Insurance Northern Ireland

By Stewart Vickers Digital Marketing Executive

Landlord insurance in Northern Ireland can be difficult to get hold of, but working with a specialist broker can help to give you a broader view of the market. At Protect My Let, we go off-script to find the right landlord insurance for you, wherever your properties are in the UK.

Landlord insurance in Northern Ireland can often seem hard to get because many providers do not offer cover for it. Landlord insurance cover is already a niche in itself that requires a degree of specialism, so when you then take out a whole country like Northern Ireland, hunting down good providers becomes more of an effort.

Why choose Protect My Let for your landlord insurance

We’ve been helping landlords like you find better cover for your rental homes since 2004. We take it personally – there’s no hard sell, just real people going off-script to find you exclusive deals on your landlord buildings, contents and liability insurance.

We can get you £25,000 of cover for contents as standard and automatically include accidental and malicious damage by tenants.

We look beyond off-the-shelf solutions and work to get the right policy for your property. Need a multiple property policy? No problem. Or maybe you don’t need the maximum limits? That’s fine too.

Our approach is personal. We’re all about direct conversations, down-to-earth advice and straightforward solutions. You won’t be talking to a chatbot with us.

Why are there not more landlord insurance cover providers for Northern Ireland?

Insurers are constantly scrutinising how many claims they have to pay. Insurance companies work by building up ‘books’ of business – long lists of customers who are mostly expected to keep renewing each year. Of these it is expected that a certain number will make a claim and this is factored into the insurance prices for that particular year.

But if a certain segment of that book shows a much higher number of claims – affecting what’s known as the “claims ratio” – then that can get expensive for an insurer very quickly and threaten to undermine the stability of the business.

Afterall, insurers have to prepare for all sorts of eventualities, including if claims suddenly go through the roof, as they might after a big event.

What’s more, insurers are committed to customers they have already taken on board and so have to try to tweak their claims ratio in advance through the new applications they accept.

Sometimes a high number of claims can also indicate fraudulent activity.

But this is all quite complex – what does it mean for you as a landlord in Northern Ireland?

Recently insurers observed higher claims for Northern Ireland and so many withdrew from the market. This is not unusual. For instance, despite the French bulldog being one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK a lot of pet insurance companies refuse to cover them or inflict very high premiums owing to the high and frequent cost of claims.

These fluctuations are common and are usually temporary because when risky policies are halted, the claims ratio returns to a more acceptable level and an insurer can then take greater risks from a more stable position.

What’s more is that what may seem risky to one insurer is an opportunity for another who spies a gap in the market. Therefore you should always compare quotes from multiple providers for similar cover. Working with an experienced broker like Protect My Let can help with this as we know the companies who are more likely to offer landlord insurance for Northern Ireland.

What to look for in your insurance cover

Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance is often regarded as the most important aspect of any landlords insurance policy as it covers the cost of the physical structure of the property. That means that if it were totally destroyed in a claimable event, the insurance would cover the cost to completely reinstate it.

For that reason you will often be asked for a rebuild value for the property. This will establish how much buildings cover you need. However, keep in mind that rebuild cost is not the same as the market value of the property as it only concerns the cost of material and labour to rebuild it rather than local market-driven property values.

You also want to look for a building insurance policy that includes alternative accommodation and cover for lost rental income while the property is repaired.

Landlord Contents Insurance

As a landlord you may have provided for your tenants appliances, furniture and fittings like carpets, washing machines and sofas. While small in relation to the overall value of the property, this can still add up to a significant investment you may want to consider protecting.

Contents insurance is easily forgotten about with landlords insurance so make sure you consider this. A lot of policies will include a level of landlords contents insurance for free.

Landlord Property Owners liability cover

It’s easy to think of landlords’ insurance as simply covering your physical possessions. But what about legal liability? Accidents happen all the time. Although unlikely, imagine if your property injured someone through a falling roof tile or damaged carpet?

Landlord public liability insurance – or property owners liability cover – is an important policy feature to help with legal expenses and settlements in such a scenario and is usually included as standard with a decent landlord insurance policy.

Home emergency cover

Wherever your rental properties are in the UK, sudden emergencies still happen. With our home emergency cover you can have a lot of them taken care of without you having to get involved.

Home Emergency cover for landlords provides help from a qualified contractor if you have a sudden emergency at your rental property.

Unlike many other policies, there is no age restriction on boilers which is a common pitfall for many home emergency or boiler insurance policies.

We also appreciate the urgency of getting a qualified contractor out to fix a problem, which is why our support line accepts calls from your tenants.

Accidental damage cover

No matter how careful you are about accepting tenants, some may still cause damage through spite, lack of care or just innocent clumsiness. At ProtectMyLet we offer accidental and malicious damage cover as standard with our landlords insurance

Is landlord insurance Northern Ireland expensive?

In theory, Northern Ireland landlord insurance should not be significantly more expensive than landlord insurance elsewhere. However, if insurers are placing a higher risk rating on NI, then you can expect slightly higher premiums.

That said, your landlord insurance premium reflects a very wide array of factors such as your location, type of property, type of tenants and claims history, which are all likely to have an equal if not greater impact on price.

What insurance is a landlord responsible for?

As a landlord you are responsible for insuring the building and your own contents. However, you cannot insure anything you don’t own such as your tenants’ contents.

Is it necessary to get landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is not a legal requirement in Northern Ireland. However, it could be a valuable precaution given the large amount of money that goes into owning a rental property. Besides the physical cost of reinstating the property you should also consider risks like landlord liability – what if your property injured someone and you got sued? A good landlord insurance policy should include these features.

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Need to speak to someone about landlord insurance?

You can find further useful information, get in touch with a member of our team or submit an enquiry on our landlord insurance page.

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