Landlord Emergency Insurance: What You Need To Know

With so many day-to-day landlord responsibilities to keep on top of, it’s easy to forget about what you’d do in an emergency situation. But if the heating fails in the middle of winter, a window gets broken or a drain becomes blocked and causes a flood, your tenants are going to be looking to you to fix things – and fast.

Unfortunately, emergencies can happen to anyone, at any time – no matter how brilliant a landlord you are, or how responsible your tenants might be. But you can protect yourself with landlord emergency insurance.

Here at NatWest, we’re pleased to offer landlord insurance with free home emergency cover. Read on to find out more about what this protection is, why you need it, and how it differs from normal landlord insurance.

What is landlord emergency insurance?

In short, emergency insurance gives you access to the help you need, whenever you need it. Not only will the right person be there to fix the problem quickly, but your insurance will take care of the repair bill, too. You’ll also be covered for the cost of providing alternative accommodation to your tenants, if required.

What does landlord emergency insurance cover?

Landlord emergency insurance (sometimes referred to as home emergency cover) can help, should you experience any of the following:

  • Plumbing or heating system problems in winter
  • Drainage issues (such as blockages) affecting sewers, pipes or guttering that pose a health risk
  • Domestic power failure
  • Damage to doors or windows that compromise security
  • Lost keys or if your tenants lock themselves out
  • Roofing problems
  • An infestation of vermin such as mice, rats, ants, or wasps

How does landlord emergency insurance differ from normal landlord insurance?

Landlord emergency insurance covers you for unexpected emergencies only. An ‘emergency’ is usually defined as something that will cause damage to your property or result in discomfort or risk for your tenants if it’s not fixed immediately.

It won’t cover you for things like wear and tear, routine maintenance, structural problems or damage caused by your tenants.

Other situations that won’t be covered by your landlord emergency insurance include:

  • Any emergency situation that arose before you took out your policy (there may also be a clause preventing you claiming for emergencies for up to 48 hours after taking out your policy)
  • Issues arising from a lack of maintenance or from neglect (e.g. a boiler that hasn’t  been regularly serviced)
  • Damage to your property that occurs as a result of an emergency (e.g. water damage from a leak in your roof or burst pipe)

If you want to cover yourself for the above, you’ll need to take out a standard landlord insurance policy. Find out more in What Is Landlord Insurance & Why Do I Need It?

Why do I need landlord emergency insurance?

If you’re still unsure whether or not you need landlord emergency cover, here are a few examples that demonstrate the difference it can make to you and your tenants:

Scenario 1: Your heating fails in winter

Imagine it’s January and freezing cold. You’ve just received a panicked call from your tenants telling you there’s no heating or hot water, and it’s so cold they can see their breath misting inside the property.

Without landlord emergency insurance, the responsibility falls on you to solve the situation right away. You need to contact an engineer, get them to come out that day, and perhaps even go to the property to let them in if your tenants have decided to stay elsewhere. Of course, you’ll need to foot the bill afterwards too.

With landlord emergency insurance, you or your tenants can simply ring an emergency 24/7 phone line and a boiler engineer will be sent out ASAP, with all associated costs covered. You can then be reassured that everything is taken care of.

Scenario 2: There’s a mouse infestation

Your tenants spot a mouse in the kitchen. They follow it and find that it’s made a nest in the cupboard and there are mouse droppings everywhere. They demand that the issue is resolved that day.

Without landlord emergency insurance, you’re on the receiving end of a potentially angry or worried phone call. You not only need to source a trusted pest controller that can get to your tenant the same day, but also take care of the bill.

With landlord emergency insurance, you or your tenant can call a 24/7 emergency helpline and get an authorised, trusted pest controller sent to the property at a convenient time. No matter how big or small the pest problem is, you can get on with your day as planned, knowing it’s all taken care of by your emergency cover.

Scenario 3: A window gets broken

Someone accidently kicks a ball into one of your windows and it smashes. Your tenant is shocked and calls you in a panic. They’re worried about their safety and belongings, as the security of their home is now at risk.

Without landlord emergency insurance you’re the one who has to take the call from your tenant. You might even need to go to the property yourself and board up the window while you contact a glazier. Replacement windows can be expensive, depending on your property type, and you’ll be responsible for this unexpected expense.

With landlord emergency insurance, you or your tenant can contact the 24/7 emergency helpline and get a glazier round quickly. You don’t need to disrupt your plans and the cost of a replacement panel or window will be covered by your insurance.

If you have any questions about which type of landlord insurance is right for you, or want to discuss your landlord insurance requirements in more detail, give our friendly experts a call. They’ll make sure you get the right landlord cover for your needs, giving you peace of mind that your property and tenants are taken care of. 

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