How to make sure you have the right student landlord insurance - Total Landlord Insurance

May 26, 2022
Total Landlord Insurance
How to make sure you have the right student landlord insurance - Total Landlord Insurance

No matter who your tenants are, every landlord should consider insurance. The type of policy will depend on your particular circumstances and there are specific risks associated with being a student landlord.

To make sure you get the right cover for your student let, you need to consider the following:

Be clear about who your tenants are

Your insurer should always know the type of tenant you’re letting to, including whether they’re international or UK students. They will also need to know how many tenants will be living in the property.

Students often lead active social lives, and the increased potential for guests and parties can create added risk for insurers. As a result, some insurers will adjust their terms, cover and pricing for student lets depending on the claims they receive –  if an insurer receives a lot of claims from student landlords, they will increase premiums for student landlords.

Steve Barnes, Associate Director at Total Landlord Insurance explains, “At Total Landlord Insurance,  we’ve been insuring students for over 20 years and our track record has been very positive. In our experience, student tenants don’t increase the likelihood of claims being made. The majority of student landlords will ask for a guarantor who, in most cases, will be a close relative. Obviously, they won’t want to receive an invoice for damage from a landlord, so we find that students take good care of their rental properties. As a result, our pricing from our main insurance supplier currently does not differ between a student or a working professional and this has been the case for many years.”

Be aware that concealing information about your tenants from your insurer can invalidate your policy.

Public liability insurance

If a tenant or one of their guests is injured inside your property – for example, if they tripped on some loose carpet and fell – they could try and sue you as the owner for compensation.

Given that students tend to invite more guests into their homes than other tenants and alcohol is often added to the mix, the risk of this kind of thing happening is increased, so it’s especially important that you’re protected.

Public liability insurance can protect you against injury or damage claims and cover the costs of any compensation and legal fees you may need to pay.

Property damage caused by tenants

Many landlord insurance policies either don’t cover tenant damage at all or only offer a minimal level of cover, so check this with your insurer.

It should include damage to both the fabric of the property and any furniture and fittings provided, such as beds, shower units and white goods. The causes covered should include malicious damage and theft.

Third-party theft or break-in cover

Most landlord insurance policies cover theft, but some will only cover it if there are signs of forced or violent entry.

This can be problematic because if one of your tenants leaves their window open and someone climbs through, or they lose their keys and someone uses them to gain access, your cover won’t be valid.

Even the best young student tenants can be absent-minded, so check with your insurer to make sure that the level of cover matches your expectations and you won’t be left with a nasty surprise if you need to make a claim.

Check the unoccupancy period

The vast majority of claims we receive are the result of unforeseen events, such as burst pipes, storm damage, break-ins or subsidence. Some of these events are more likely to happen when a property is vacant – so what happens if you’re not covered for unoccupied periods?

Even though the tenants may still be paying rent, a lot of student properties stand empty over the summer. After 30 days, most standard landlord insurance policies will only cover vacant properties for severe damage from extreme circumstances such as fire, lightning, explosions, earthquakes and aircraft crashes. That means landlords with this type of policy won’t be covered beyond 30 days for the more common unoccupancy events, such as burst pipes and break-ins.

Our own Total Landlord Insurance unoccupancy period cover lasts up to 90 days on the Premier policy. In most cases, this will cover the whole of the student summer holiday period.

Your policy protects your property, not your tenants’ possessions

It’s worth reminding tenants that your landlord insurance doesn’t extend to their belongings. If they want to cover their possessions against damage or theft while they’re living in your property, they can purchase separate contents insurance.

Portfolio insurance

Many student landlords are hands-on professionals and have multiple properties. Even if you only have two investments, it’s worth having ‘portfolio’ insurance.

This is where all your properties are insured under one policy, which means there’s one monthly premium and one renewal date, making the admin a lot easier. You will also generally benefit from a multi-property discount, which instantly improves your profits for each property!

Find out more about Total Landlord Insurance’s cover for landlords with student tenants. And for up to date guidance on how to navigate the student rental market, read our  ultimate landlord guide to student properties, where you’ll find everything you need to know about student lets. And finally, for all you need to know about students and deposits, head over to our article,  Deposits for student lets – a landlord’s guide.  

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