Landlord insurance is something that all landlords buy (or should buy) for their rental properties each year. Yet, with high inflation at the moment, it’s something that has escalated in price considerably. Is there anything you can do about this? How can you ensure your landlord insurance is competitive?
The landlord insurance policy with Total Landlord Insurance on one of my properties was up for renewal. However, I was shocked that the insurance premium had increased by 29% from £302 to £391. This is for the same property without any claims, against a backdrop of inflation of around 10%.
I therefore started to investigate ways to reduce my landlord insurance premium, and am sharing the benefits of what I discovered in this blog post. Spoiler alert, I found a more competitive quote for a level of landlord insurance cover I was happy with. It was £170 less than the original TLI quotation.
Here’s how I managed to get my competitive insurance quote.
Landlord Insurance at a glance
- 5 Tips on How to Shop Around for Landlord Insurance
- My review of using QuoteSearcher for landlord insurance
5 Tips on How to Shop Around for Landlord Insurance
Tip 1: Don’t accept the first quote from your existing landlord insurer
Insurance companies rely on inertia to retain customers. Often this means that the customer ends up paying more if they immediately accept a quote, without looking at it and seeing if it’s actually right for them.
I’ve been with Total Landlord Insurance for a few years, and have their landlord insurance for all of my buy to lets. The landlord insurance is something I’ve renewed automatically, without really thinking about it. However, the 29% increase in this year’s renewal premium galvanised me into action to look at the assumptions, and question why it had gone up so much.
I’m so pleased I did.
Tip 2: Compare your new insurance quotation with last year’s
To find out why the quotation had increased so much, I compared the 2022 and 2023 versions side by side. This is what I discovered – the devil really is in the detail of the assumptions:
- Rebuild value.
- TLI had increased the rebuild value of the house by 18.16%. When I queried this, they said this was the guidance from the RCIS.
- I always use the free calculator on the Association of British Insurers’ website for my rebuild values. I took out my copy of the calculation from last year, and inputting the same variables, I received a new rebuild value. It was more reasonable, but still high, 13.5% increase. I decided to go with that figure.
- When I asked TLI to requote using the ABI figure, they reduced the insurance premium by 3.8% from £391 to £376. That was a step in the right direction, but it was still 24% more than a year ago.
- Loss of rent figure.
- The “Loss of Rent or Alternative Accommodation Sum Insured” figure is to compensate me if the house becomes uninhabitable due to an insured loss, and I lose rent or have to rent alternative accommodation for them.
- The figure had increased by 18.5%, which is higher than the average increase for new lets of around 10%.
- Then I realised that the new figure was for an unfathomably long period, ie 5 years’ worth of rent. I have no idea where this figure came from, but clearly I was over-insured for this risk.
Tip 3: Make sure you understand what your insurance covers
There a lots of different variables and assumptions that come into play when obtaining any sort of insurance, and landlord insurance is no exception. As you can see in Tip 2, changing one variable can make a difference.
When comparing quotations, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples. There can be significant differences in the detail, for instance excess levels. As with car insurance, make sure you’re happy with the amount you’d need to pay in the event of a claim. The exclusions vary so much, that it’s important you know what you can claim if, say, you have a water leak after a storm. I also would only go with a reputable insurance company.
Ask the brokers to email you the quotation, so you can look at in in detail, to check what’s in and what’s out. Taking out insurance is about managing risk. You need to make sure you’re happy that the insurance helps you with the risks you’re wanting to manage.
To find out about the different sorts of landlord insurance, you can take a look at my landlord insurance guide here.
Tip 4: Talk to more than one broker
One of the things I discovered in the process is how it’s really useful to speak to more than one broker. If they understand they’re competing with another quote, they might give you a better deal.
No promises of course, but it worked for me. And you’ve got nothing to lose by speaking to someone else, other than a bit of time.
Tip 5: Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Don’t accept the first quote the broker gives you, but see if there’s any room for a discount, or a lower price. Brokers often have something up their sleeve, particularly if you have another competitive quote. It’s definitely worth haggling a bit. Again, there’s nothing to lose, other than a bit of time.
My review of using QuoteSearcher for landlord insurance
As the name implies, QuoteSearcher helps landlords to search the market for competitive landlord insurance quotes. I decided to give it a try to see if I could get a more competitive quote than the £391 that Total Landlord Insurance originally quoted. Here’s a review of my personal experience of using QuoteSearcher.
First of all, you input your details and that of your property or properties into this simple form, that you can see in the image above.
Once you submit your details, QuoteSearcher will arrange for insurance brokers to contact you. They’ll typically ask more questions, and then go to the market for quotes. Be prepared for a lot of telephone calls from insurance brokers – it’s fairly instantaneous, and quite overwhelming. I spoke to two of the brokers, and ignored the rest. Then I unsubscribed. QuoteSearcher have assured me that the unsuccessful brokers don’t keep my data unless I give explicit consent for them to do so.
After a bit of negotiation, I managed to get two quotations around the £220 mark, a saving for me of about £170, for a level of cover I was happy with.
Now of course this is just my own experience, and you might not get anywhere near the same reduction in your premium. But I’ll certainly be using QuoteSearcher for the rest of my buy to let portfolio.
As I was happy with the service from QuoteSearcher, I’ve decided to recommend the service as an affiliate, so that others can receive competitive insurance quotes from different brokers. If you click on the link below, you’ll be directed to the form on the QuoteSearcher website, where you can complete your details to receive competitive quotes from the brokers. There’s no obligation and it won’t cost you anything.
Once you’ve submitted the form, brokers from Quotesearcher’s different partner companies with will call you back or email you with quotes. They’ll probably want to check some details with you. From there, you can choose the one that suits you best. If your experience is anything like mine, do be prepared for a lot of calls!
Why don’t you see how much you can save?
The Independent Landlord blog works in partnership with QuoteSearcher to provide quotes for landlord insurance and unoccupied property insurance. Once your details are submitted, their broker partners will call you back. From there you will receive a number of quotes to consider.