What is Landlord Liability Insurance?

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What is landlord liability insurance?

Landlord liability insurance protects a landlord if they're sued for injury to a tenant or visitor, or damage to property. It's also known as public liability insurance for landlords or property owners' liability insurance.

If a tenant or someone visiting a rented property is injured and they claim the building owner is to blame, the landlord could be sued for negligence. Landlord insurance policies should include an element of liability cover (along with buildings cover and other types of landlord insurance)—in fact, most do.

Landlord liability insurance examples

  • The tile on a step heading into a building comes loose; before it is fixed by the property owner, a visitor to the property steps on the loose tile, falling when the tile tips. The visitor is injured and sues the property owner.
  • A damaged roof tile falls onto a tenant's car, which is parked in the drive. The tenant sues the landlord for the cost to repair the car.

What does landlord liability insurance cover?

At a high level, landlord liability insurance covers legal expenses to defend against a claim, as well as damages a landlord, or any of the additional persons insured, is found legally liable to pay. Additional persons can include, for instance, any director or employed person in connection with the business or a personal representative of any deceased person entitled to cover. While exact coverage will vary from policy to policy, here are some common landlord liability insurance coverages:

  • Costs and expenses of legal representation
  • Awards of damages cover (e.g., for bodily injury to any person; loss of or damage to material property; obstruction, trespass, nuisance or interference with any right of way, air, light or water; wrongful eviction or invasion of the right of privacy)
  • Compensation for court attendance (e.g., £250 per day for each day that attendance is required at court)
  • Safety legislation defence cover (regarding an alleged breach of statutory duty under Health and Safety, Consumer Protection or Food Safety legislation)
  • Data Protection cover (in relation to any loss, misuse or unauthorised disclosure of personal data held in the course of business)

Damages will be paid for covered events up to the limit of cover on a policy. For example, if the limit of cover is £1,000,000 and a claim consists of an award of £250,000 and £25,000 or legal expenses, the policy would cover all costs (£275,000) as these are within the limit of insurance (£1,000,000).

How much landlord liability insurance do I need?

In the UK, it is quite common for landlord liability cover to be sold with a £2 million or £5 million limit of cover. The amount needed may vary from landlord to landlord. If in doubt, speak with a specialist broker or agent to discuss.

How much does landlord liability insurance cost?

An insurance policy covering only landlord liability insurance will start from around £55 a year. However, this will not protect against any damage to the building or its contents; for that, you'd need to expand the cover to include buildings and contents insurance.

Do I need landlord liability insurance?

It's not legally required for landlords to hold public liability insurance, but most landlords should strongly consider it. The cost of a claim if someone is injured or their property is damaged while at the rented property is potentially high. Without cover, a landlord would be financially responsible for covering legal fees and any compensation awarded to the injured third party. In fact, landlord liability insurance is included as standard in most landlord insurance packages.

Can a landlord get public liability insurance?

Yes, public liability insurance for landlord's is referred to as property owner's liability or landlord liability insurance, and it's included as standard in most landlord insurance packages.