Business Insurance > Property Owners Insurance > Property Owner’s Insurance & Landlord’s Insurance: What’s the Difference?

Property Owner’s Insurance & Landlord’s Insurance: What’s the Difference?

By Darragh Timlin on November 1st, 2021

Property is a risky business and whether you own one, or have a portfolio of properties that you rent out, you’ll want to be sure that you’re covered in case anything goes wrong. There are a few options available which will give you the protection you need, but choosing the policy that suits your specific needs can be tricky.

On one hand, property owner’s insurance prevents you from having to pay out if any of your properties are damaged in a fire, flood, break-in or by your own tenants. It also ensures you’re covered if any of your tenants suffer an injury as a result of a fault in your property. 

Alternatively, landlord’s insurance, which is also known as buy-to-let insurance, is another option which protects you from the financial costs associated with damages to your property, but additionally comes with the benefit of covering any financial losses due to loss of rent. Here, we take a closer look at both policies in detail to help you decide which might be the right fit for you.

What is a property owner?

A property owner is, simply put, anyone who owns a property. This could be a property that’s rented out, but crucially, it could also include properties that are used for commercial reasons, personal use, purchased to sell on or are unoccupied. Therefore, if you’re a business owner who also owns your commercial property, or a property investor with a portfolio of properties, you’re eligible for property insurance.

Why do property owners need insurance?

As a property owner, you’ll obviously do anything and everything you can to protect your property. However, unfortunately, accidents can happen. As much as you can try to prepare in advance, you can never know when a fire or flood could damage your property. Additionally, if you rent your property out, there’s no telling when your tenant could cause accidental damage.

Property owner’s insurance will cover the cost of repairs in any of these situations, but also goes a step further by covering you in the event that your tenant suffers an injury because of a fault or issue with your property. While you may take every precaution, accidents can happen, so having adequate insurance in place ensures you’ll be protected as best as possible if and when they do.

What type of insurance do property owners typically need?

Property owner’s insurance encompasses a wide range of covers to offer protection in a variety of circumstances. There are some covers which may or may not be included in every property owner’s insurance policy, such as glass insurance, or alternative accommodation insurance. However, there are some essential covers that you’ll want to ensure your policy includes to provide the best overall protection.

First among these is accidental damage insurance, which may seem like a given for all property insurance policies, however a lot of policies will exclude damage caused unintentionally by you, your staff or visitors to your property. To ensure complete confidence, you’ll want to check that your policy has a specific accidental damage insurance cover, as this will ensure that you’re fully covered if you need to make a claim.

Buildings insurance is another essential component of a bespoke property owner’s insurance policy. This particular cover protects you in the event of damage to the fabric of your property caused by fire, flood or other hazards, and will help to cover the cost of any repair bills, even up to the cost of an entire rebuild.

Finally, though often overlooked, faults with your fixtures and fittings could also end up causing irreparable damage to your property, so protecting these with adequate insurance can assist with repairs if any issues arise. To compensate for this, tailored property owner’s insurance policies will typically include a specialised fixtures and fittings insurance cover, which will handle the costs for any repairs or replacements if your fittings and fixtures are damaged or broken.

What is a landlord?

A landlord is anyone who owns property for the express purpose of renting it out, whether it’s for residential or commercial use. The key difference between a landlord and a property owner is that, while a landlord owns their property explicitly to rent it out, a property owner may put their properties to other uses, like renovating properties to sell them on, for example.

Why do landlords need insurance?

Despite all the precautions you put in place to avoid damage to your property, or problems with tenants, sometimes accidents happen or relationships can become turbulent.

By investing in a good landlord insurance policy, you can be prepared should the worst case scenario happen. You’ll be financially covered for the cost of repairs from damage caused by fire, flood, weather or tenants, meaning that whatever happens, you’ll have financial peace of mind.

What type of insurance do landlords typically need?

Like property insurance, landlord insurance includes a variety of covers to keep you financially protected. However, there are some more specialist covers that you should make sure are included in your landlord insurance policy.

First up, a landlords contents insurance policy is a wise investment. While the building itself may be worth a considerable sum, the contents of your property could be just as valuable. Whether it’s furniture in a residential property or shop fittings in a commercial one, the contents of your building could cost thousands. If those contents are lost or damaged, contents insurance will cover the cost of any repairs or replacements, allowing you to get back to business as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Additionally, in the event that a fire, flood or other serious emergency leaves your property uninhabitable, you’ll want to ensure your landlord’s insurance policy also includes loss of rent insurance as a cover. This means that you’ll be able to claim against your policy for any lost rent during the period of time where your property can’t be rented out, so you don’t lose out on vital income.

But what if the worst happens and legal action is taken out against you? That’s where legal expenses insurance comes into play. A staple of any landlord’s insurance policy, legal expenses insurance helps to cover any legal costs you might incur, to give you the vital resources you need when a legal issue arises. 

If you’re a landlord specialising in commercial premises, you may think that if your tenant has their own retail insurance policy, then your property is adequately protected. However, taking out your own landlord’s insurance policy is imperative. Damage to the building, or injuries suffered by a third party due to an issue with the external structure of the building, still falls under your remit and, as a result, you’ll be financially liable if such an event occurs. Therefore, it’s worth making sure you have your own landlords buildings insurance insurance policy in place to protect yourself and your property. Looking for ways to reduce your business insurance premiums? Our risk management specialists at Brisco Business can assist you.

Darragh Timlin

With over 25 years’ experience, Darragh is an expert in all things insurance. Starting his career in commercial property underwriting, Darragh has worked for a number of global insurers and is now Managing Director of Brisco Business, part of the wider Henry Seymour Group.

All articles by Darragh Timlin

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