What Is A Landlord Home Emergency Cover? How To Choose It? ( Best Options & Features )

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Broken pipes, gas leaks, and fire accidents are all emergencies that can strike at any time.

Your tenant can suddenly call up to report a tenant emergency., which needs to be urgently repaired.

Emergency repairs can cost you a few hundred to thousand dollars depending on the extent of damage and the nature of the repair. 

Landlords must repair tenant emergencies within 24 hours to 7 days.

Being financially prepared to handle emergency maintenance issues will help in faster action. The landlord emergency cover will come to aid in such circumstances. 

What is landlord emergency cover? 

Landlord emergency cover is an add-on to the landlord insurance policy that covers the expenses incurred in emergency repairs.

Some insurance companies include the emergency cover in their complete package while others give it as an add-on to the basic landlord insurance policy. 

If you purchase the landlord emergency cover, you or your tenants can call the insurance company’s emergency helpline at any time to get immediate help for emergency repairs.

The company will send professionals to identify the problem and carry out repairs. 

The claim for emergency cover will include the costs charged by the third-party contractor to complete the repairs. This includes material costs, costs of parts, labor charges, and VAT. 

What does the emergency home cover include?

The landlord emergency cover includes all the repairs that can be classified as tenant emergencies. Some of them are

  • Burst pipes 
  • Sudden leakage
  • Complete failure of the heating system
  • Damaged boiler system
  • Failure of the mains supply for utilities (water, gas, electricity) 
  • Breaking, flooding, or blockage of drains and sewers
  • A Clogged or damaged toilet, if there is only one available in the house
  • Damage to the locks of doors and windows can hamper the security of the property
  • Damage to the roof
  • Pest infestation 
  • Damage to the down-piping or gutters can result in flooding

Your policy document will mention the full list of what repairs are included in the landlord’s emergency home cover. 

What is not included in the landlord emergency cover? 

Landlord emergency cover includes only emergency maintenance issues that can seriously affect the health or safety of the tenant or cause damage to the property.

It does not cover routine maintenance tasks. 

The list of exclusions varies from one insurer to another. However, these are some of the common exclusions from the landlord emergency cover

  • Boiler systems that are older than 15 years 
  • Emergency repairs to a property that is vacant for more than 30 days
  • Emergency repairs to boilers, heaters, and other equipment that are not inspected and serviced by a qualified professional in the past 12 months
  • Repairs caused by lack of maintenance, wear, and tear, or faulty design
  • Appliances repair and maintenance
  • Power cut due to external factors

The emergency cover also does not include repairs to the things damaged by the emergency. It only covers the repair costs to solve the emergency issue.

For example, if a broken pipe causes flooding in the house and your furniture and carpets are damaged, the emergency cover only includes the cost of repairing the broken pipe.

The rest of the damages are covered under your regular landlord insurance.

Why should I have a landlord emergency cover? Is a home emergency cover worth adding?

A landlord insurance plan covers basic repairs such as the replacement of locks, repairing leaky pipes, and routine maintenance repairs. But it does not cover tenant emergencies.

Tenant emergencies can occur at any time causing distress and setting you off by a few hundred to thousand dollars. 

If you have a landlord emergency cover, then you need not worry about tenancy emergency maintenance.

The tenants can directly contact the insurance company and ask for professional help during emergencies. This will eliminate the stress and financial distress during these incidents.

You can add the landlord emergency cover to your regular landlord insurance policy or buy it as a stand-alone landlord emergency policy.

Some insurance providers also provide a complete package that includes emergency coverage. 

Benefits of having a landlord emergency cover

There are many benefits of having a landlord emergency cover such as 

Facilitates emergency response:

Emergencies strike unannounced. You have to act swiftly during such situations to protect your property and ensure the safety of your tenants.

Landlord emergency cover ensures that you have access to professional engineers and repairmen to attend to the emergency repairs and complete the task within the stipulated time. 

Provides access to professionals:

The landlord is responsible for emergency maintenance and repairs. However, you cannot handle the repairs yourself and will need professional help.

Finding out emergency contractors is a time-consuming and challenging task.

Landlord home emergency cover provides you access to the best engineers and specialist contractors, who can identify and fix the repairs at a low cost and in less time. 

Ensures peace of mind:

You will have many responsibilities as a landlord. Attending emergency repairs is the most burdensome of all of them.

You have to invest your time and money to complete the repairs and make the house habitable again.

Buying a landlord emergency cover helps to lessen the burden.

You need not worry about the expenses as the cover will take care of them and the insurance provider also provides access to the best engineers and contractors, who will complete the repairs. 

Saves time:

You can create a direct link between the insurance provider and the tenant. The tenants can call the insurer during distress and receive immediate help from certified engineers and tradesmen.

This will eliminate unnecessary confusion and save time for both you and the tenants. 

Which is the best landlord emergency cover?

Choosing the best landlord emergency cover is crucial to ensure the safety of your tenants and your property.

Here is what to look out for, while choosing a landlord emergency cover.

What is included:

Before you purchase the landlord emergency cover, either as a standalone policy or as an add-on to your existing landlord insurance policy, the crucial thing to do is to examine what the policy covers and what it doesn’t cover.

Does it cover all the emergency repairs?

What repairs are classified as emergencies under the cover? And what repairs are excluded?

These are some of the important questions to ask. 

Call-out charges:

Check for the call-out charges of the insurer. Some insurance providers may ask you to pay excess charges toward a claim.  

Certifications of engineers and tradesmen:

Before you make the final decision, ask for the qualifications and credentials of the engineers and tradesmen.

Professional contractors and engineers can identify the problem quickly and can provide long-term solutions to the problem. 

24-hour helpline:

Emergencies can occur at any time. The insurance company must have a 24-hour helpline to ensure that your tenants get immediate help in times of distress. 

Claims limit:

Some insurance companies set a claim limit for every emergency, and some may limit the number of times you can make a claim. Check the claims limit of different companies before finalizing the best landlord emergency cover. 

Some of the best landlord insurance companies are State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, Farmers Insurance, American Family Insurance, and Foremost Insurance. 

How much does a landlord emergency cover cost? 

The cost of the landlord emergency cover varies depending on the amount of cover offered, inclusions and exclusions from the cover, claims limit, and other features offered by the policy.

You can approach insurance providers for quotes and compare them to choose the best one that suits your requirement and budget. 

A landlord emergency cover is essential to protect your property and ensure the safety of your tenants during emergencies. You can buy it as an add-on to your existing landlord insurance policy or as a stand-alone policy.

Before buying a landlord emergency cover it is essential to examine the inclusions and exclusions, the reputation and certifications of the tradesmen and engineers, and the claims limit of the policy. 

A good landlord emergency cover policy will not only save money and time but will give you peace of mind as the emergency repairs are handled by the insurers. 

Related FAQS

1. Does home emergency cover radiator leaks?

Radiator leaks are not a home emergency.  You can complain about radiator leaks during normal working hours as it falls under regular maintenance. So the home emergency cover does not include radiator leaks. 

2. Is a ceiling leaking with water considered an emergency?

A roof leak is considered an emergency if the extent of damage is high and water drips from the ceiling and roofs. Points to consider whether a leaking roof is an emergency are

  • Discolored ceilings
  • Water dripping from internal ceilings
  • Water creates puddles inside the house
  • Moist walls
  • Paint peeling from the walls
  • External roof damage
  • Multiple leak spots on the ceilings and walls
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