Does my tenant occupancy increase my insurance?


When dealing with your insurance it is important who is occupying the property. Landlords will find it harder to deal with people who are on housing benefit. If they are unemployed or on universal credit, they will find it harder.

The Government has changed payments of housing benefit to universal credit. The idea of universal credit is to give tenants the responsibility to pay their own rent. If you are receiving money direct from the local authority this may well change. It could be swapped to universal credit and affect you.

Where the tenant goes more than 8 weeks in arrears this may change the position on housing benefit. You will need to ensure that your payments come to you direct. The tenant will be asked if this is what they require. Your insurance company would rather the tenant pay it direct. It could affect your premium if you are receiving payments direct.

When you are looking to cover your property to let. Any insurance company will need to know that the premises are being used correctly. They will also need to know the type of tenant. It is up to you what type of tenant you want. However, it will affect the premium.

This is key to understanding what makes landlord insurance for housing benefit tenants. This is a specialist cover.

People who are on housing benefit or in receipt of universal credit are perceived by insurance companies to be higher risk. They tend to impose specific exclusions.

Where tenants are in receipt of housing or unemployment benefit insurance companies believe they are more troublesome tenants. They may not provide deposits.  What happens if you have break ins or damages? Not all tenants arrange for their housing benefit to be paid direct. Arranging benefit can be considerable with red tape. It includes means testing for the tenants. You may not be able to do this yourself. The benefits are also paid in arrears. Tenants can have trouble paying their rent. You might think it is unfair for many insurers to tar all tenants with the same brush. However, each insurance company has a different criterion.

For instance, one of our provider’s only criteria is in relation to the tenancy agreement and with whom the rent is paid for. If the tenancy agreement is direct with the tenants and that they make payment direct to the landlord. There may be a loading in this instance. Some insurance companies may require references. They may require credit checks, but this is not always the case. Credit checks are often not carried out by lettings agents as they often do not tell the position. Many people can lose their jobs tomorrow, so credit checks can be misleading. They do not always give a true reflection on the tenant’s ability to pay. Landlords now tend to take guarantors to guarantee the rent.

Other insurance companies may offer a loading if there is not a direct tenancy agreement with the landlord. These may come under Housing Association and/or asylum seekers and we will come on to this later.

Where the tenant is in receipt of DSS or DWP then the criteria might be where the tenant is receiving local or central Government housing benefit allowance etc.

They must meet the following criteria:-

(a) Tenancies are arranged on an assured shorthold or shorthold tenancy agreement directly with the property owner

(b) Tenancies are for a period of a minimum of six months or more

(c) Vetting checks are carried out before the tenant occupies and are held on file

(d) The property does not consider the tenants referred from Housing Associations

(e) The property has full control over who occupies the property.

(f) Subletting is not permitted

(g) The risk is not on HMOs to find within the particular insurance companies guide. Then this particular insurance company may add an additional loading. Click here to read our article on HMOs.

What you need to know when buying universal credit tenants in a property that you might be purchasing.

Are you looking to take insurance out for a Buy to Let? Are you letting to housing benefit or unemployed tenants?

If so, you need to take the following in to account:

  1. Firstly, what is your likely target market and is it likely they include tenants that may be unemployed or in receipt of benefit?
  2. Secondly, have you conducted normal background checks before granting the tenancy?
  3. Thirdly, does the landlord insurance you have impose any restrictions?
  4. Are you arranging sufficient buildings and contents cover to cover all of this risk?
  5. Lastly, have you arranged adequate landlord liability insurance?

We are able to insure your property on any form of occupancy and especially housing benefit tenants. We are a specialist in this market and are able to insure them for you.

Asylum seekers – do I need specialist landlord insurance?

Yes, where you are a landlord there may be occasions where you are offered asylum seekers. They are normally on a short term basis although they can be long term.

You will find that almost most if not any of the insurance companies cover this type of insurance.

Many private landlords like to help the refugee crisis and provide housing for asylum seekers. Obviously one of the biggest obstacles however is insuring them. Many insurance companies do not provide cover for asylum seekers. We can provide you with that type of cover quite easily. We are specialists in this market. Many other insurance companies cannot provide full insurance cover for your property.

What is the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee?

Asylum seekers arrive in the United Kingdom and submit an asylum application granting them the legal right to remain. In the country whilst awaiting a decision. Did you know for instance in 2015 less than half of those submitting an application were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. The Home office response for accommodating them. They support asylum seekers where application is being processed. This is known as the national asylum seekers support service.

A refugee is somebody who has had their asylum seeker accepted by the Government granting them a long term or indefinite stay. They can have indefinite stay. This is normally where they could at risk if they were to return to their home country. Refugees are entitled under the United Kingdom law to stay. Entitling them to bring their families.

Not all asylum seekers are granted the right to stay. Sometimes they are denied protection by authorities. Due to the inability to prove that they would face persecution if they returned to their home country. They have leave to stay the United Kingdom.

These are not illegal immigrants as such as obtaining refugee status can often be lengthy and a complex process.


We have specialist insurance companies that deal with this type of insurance as it is not standard. Known as a nonstandard term. There will be a loading in this regard. Yet, due to the markets that we have we are able to provide a full cover for asylum seekers to include accidental damage. This is rare and we have specific providers who are able to do this.

Therefore, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss what you would like to cover and how.

Additionally, why not contact us on (01273) 827090 to discuss us being able to cover it for you. Or click here to get an instant quote.


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