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QUESTION 6:
How can I protect myself if I already have several buy-to-lets – and if I plan to keep on buying more?

ANSWER:
Most insurers will be happy to help and say that so-called ‘portfolio policies’ can cost up to 45 per cent less than the combined cost of individual plans. You should get all the same benefits of individual policies, though, and can add or deduct properties at any time. Up to certain limits you should also stay covered if some of your homes are empty between tenancies. If you are diversifying your property portfolio beyond standard residential homes then the right insurer should also be able to grow with you. The likes of Quote Line Direct and Landlord Insurance Direct will cover holiday homes let out for a few weeks at a time, for example.
Whichever type of policy you pick experts have one final piece of advice for landlords – watch out how you pay for it. Several insurers offer ‘easy payment’ terms and promise to spread the cost of an annual premium over the course of a year. But the interest rates on these deals can be up to 30 per cent according to researcher Money Expert. So it can make sense to try and pay by lump sum whenever possible. If you take out a full year’s plan and subsequently sell or stop letting out your property you should be able to claim a pro rata refund for the unused portion.
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