Find the right landlord insurance for you
Do you have an investment property that needs protection?
Landlord insurance covers property owners from financial losses with rental properties. It’s one of the most important purchases a property investor can make and it’s essential to protect your investment from natural disasters or tenancy negligence.
In our handy guide you will find information to help you find the best landlord insurance and what to look for in a good policy.
What to look for in landlord insurance
The main thing to consider when buying landlord insurance is to make sure you have the right amount of cover to suit you. A good landlord insurance policy should cover:
- Malicious damage caused by tenants or their guests
- Loss of rent if the house becomes uninhabitable or if tenants default
- Legal costs of chasing rent
- Legal liability
- New for old replacement of contents
Like any insurance product there are always exclusions that your Landlord Insurance will not cover. Always read the insurers Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to check what you are covered for, such as:
- Bushfire or flood damage
- Is your property near the sea? Salty air might corrode steel in the building’s structure
- Is your property in a high-crime area? Your insurer might require additional safety features
Acts of nature
It is also important to be covered for acts of nature, including:
- Tsunamis and ‘ocean movements’
- Floods: As insurers are very specific about what is considered a flood, it is important to read the small print to understand when you are covered. For example, if your house floods and it is on a river bank or if your house if flooded by the ocean, you might not be covered.
Rent default protects you against loss of rent from tenants. Check that the landlord policy covers you for:
- Tenant eviction due to a court order
- Tenants obtaining a hardship order
- Unexpected death of a tenant
Ideally you should take a bond from your tenants when they move in. This will then cover you for rent default policies that don’t start until four weeks after you claim. You should also look for a policy that covers lost rent when the property is empty.
It’s important to find out what parts of your property are covered. A good buildings policy should protect the:
- Pipes and cables
- Fixed appliances
- Gas or plumbing systems
- Exterior blinds and awnings
- Some external structures
- Fixtures and fittings, (except for carpets, loose floor coverings, curtains and internal blinds)
Your property’s contents
In Australia, it is rare to rent a furnished property. However, before you buy a landlord insurance policy make sure you know what is considered contents of the property, rather than the tenants. Contents that should be covered are:
- Household goods
- Internal blinds
- Loose floor coverings
- Light fittings which are not permanently fixed to the buildings
- Domestic appliances and utensils
Read landlord insurance reviews
Don’t just buy the first policy you see, make sure you do some research to find the right policy for your needs and budget.
A good way to find out what past customes think is to read reviews about the service they have received.
Making a claim
Making a claim on your landlords insurance can often be tricky. The best thing you can do is to read the insurer’s PDS fully so you know what you will need in order to make a claim. For example, you may need to provide proof of ownership such as receipts or photographs. It’s also a good idea to be prepared for worst-case scenarios e.g. If receipts are destroyed in a fire.
Landlord insurance provides peace of mind and financial security, so you can rest assured that your investment is well protected.
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Whilst cover for your new investment is crucial, it can be hard to get your head around all the landlord insurance exclusions that may apply to your policy. We're here to help.