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So you want to be a landlord? Smart! You’re probably thinking that investment properties can be a great way to earn extra money or help pay off a mortgage. You’re probably not thinking about what could happen if your tenants caused serious damage to your property, or suddenly abandon it, leaving you with the cost of removing their things and finding new tenants. In this article we’re covering landlord Insurance – a type of home insurance that’s designed to be a safety net to help landlords just in case the worst happens.
We all like to assume the best in people, but the truth is that situations with tenants can very quickly turn ugly, leaving landlords to pick up the pieces. Landlord insurance policies are taken out by property owners to help cover a variety of risks that come with renting out a property. These events can include things like:
While all policies are different and it’s important to check the Product Disclosure Statement to understand exactly what is included and excluded on your chosen policy.
Home and contents insurance helps cover your home, as well as the valuable contents inside of it, in the event that things are damaged or stolen. Landlord insurance, sometimes called investment property insurance, falls under the home and contents insurance umbrella, but is designed specifically for people renting out their property.
Another type of insurance many homeowners might have is landlord building insurance, which typically provides cover for loss or damage to your home caused by unexpected events such as fire, storm and flood.
These types of policies can help protect you in the event of something accidental happening to your home, but they usually won’t cover landlords if their tenants cause significant damage to their property. Or if your tenants suddenly up and run, leaving you with the sudden responsibility to fill your property with new renters. That’s where landlord insurance may be able to provide coverage.
You may be able to find a policy that includes both building insurance and landlord insurance, or you might find it makes more sense for you to take out two separate policies.
It’s also important to remember that building insurance and home and contents insurance policies on their own aren’t designed to cover any items your renters bring onto your property. Your tenants may decide to look into renters insurance to protect their own belongings.
Requiring tenants to pay a bond is standard practice in Australia. In most states, a bond is often equal to four months of rent. In many cases, tenants will leave their property without significant damage, or with small damages that can be covered by the cost of the bond. But in the case of major damage, that bond money could be eaten up very quickly. Plus, if repairs take more than a few weeks, you could miss out on incoming rent. Landlords insurance could provide additional financing to help with repairs that exceed bond payments and could help to pay missed rental income. This help could be the crucial difference that keeps you on top of mortgage payments.
Different factors can impact the cost of your policy. Before you get a landlord insurance quote, it may be beneficial to consider the following:
It’s important to remember that, as with most insurance, the cheapest policy may not be the best. For example, if you’re worried about your home flooding, it could save you money down the track to include that type of protection in your plan. Before you commit to a plan, you should read the Product Disclosure Statement which will outline the details of your policy.
Your policy will likely come with exclusions which will be outlined in the Product Disclosure Statement. These will depend on the level of cover you choose and your policy. Typical exclusions on a landlord insurance policy can include:
If there is risk associated with renting out your property for long-term leases, you can only imagine the potential risk of renting out to dozens (or even hundreds) of people every year. Homeowners who use sites like AirBnB, Stayz, and Flatmates.com.au to rent their homes to people on holiday or in need of a place to crash in the short term are also candidates for landlords insurance. It’s likely you will need to disclose this to your chosen insurer.
Absolutely. Before you start comparing insurance policies, get to know how Landlords Insurance works in your state:
If you’ve ever rented a property, you know that some landlords are better than others. Being a good landlord isn’t just good for the tenants, it can also help you maximise the return on your investment property and maximise your landlord insurance policy. Here are a few helpful tips on how to do just that:
Having a landlord insurance policy before you start renting it out could be beneficial, as damage done to your property before it’s insured likely will not be covered.
If you’ve read this far, you probably understand that not all landlord insurance policies are created equal. So before you commit, it’s a good idea to compare policies. At iSelect we’re here to help! With our comparison service you can compare landlord insurance and other kinds of home insurance from our range of policies, and even switch policies, all at no added cost to you. Call us on 13 19 20 and one of our friendly team can help walk you through it.