Why landlords need insurance
While ownership of an investment property can provide significant financial benefits, many landlords want assurance that their property will provide a steady flow of rental income.
Insurance can ease a landlord’s concerns about receiving regular rental payments when an insurable event happens at the property. Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialists, Terri Scheer Insurance, say having a suitable insurance policy in place can help provide peace of mind if the unforeseen should occur.
"Even the most fastidious tenant is able to damage a property, whether accidental or otherwise," Terri Scheer Executive Manager Carolyn Parrella said.
This can be extremely costly for the landlord in terms of repairs and the loss of rental income.
Seeking a specialized form of insurance cover can protect investors from many of the risks associated with owning a rental property. Parrella said when choosing an insurance policy, landlords should give careful consideration to ensure it contains cover specific to their needs. "The most common risks for a landlord are loss of rental income, malicious damage by a tenant, theft, accidental damage and legal liability," she said. "Landlords should consider an insurance policy that has been specifically designed to address these needs."
Parrella said key clauses in an insurance policy for landlords should cover the following:
Loss of rental income
In instances where malicious damage has been caused to a property, a loss of rental income may result during the time required for the property to be repaired or cleaned. Loss of rental income can also result from absconding tenants, defaulting payments, death of a sole tenant, failure to give vacant possession or a court awarding a tenant a release from lease obligations due to hardship. Choosing a policy that covers these incidents will help ensure the landlord continues to receive a steady flow of rental income.
Malicious damage by a tenant
Malicious damage covers everything from holes punched in walls and doors that have been kicked in, through to intentional damage to carpets and floors.
This covers unintentional damage to a property. It might include the accidental breakage of a window or the spilling of red wine on a white carpet. Accidental damage may also cover damaged caused by small children, but does exclude gradual “wear and tear” that has been sustained over time.
This covers expenses incurred if a law suit arises as a result of a tenant suffering bodily injury or property damage or loss where the landlord is found responsible.
Some landlord insurance policies cover landlords for up to a certain level of professional fees relating to an investment property audit undertaken by the Australian Tax Office. "An insurance policy that takes into consideration these specific risks can assist landlords to safeguard their investment and ensure they continue to receive a steady flow of rental income," Parrella said.
This article was written by Carolyn Parrella, Executive Manager, Terri Scheer and originally published in REIA News April 2016