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When might you need Landlord Insurance cover?
If you own an investment property, it can be tricky to work out whether you fit into the category of “landlord.” A landlord, generally, is someone who owns a property that is rented out to another person on a permanent basis.
A leased property could include a house, apartment or even land. If you’re leasing a rental to a tenant on a permanent basis, then you might consider Landlord Insurance.
What is Landlord Insurance?
Landlord Insurance could help provide cover for:
- Damage to, or loss of, the property being rented out from events such as fire, theft and storm.1
- Legal liability to pay compensation for injury or property damage to third parties.
- Cover related permanent structures, such as garages and sheds (but check this with your insurer).
Meet Billie. She’s just bought an investment property and has a few questions about AAMI landlord insurance.
As a landlord, Billie has legal responsibilities to her tenants to help ensure they have a safe and comfortable home.
She also wants to be covered if the tenants damage or destroy her property,
Landlord insurance can help provide cover for damage to Billie’s property caused by things like fire, theft or extreme weather.
… while her landlord insurance covers rebuilding or repairing her rented property.
Billie’s home insurance includes temporary accommodation, which isn’t included in her landlord policy.
Both Billie’s landlord and contents insurance policies include cover for lost or damaged contents at the insured address, new for old replacement, and storage of undamaged contents.
Billie’s contents policy also provides cover for spoiled food and medication but this isn’t included on her landlord policy.
Insured events under Landlord Insurance and a Home and Contents Insurance policy are the same. They include things like fire, storm and lightning, and escape of liquid.
For even more peace of mind, Billie added ‘Complete Replacement Cover’ to her Landlord Insurance policy for an additional fee.
AAMI can repair or rebuild Billie’s house following an insured event or pay her the amount of the assessed quote – without Billie having to set a specific insured sum, meaning she won’t be left with any extra costs.
Has the law changed for landlords?
It sure has! New laws came into effect in Victoria in 2021… so what does this mean for Billie?
First, she needs to be across her obligations as a landlord…
Did you know rented properties in Victoria must have a fixed heater (not a portable one) that’s in good working condition in the main living area?
Billie didn’t know this, so she’s arranging to have a heater installed. Because it’s a new heater, it’ll need to be energy efficient.
If you’re renting out your property and it currently has a fixed heater that isn’t energy efficient, it needs to be replaced by March 2023.
If you’re a landlord and like Billie, you want to get cover for your rental property, get a quote and buy online to save $50!
If you own an apartment, it may be worth checking whether you’re covered by strata insurance administered by the body corporate. This may affect the type of landlord insurance policy you choose.
With AAMI Landlord Insurance, you can add optional covers like ‘Loss of rent following an insured event’ and ‘Tenant Protection’ to your policy for additional premium.
These optional covers could cover you in the event of:
- loss of rent following an insured event, or
- for loss of rent due to tenant default, plus
- theft and malicious damage caused by tenants or their guests.
Terms including limits, conditions and exclusions apply to these optional covers. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to help you weigh up whether the optional cover(s) is right for you.
When might you consider taking out a policy?
You may find it useful to purchase Landlord Insurance when you sign an agreement with your property manager. If you do, it could provide cover before your property is open for inspection. For example, if someone injures themself during an inspection and decides to pursue damages, your liability may be covered.
If you’re planning to manage tenants yourself then you may consider Landlord Insurance before you find the right people to move in. Check with your insurer about their cover in these situations.
Be aware, you’ll need to have a rental agreement in place with your tenant if you want to be insured for loss of rent under the AAMI Landlord Insurance optional covers. Check with your insurer about their cover.
Home Insurance or Landlord Insurance?
Deciding between the two shouldn’t be too tricky.
- Home Insurance is usually designed for the building that you own or are responsible for and you use primarily for domestic purposes.
- Landlord Insurance is usually designed for rental properties used by tenants as their permanent residence.
Long-term rental properties
When your investment property is used by a tenant as their permanent residence, you may find Landlord Insurance useful. For more info, check out our guide to Landlord Insurance.
Short-term rental properties
If you profit from your property with short-term arrangements, home and landlord Insurance may not cover related loss, damages, or legal liability.
Business activities not covered by AAMI Landlord Insurance include short-term rentals, holiday letting or house sharing arrangements including online booking arrangements such as Airbnb or Stayz.
In these instances, it may be useful to consider short-term rental insurance, or the host protection insurance, if offered by online booking service providers.
Guests paying to stay in your home with you
If you rent a room to a paying boarder or tenant, you won’t be covered under AAMI Landlord Insurance. Landlords don’t usually reside at the properties they lease and typically rent out a home in its entirety.
Your typical home insurance policy may not provide coverage for boarders under a short-term rental either. Be sure to check with your insurer when it comes to boarders.
What could landlord contents insurance cover?
Landlord contents insurance could cover unfixed household goods and furnishings you own at your property you lease out. Check with your insurer but it could include things like:
- carpet and rugs
- internal blinds and curtains
- manchester and linen
- furniture and furnishings
- paintings, pictures, works of art
- TVs, stereos, DVD players and non-portable entertainment systems
- ride-on mowers and other gardening equipment
- washing machines, dryers, refrigerators
- lants in pots, and
- inflatable pools or spas and their accessories.
With AAMI you can get either Building or Contents Insurance for Landlords, or both.
- Guide to building insurance for landlords
- Home insurance and legal liability: What you need to know
- What’s the difference between fixtures and fittings?
1 You should speak to your insurer about what events you might be covered for with Landlord Insurance. AAMI Landlord Insurance does not cover you for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami for the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Read the PDS for more detail.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Information provided is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.The Target Market Determination (TMD) is also available.