We know that there are a lot of insurance products out there and some are better than others. But at the end of the day, the main consideration when deciding on landlord protection insurance is the actual policy. This is one time when the cost should not be the sole driver when making what is an extremely important decision.
Banks, other financial institutions, as well as other insurance companies, can and do offer a form of landlord protection cover. The levels of cover can and do differ from policy to policy. To be perfectly honest, some just aren’t worth the paper they’re written on!
We were provided with a perfect example of this last month. A property owner had tenants who owed rent and cleaning was required when they vacated the property – interior cleaning, yard tidy plus removal of some items they decided they didn’t want to take with them. There was no damage to the property at all.
The policy this owner had taken out did provide for loss of rent, but this included an excess of $500.00. As the rent owed was $470.00, the owner received no payment for ‘loss of rent’.
The policy also included cover for ‘intentional damage by a tenant’, which to me should mean the cleaning, yard and removal costs. The tenant intentionally didn’t clean the property, they intentionally didn’t weed the gardens and they intentionally left the items at the property that they decided they didn’t need any more. Apparently this is not how the insurance company interpreted the policy!! So this landlord was paid nothing by his insurance company – the devil is in the detail!
The cost of landlord cover can vary from company to company, as well as the policy. But if there is no value in having a policy, such as the instance provided above, the cost doesn’t really matter, the policy is of no value so why bother?
As a matter of course, we all insure our own residence, our cars/boats, we take out travel insurance when we go overseas and we insure our investment properties. But landlord protection insurance doesn’t seem to be considered in the same way as we do all these other items.
30 years ago there was probably no landlord protection cover available, but it was developed because there was a definite need. The world is not the same place it was 30 years ago. It’s not even the same place it was 5 years ago. People’s values have definitely changed in that time and the level of respect for property has changed as well.
If we spend half a million dollars, or more, to purchase an investment property, why don’t we do something to make sure that this expensive investment is protected?
So the message this month is for all investment property owners to read the landlord protection policy they have in place on their property. Does it provide you with the level of cover you want? Does it have an unreasonable number of excess options? Does it have an opt-out clause or is the wording of the policy so ambiguous and confusing that they can reject any claim? What cover are you getting for the premium? If it doesn’t have these items or if you are so confused you don’t know what it includes, perhaps you need to look at another policy – one that is cover specific and is quite clear as to what it will provide.
We have a relationship with Terri Sheer Insurance Pty Ltd and that working relationship goes back a long way. There are other policies out there that provide similar cover to the Terri Scheer policy, undoubtedly, but a strong relationship goes a long way in the event of a claim or anything else.
If you have any queries about your landlord cover, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org