Explore Home & Contents Insurance

What is landlord insurance?

Landlord insurance is a type of home insurance that typically covers rental properties for loss or damage to any buildings and permanent fixtures as caused by an insured event. Some insurance policies for landlords may also offer add-on options for loss of rent, tenant default and malicious damage.

You also have the option to purchase contents insurance to protect any belongings you’ve provided to your tenants (in the case of furnished accommodation), or combined home building and contents cover. If you own a building or complex with multiple homes that is part of a body corporate or strata, strata insurance may be a more suitable product for you.

Remember that each landlord insurance policy is different. Cover varies between policies, so always review the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). That way, you can make sure the policy you’re purchasing covers the events you want protection for.

What insurance do landlords need?

A landlord looking to safeguard a free-standing house or a building that is not covered by a strata policy could take out home insurance, also known as building insurance to protect the walls, roof and property fencing. This policy could be combined with contents insurance to cover furniture or other contents provided to the tenant with the home.

Having landlord insurance cover can also provide peace of mind for things like loss of rent, tenant default and malicious damage.

What is a landlord responsible for?

A landlord is responsible for protecting their tenanted property against insurable events (such as fire and storms) that might damage their investment. The landlord is responsible for maintenance and repairs, security installations and ensuring the premises are fit to live in and in good condition.

Some other types of loss or damage that may be covered under your landlord’s insurance policy include:

  • Loss or damage to fixtures and fittings which includes items inside your property such as your carpets, curtains, air conditioner/heater, stove and dishwasher
  • Theft or malicious damage caused by tenants or their visitors
  • Legal liability when a problem at your property causes loss, damage, injury or even death to another person or their property.

If you’re renting out your investment property fully or partially furnished, a contents insurance policy may also respond to loss or damage from insurable events to:

  • Your furniture
  • Curtains
  • Household goods (e.g. utensils, electrical appliances, whitegoods)
  • Blinds
  • Floor coverings (e.g. carpets, rugs)
  • Detachable light fittings.

Cover can vary between policies so be sure to read the PDS for the full details of a policy before you purchase it.

What does landlord insurance cover?

In general, landlord insurance covers a range of incidents and events such as storm damage, fire damage, earthquakes, legal liability, theft or vandalism and malicious acts by someone other than your tenant. It also covers some events that are unique to rental properties.

With any insurance policy, it’s vital to first go through the policy documents (including your PDS) before purchasing a policy. This document outlines the terms, conditions, limits, inclusions and exclusions of a policy, as well as the amount you may be eligible to receive for these insured events.

Some events (like flood damage and electric motor burnout) may be offered as optional cover, which you can add to the cost of your policy. You may also be able to purchase optional cover in the event that your tenant defaults on their rent or causes malicious damage to your property. This cover is often subject to limits and conditions.

The table below outlines the common inclusions and exclusions of landlord building insurance, landlord contents insurance and a combined policy. It’s important to review the PDS to ensure the cover meets your needs as definitions and payout limits can vary between policies.

What is & isn’t covered?Landlord buildingLandlord contentsLandlord combined
Storm damage
Fire damage
Flood damageOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
Movement of the sea
Impact damage
Portable contentsOptional extraOptional extra
Motor burnoutOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
Damage from vermin (incl. rodents + insects)
War and uprising
Accidental damageOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
Escape of liquid (excl. the leaking item, e.g. burst pipe)
Removing debris
Damage to renovations
Temporary accommodation
Tenant defaultOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
Loss of rentOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
Malicious damageOptional extraOptional extraOptional extra
N.B. Some events, such as tenant default and loss of rent may be covered as an optional extra or a separate policy you can purchase alongside landlord insurance. Limits and additional exclusions may apply.

Is landlord insurance compulsory?

No, it’s not compulsory in Australia to have landlord insurance or home and contents insurance for your tenanted property. However, it can be wise to have these policies in place to protect your valuable investment from loss or damage caused by an insured event.

Agent of landlord handing over property keys

Frequently asked questions

How does landlords insurance work?

Landlord insurance is designed to help repair or rebuild your investment property and your possessions inside it should there be a loss or damage from an insured event. This type of insurance typically covers the buildings, permanent fixtures and furnishings from damage caused by insured events like fires, storms, floods and impacts.

Landlord insurance allows you to insure the building solely, just the contents, or both the building and contents, depending on the cover you have selected. If you’re a landlord in the market for a new policy, you can compare and purchase cover with our easy-to-use comparison service.

Why is landlord insurance important?

Even an airtight rental agreement and regular maintenance won’t stop things from going wrong, like carpet stains or major incidents such as a fire or flood. A landlord insurance policy could help protect you from expensive repairs that result from these types of incidents.

How much does landlord insurance cost?

The cost of landlord insurance is different for every person. This is because, like other types of insurance, your premiums are influenced by a number of factors that are usually unique to you. Some factors that can affect the cost of your landlord insurance policy include:

  • The location of your property. Many Australian homes are vulnerable to a range of natural hazards such as floods, bushfires, cyclones, storm surges, subsidence and erosion (including sinkholes). If your property is located in a hazard-prone area, this will reflect on the cost of your landlord insurance policy.
  • Your suburb’s crime rate. The higher the crime rate in your property’s area, the more your insurance policy will likely cost.
  • Sum insured. How much your building or contents are insured for should you need to rebuild or replace them generally influences your premium.

If you would like an idea of how much you could pay for a policy, you can get a landlord insurance quote from our comparison service.

Does landlord insurance cover tenants’ contents?

No. The contents portion of cover under a landlord’s insurance policy is for your own belongings that are inside your insured address, such as furnishings, carpets, blinds and other items inside the home that may be damaged or destroyed due to an insured event at the insured property. It will not cover any tenant’s belongings. The tenant would do well to look into purchasing renters insurance to cover their contents inside the rented property.

Is landlord insurance tax deductible?

As a general rule, your landlord insurance premiums are tax-deductible, as well as other expenses associated with renting out your property like:1

  • Advertising for new tenants
  • Property management fees
  • Council rates
  • Water bills
  • Land tax
  • Cleaning, gardening and lawn mowing bills
  • Pest control expenses
  • Property repairs and maintenance
  • Real estate agent fees and commissions
  • Interest charged on your home loan
  • Legal expenses for:
    • Evicting a defaulting tenant
    • Taking court action for loss of rental income
    • Defending a damages claim brought on by a third party for injuries suffered at your rental property.

Before making any decisions about your tax return, consider speaking with an accountant or other professional.

How do I ensure I'm covered for the right amount?

As a landlord of an Australian property, fires and floods are among the big risks to your investment property. Catastrophic events like these can leave you with a massive repair bill, and you could find yourself unable to afford the repair and rebuilding costs to your property.

This is why you need to estimate the full replacement value of your property and take inventory of all your belongings there. Here are a few things you can do to achieve this:

  • Document everything you own – your rental property, permanent fixtures, furnishings, and any contents within the property – for insurance purposes. Videos are good for this.
  • Keep the receipts and take photos of all your items leased with the property to make sure there’s a record of your ownership.
  • Work out the accurate value of your property and contents. You might find some online calculators that can help you do this.

Can I get landlord insurance for a holiday rental?

If you lease your property as short-stay accommodation (e.g. Airbnb), you’ll need to ensure that you have the right type of cover. Many policies that cover landlords will not provide cover for short-stay accommodation. You may need to seek out a specialist policy or provider to cover your holiday rental property.

When can landlords increase rent?

Rules behind when a landlord can increase rent and by how much it can be increased varies between each state and territory in Australia. For the rules around rental increases, it would be best to check with the residential tenancy authority in your state or territory.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Meet our landlord insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

Compare the Market’s home and contents insurance expert, Stephen Zeller, works to make the protection of a homeowner’s most significant financial assets an easier and more efficient process, while empowering people with choice. He believes it’s important for landlords to adequately cover their property and belongings against risks that could result in financial loss.

Stephen has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is an Allied member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) and ensures any information about insurance products that we publish is accurate and comprehensive

 Stephen’s top tips for landlords

  1. Keep all your entry and inspection reports. Keeping a record of the state of your property each time you inspect it can help you should you need to claim for an issue.
  2. Regularly inspect your property. By keeping a close eye on your property, you can stay on top of any issues that arise before they grow into major problems.
  3. Save on premiums with a higher excess. Some providers might offer you the choice of a higher excess to lower your premiums or vice versa. This can be a good way to save on your premiums, provided that you will be able to pay the higher excess in the event of a claim.
  4. Always have a written rental agreement. That way, there can be no dispute about the terms of the lease should either party have an issue.

Compare landlord insurance with our providers

If you’re a new landlord in the market for a new policy, or you’re looking to save costs on your existing one, you can compare and purchase cover within minutes with our comparison service.


1 Australian Government: Australian Taxation Office – Rental expenses to claim. Last updated June 2022. Accessed February 2023.

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