The factors listed below may have a financial impact on your landlord insurance policy premium:
- Untenanted periods: aside from lease breaks, landlord insurance typically won’t cover periods when your property is left untenanted. Read through the PDS (product disclosure statement), look out for any confusing information and seek a clear explanation from your policy provider if you’re unsure.
- Whether your property falls in the natural disaster risk zone: 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, the more your insurance policy will usually cost.
- Actual cash value of your property versus replacement costs: as a rule, the building structure depreciates in value every year, while replacement costs keep growing.
As an Australian landlord, fires and floods are the biggest risks you can potentially face given the occasional volatility of our weather conditions. These two risks can leave you unable to recoup total losses stemming from the damage to or the complete destruction of your property.
This is why you need to correctly estimate the full replacement value of your property and take inventory of all your belongings residing there. To do this, you’ll need to complete the following steps:
- Document everything that you own – your rental property, permanent fixtures, furnishings and any contents residing within the property – for insurance purposes.
- Keep the receipts and take photos of all your items residing at the property to make sure there’s ample evidence of you having owned them in the first place.
- Work out the accurate value of your property and contents. You might find one of the calculators available online useful in this.