Everyone loves a bargain. But when it comes to landlord insurance, it pays to consider what you’re getting for your money.
You know that cliché, “you get what you pay for”? It may be an oldie (it dates back to the 15th century), but it’s a goodie. It can ring true about almost anything you buy – including landlord insurance.
Just like those cheap sunnies you bought at the market, which quickly fell apart and offered no UV protection, you could find that cheap insurance leaves you just as frustrated and exposed to risk.
So why do landlord insurance premiums vary so such between insurers and policies? The reason is because each provider and policy may be offering something different, which affects the cost.
Before deciding which policy to purchase, consider what cover you’re getting because not all insurance is created equal – and neither are insurance providers. When it comes to the policy itself, consider…
Not all landlord insurance policies cover the same risks. You should look at what is included in the policy – and, perhaps even more importantly, what isn’t. For example, not all insurers cover accidental damage, even though it’s a common reason landlords need to make a claim.
Some providers keep the premiums down by offering a policy that only offers very basic cover and charge additional premiums for ‘extras’ which other insurers offer as standard. One to watch for is loss of rent. It’s the major reason why landlords claim on their insurance, but some providers only offer this as an optional extra. Ditto damage caused by tenants.
It pays to read the fine print when it comes to how much an insurer will pay for any given insured event. The PDS will detail to maximum amounts what the insurer will pay and you need to make sure these are adequate to your needs. It’s also wise to check under what circumstances they’ll payout too (there might be surprises!).
Some quotes for cover seem like a bargain – until you look at the excesses you must pay. Some deductibles are so high (thousands of dollars) that it isn’t worthwhile lodging a claim for anything other than a major disaster – leaving you to find the money to repair damage or to wear a financial loss.
Depending on your circumstances, some exclusions might be essentials in your property’s location. Think flood cover. If your investment property is in a flood-prone area and your insurer won’t offer cover or only offers cover at an unaffordable price, then you risk being uninsured if your rental is damaged or destroyed by flood. EBM RentCover automatically includes flood cover in all policies.
The value of an insurance policy isn’t only about the cover it offers. It can also be about the provider of that cover. So, before taking out cover, consider…
Just who is offering the cover and what do you know about them? For example, EBM RentCover is a specialist landlord insurance provider and we’ve been operating for more than 30 years. Also look at what insurance company is writing the policy (the underwriter). Our policies are underwritten by Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (Zurich). Zurich is part of the Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets.
When you need help, will you get it? Is the provider based in Australia? Is the call centre local and staffed by company employees? Do they even have a call centre (some providers operate online only)? When you call EBM RentCover during office hours, you speak with a member of our Expert Care team based in one of our offices around Australia. It will be a real person (not a chatbot) who is empowered to provide the assistance you need.
It may sound like a strange question to ask, but does the insurer have a reputation for actually paying claims? A cheap policy may save a few dollars upfront, but it’s a false economy if you can’t make a claim or the process is a nightmare that costs you both time and money.
It pays to base your decision on value and need, as the cheapest landlord insurance policy may not be the best one for you and your circumstances. Be sure to compare what’s offered in the policy and also consider who’s providing that cover to make sure you get the cover you need.
*While we have taken care to ensure the information above is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances and legislation after the displayed date may impact the accuracy of this article. If you need us we are here, contact 1800 661 662 if you have any questions.
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