You wouldn’t dream of not insuring your investment property, but are you protecting your own greatest asset – yourself?

Landlords play a key role in the Australian economy. Some 2.03 million private property investors hold 2.6 million properties worth $1.37 trillion, according to CoreLogic’s Investor Report (2016).

Almost one-third (26.9 per cent) of all housing is owned by investors who provide the bulk of rental accommodation in the country. The report also noted that investors account for nearly 47 per cent of the value of housing finance.

The Australian residential investment market is dominated by people who, having bought their own home, have moved onto buying an investment property. These ‘Mum and Dad’ investors own around 83 per cent of all investment properties. While those aged 50 to 64 and those earning between $60,000 and $80,000 are most likely to own a rental property, people of all ages and incomes are landlords. A lot of people have a lot of money tied up in their investment.

As a landlord your financial commitment is ongoing and can be a significant impost. In addition to mortgage repayments, there are also council and water rates, insurance, body corporate fees, land tax, property management fees, repairs and maintenance costs.

Have you thought about how you would manage financially if something were to happen to you?

People often see the value in insuring their investments and personal assets in case of misfortune, and wouldn’t dream of failing to protect their rental property, home and contents, car, boat, caravan etc. However, they often neglect to protect themselves with personal insurances like life, accident cover or income protection.

“When talking about their assets, few Australians cite their income or their capacity to generate it. But our incomes are crucial, without it we can’t pay our mortgages, cover school fees, repay credit cards, invest, pay for holidays or run a car,” said Steve Sparkes, EBM Managing Director – Broking.

“And when we fail to see something as an asset, we have a tendency not to protect it.”

Statistics show 95 per cent of Australians may not have adequate levels of personal insurance[1] – leaving themselves and their loved ones financially vulnerable should disaster strike.

The sad reality is that if a partner or parent passes away, the financial burdens can be overwhelming:

  • $500,400 – average home loan size[2]
  • $4,200 – average credit card debt[3]
  • $297,000 – average cost of raising one child[4]

“These are just some of the key expenses many people have that would need to be covered if they were not earning. There are other fixed expenses too, such as car repayments, insurance premiums, children’s school fees, and household expenditure including food, utility bills, and anything else you can think of that you pay on a regular basis,” said Steve.

“Too often people pluck a random round figure out of the air – say $500,000 or $1 million – without really taking into account all of their personal circumstances and finances. But calculating your life insurance figure is not that tricky, you just need to factor in four variables – age, life events, financial obligations and financial dependents.”

  1. Age

As you grow older, build your wealth and begin securing your retirement, the need for personal covers like life, accident and income protection grows, along with the value of cover you need.

  1. Life Events

Personal insurances and the level of cover you choose should align with key life events such as:

  • Buying a house
  • Getting married
  • Having children
  • Investing in property
  • Saving for a retirement fund
  1. Financial Obligations

As you live life, your financial obligations are bound to pile up over time including living expenses, loans and investments. The more financial obligations you’re tied to, the more insurance you’ll need to ensure the financial security of you and your family.

  1. Financial Dependents

The most common reason people take out personal insurances is because they have dependants, such as a partner or children, who rely on them financially. The bigger your house and the more children you have, the higher the level of cover you are likely to need to cover expenses and ensure your loved ones continue to enjoy their usual standard of living.

EBM has partnered with AIA Australia, one of Australia’s leading life insurers, to offer MaxLife life insurance – a new personal insurance product which delivers a range of cover options to help ensure your lifestyle, assets and loved ones are protected. Visit maxlife.ebminsurance.com  or call 1800 660 137 to find out more.

The MaxLife suite of products is issued by AIA Australia Limited (ABN 79 004 837 861 AFSL 230043) trading as MaxLife and distributed by Elkington Bishop Molineaux Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd (ABN 31 009 179 640, AFSL 246986) and its representatives. You should consider factors like your objectives, financial situation and needs and read the relevant MaxLife Product Disclosure Statement available at maxlife.ebminsurance.com before deciding to acquire or continue to hold a financial product. This information does not take such factors into account, so you should consider the appropriateness of this information in the context of such factors before acting on it. Cover is subject to terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions. AIA Australia has adopted the Life Insurance Code of Practice, which contains minimum standards of service that customers can expect from insurers. The Code can be found at www.fsc.org.au.

[1] Lifewise/NATSEM Underinsurance Report – Understanding the social and economic cost of underinsurance, February 2010

[2] Report from comparethemarket.com.au, 2018

[3] ASIC, Money Smart website

[4] Suncorp Bank Cost of Kids Report, 2016