Landlord insurance is an important part of an overall property investing strategy. It will help you when your tenants don’t pay their rent and protect your contents and your building.
When tenants don’t pay their rent
Rent default is probably the part of landlord insurance that most people are familiar with. You should be looking to protect yourself from loss of rent due to, default, tenant eviction, hardship order and unexpected death of a tenant.
It is important to note that many of these policies don’t kick in straight away so make sure you have enough money to cover any shortfall and that you really understand what you are covered for and the duration that is covered in your policy.
Contents insurance looks at those items that are not considered part of the structure of the property. Some of the main considerations are blinds, carpets, curtains, light fittings, furnishings, furniture, floor coverings, appliances and household goods.
Acts of nature
You should look carefully at acts of nature as policies will vary depending on where you live and what is deemed to be an act of nature. Typically you need to consider fire, flood, storm, earthquake, civil unrest and tsunami.
Building cover protects you for complete loss or partial loss of your property. It should also include the rent that you loose while you can’t rent your property.
Again, take the time to look at what your building cover will protect. Typically some of the main considerations are plumbing, cabling and pipes, fixed appliances, blinds and awnings and fixtures and fittings.
If you have a property that is a little out of the ordinary or has special features you may have to look at extra coverage.
Make sure you talk to insurers about any incentives they are offering. These can include bundling insurances together to get a discount or age discounts or membership or association discounts. Doesn’t hurt to ask.
Understand the process for making a claim
If you do need to make a claim the last thing you want to be doing is digging through your filing cabinet trying to find out how you make a claim. When you are looking for the right insurance make sure you talk to them about how you would make a claim. What is the process, do they have a 24 hour call centre and how long would you need to wait.
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