5 reasons why landlords should insist their residential tenants have contents insurance
Lately there has been a spate of house fires around Australia where the tenant has been uninsured. Having been doing claims for over 45 years now, I have witnessed countless times the devastating effect that not being insured has on someone.
When landlords lease out their commercial premises it is standard practice to at least have the tenant hold public liability insurance. This is a basic risk management measure to protect the landlord from becoming the last resort for most public liability matters, as these issues can often fall back to them as an occupier’s liability rather than a building owner’s responsibility.
With these two issues rolling around in my head, I have come up with 5 major reasons why I believe that all landlords of residential properties should insist and seek proof of their tenants having contents insurance.
- With home contents insurance the insured, typically, has $20 million dollars of public liability insurance. It often ranges from $10 to $30 million. The liability coverage afforded by a contents policy can include protection for some claims by a landlord to the tenant for negligence, say leaving something on the stove and accidentally setting fire to your property. The same goes if they leave the plug in the bath and flood your building.
- The liability coverage also provides protection to the tenant should someone come on to the property and injure themselves. Such a person would look to the tenant in the first instance and if their insurer sorts out the claim, you as the landlord are left out of it bearing in mind, even defence costs can be expensive and time consuming to you.
- In the event of a fire, the tenant’s policy provides coverage to remove the debris from the building. With no insurance, the tenant usually walks away leaving you with the mess. As it is not your property (items damaged in the fire) your insurer may not cover this cost.
- A tenant that has insurance shows that they embrace risk management and I would suggest this shows a better quality tenant who will also take other measures to safe guard both their property and yours.
- By insisting they have insurance you could be a saviour to them should there be a fire and they have that all important protection.
Contents insurance is inexpensive for most people. Less than $10 a week for approximately $50,000 of contents cover and as I say typically $20 million of that all-important personal and public liability.
Think about it, you could be helping yourself and your tenant!