Hemant Brahmbhant

Account Executive


Kalum Wickramasinghe

Account Executive


If you own an investment property, it may be one of the biggest assets you will have in your lifetime, aside from your own home. It’s therefore imperative that your property is appropriately insured, so that your asset is protected over the long term. After retirement, an investment property may provide a major source of income for you, so you need to do your best to keep this investment secure.


What type of insurance cover do you need as a domestic/residential landlord to ensure that your property is covered? 


Landlord Domestic Insurance cover (also sometimes just called Landlord Insurance or Residential Landlord Insurance) should cover you for a range of unforeseen circumstances that may result in damage to your property, loss of rental income, and liability.


Let’s have a look at Landlord Domestic Insurance cover to see what is generally included, and what is not covered. We’ll also look at what measures you should take to limit the potential for damage to your property whilst it is tenanted.


Who needs Landlord Domestic Insurance?

Landlord insurance cover is essential for anyone who owns a rental property that is being used by the tenants as a place of residence. The insurance generally covers damage to the building and related built-in components, and also some contents within your rented building that are left available for tenant use.


Landlord Domestic Insurance

Domestic Landlord Insurance generally includes two types of policies. These are-


  • A “Defined Events” contract of insurance that covers events such as fire, water damage and malicious damage.


  • An “Accidental Damage” contract, that provides more broad coverage.


Unlike a regular contents insurance policy, a Landlord Domestic Insurance policy provides additional coverage for damage to your building, its fixtures, fittings, and contents caused by your tenants, their family or their invited visitors.


Building cover

In terms of building cover, Landlord Domestic Insurance would usually cover for damage to equipment that is fixed or hardwired to the building. Examples include:


  • Fixed light fittings
  • Plumbed-in dishwashers
  • Plumbing, water, electrical and sewerage services beneath your building
  • Floor coverings, such as tiles and linoleum
  • Tap fixtures
  • Built-in hot water, heating and air-conditioning systems.


Contents cover

Examples of contents that are commonly covered are:


  • Internal curtains and blinds
  • Light fittings
  • Portable electrical appliances
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Household furniture.


Note, the above lists of covered items are not exhaustive, and many more items may be included in a policy.


Important! Any items you are leaving available for your tenant’s use should be included in the inventory section of your property condition report (signed by the tenant) if you wish for those items to be included under your insurance coverage.


Loss of rental income cover

In addition to building and contents insurance, it is ideal to have a Landlord Domestic Insurance policy that offers cover for loss of rental income. 


Rent loss may occur in situations where:


  • Your tenant experiences hardship, such as a job loss or illness, and cannot pay their rent
  • You need to reduce a tenant’s rent due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Your tenant absconds and fails to pay current due or future rent
  • A tenant passes away
  • A tenant hasn’t maintained the property to a livable standard, or has damaged it, and it can’t be rented out until the damage is repaired.


This form of cover can help to protect your financial situation if one of the above circumstances were to occur. Loss of rent cover will ensure you receive compensation as per the terms of your rental agreement for up to 12 months, or until the property is habitable again.


Some insurers offer a “Rent Default and Theft by Tenant” option, which can be added to your home contents insurance to protect against unexpected financial loss. If your tenant leaves before the end of the tenancy period without notice, or is legally evicted from the property, this option can cover the cost of lost rent and damages. 


Most insurers will offer the rent default option for either a maximum set dollar limit (e.g. $5,000) or a maximum period (e.g. for 12- 15 weeks).


Liability cover

Liability cover is automatically included in all Landlord Domestic Insurance policies, providing liability protection against unexpected events that may occur on your rental property.


What happens if you have an apartment or a unit?

In almost all situations the building will generally be insured by the body corporate and so will the liability for common areas. But you should certainly check to confirm this is applicable in your particular situation.


If you are a landlord, you should insure any contents or fixtures and fittings you have inside your apartment, and your liability as a landlord.


You will need to ascertain with the body corporate whether loss of rent is covered and if it is adequate for the complex, or whether you need to insure your apartment or unit.


What is excluded from Landlord Domestic Insurance

Some damage caused by tenants is not covered under landlord insurance. Whilst deliberate, intentional, or malicious damage by a tenant is typically covered under a landlord building and contents insurance policy, damage caused by tenant neglect, carelessness, poor housekeeping, or unhygienic living habits is not covered. Similarly, damage caused by a pet/pets belonging to the tenant may not be covered, so it is important to check your policy closely to ensure you are clear on what coverage includes.


Beyond insurance… how to protect your residential property

Maintaining a regular schedule of property inspections is a good way to check that your property is being well cared for by the tenant. If your property is being managed by an agent, they should handle this.


It’s important these inspections are thorough, and that the building is checked for (amongst other things) potential water damage from leaks and for evidence of the presence of pests. Pest damage is typically not included as part of residential/domestic landlord insurance, and yet pests can do so much damage to a building. For example, rats can chew through wiring and insulation, and can damage cabinetry, leaving a very expensive repair bill. So ensure inspections do not get missed, discuss pest prevention with tenants, and ensure pest control is implemented if needed.


In addition, if you are accepting a tenant with a pet, check whether your policy covers pet damage. If you are not covered, you may wish to take extra measures to protect your property from things like dog scratch marks on doors and flooring, for example, and to ensure the bond is sufficient to cover potential repair bills.


In areas where maintenance is found to be required, do your best to see this is completed quickly, before situations worsen. In the event that you need to make a claim to cover a maintenance or repair issue, working with a claims consultant or insurance broker can help streamline the process and ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.


Selecting the right Landlord Domestic Insurance policies

When selecting a landlord insurance policy, it’s important to review the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure you have a full understanding of what you are and are not covered for. Additionally, it’s important to seek out general advice when selecting a policy to ensure you’re making an informed decision.


Steadfast Eastern Landlord Domestic Insurance

At Steadfast Eastern Insurance Brokers, we understand the unique exposures faced by residential property landlords, and are thus able to tailor insurance services to your specific needs and circumstances. 


We provide insurance solutions to individuals and businesses of all sizes across Australia, and have become one of the most reliable and trusted brokers in our industry. Our experienced team will work with you to ensure you are well protected with quality coverage that meets your unique needs. 


Contact us today to learn how we can help you secure a comprehensive and cost-effective Landlord Domestic Insurance policy.  With our expertise, you can be sure you’re getting the right protection at an affordable price.


What can go wrong?

A real estate agent checking why a tenant was not answering any calls arrived at an insured property to find the premise vacant after 5 months into a 12 month rental agreement, with severe internal damage to wall structures, fixtures and fittings. A search was conducted to locate the tenant who had vanished leaving $31,430 in damages. The insurer paid for damages and the premise was relet 4 months later. The tenant had Rent Default cover and received 12 weeks rent.

Landlord Domestic Insurance FAQ

Landlord insurance is a type of insurance policy designed specifically for property owners who rent out their properties for residential purposes. It typically includes cover for damage to the building, contents left for tenant use, rental loss, and liability protection. Having landlord insurance can help protect you financially if something unexpected happens, such as damage to the property or loss of rental income.

A product disclosure statement (PDS) is a document that provides information about the key features, benefits, and risks associated with a particular insurance policy. It’s important to review the PDS when choosing landlord insurance to ensure that you’re getting the coverage you need and that you understand the terms and conditions of the policy.

If you need to make a claim on your landlord insurance policy, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claims process, which typically involves filling out a claims form and providing any necessary documentation to support your claim.

Some landlord insurance policies offer cover for loss of rental income due to tenant default. This means that if your tenant stops paying rent, you may be able to make a claim on your policy for lost rental income. However, it’s important to review your policy carefully to understand what’s covered and any exclusions or limitations.

Some insurance providers offer discounts for landlords with multiple rental properties. However, it’s important to shop around and compare policies to ensure that you’re getting the right coverage at the right price. Additionally, you should review the PDS carefully to understand the terms and conditions of the policy and any discounts that may apply.

Whilst many items covered in Landlord Domestic Insurance will apply to a holiday rental property, there may be differences, as the property is not being used for long-term residential purposes.


It is important to advise your insurance broker if the property is to be used as a holiday rental, so that your insurance provider has an accurate picture of use, and subsequent risks, and can ensure the coverage you receive is appropriate. If you don’t inform the insurer, coverage you expected to have may be void.



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