Review cover available on Westpac Landlord Insurance
Westpac Landlord insurance covers building and contents from storm, flood, fire, theft, tricky tenants and more. They have different levels of cover for both building and contents insurance with extensive options to save on the insurance costs. Customers can save by getting no claim bonus, have a higher claim excess, home security features and more. By taking this insurance landlords can protect their hard earned income in their property and have peace of mind they always wanted.Westpac was found almost two centuries back in 1817 and was the first bank in Australia. It is currently a publicly listed company, ranking in the top 5 listed companies according to market capitalisation on Australian Sensex Exchange Limited (ASX). Westpac Insurance provides a host of choices including Home & Contents insurance, Landlord insurance, Car insurance, Travel insurance, Life insurance, income protection and more.
Different types of landlord insurance available from Westpac
- Contents only insurance. This insurance provides cover for any loss to contents in your house during events like storm, flood, lightning, fire, earthquake, malicious act, riot and more. There are two levels of cover: Essential Care and Quality Care. Essential Care cover is a bit limited than Quality Care. Essential Care does not provide a cover for electrical motor burnout, accidental breakage of glass, loss of rent, contents in open air and has a limit of $3,000 for any damage to artworks or tvs, stereo, VCR, etc. Quality care on the other hand covers all the above and provides full cover for damage to tv, stereo, VCR,etc.
- Building only insurance. Some properties have minimal content which reduces the need for contents insurance. In this situation the landlord can take only building insurance which can reduce the cost of the premiums. There are two levels of cover: Essential Care and Quality Care. Both levels will cover any damage to the property by storm, flood, lightning, earthquake, explosion, malicious act, riot, civil commotion and more. Additional cover under Quality care include mortgage discharge, cover for landlord fittings and fixtures up to $20,000, loss of rent up to 10% of insured amount or 12 months of rent whichever is less. Quality Care will also provide a cover of $3,000 for rainwater tank and solar heating.
- Building and Contents insurance. Landlords can also take dual cover of building and content insurance. It also has two levels of cover: Essential Care and Quality Care. They provide the cover mentioned above. This insurance is useful if the total value of building and contents are both substantial. All the limits, extras and cover details mentioned in the above two types will be applied in this insurance. There is an additional cost saving if building and contents insurance are combined in a single policy.
The policy does not cover loss or damage caused by:
- Maintenance and building. Any defect in the design, structure, materials, etc. is not covered. Adequate maintenance of the building must be taken with all work completed as required by relevant authority.
- Wear and tear. General wear and tear of the building is not covered which includes rust, corrosion, mould, etc. Earth or soil movements including landslide, subsidence or erosion is not covered. (Cover for earthquake is provided).
- Power surge. Any damage due to power surge from supply authorities is not covered.
- Malicious, legal or illegal acts. Any damage by owner or someone acting with their consent is not covered.
- War, terrorism exclusions. The property is not covered against any damage during war or damage due to acts of terrorism. This includes damage due to chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
- Common property. Damage to common property is not covered where the home is a strata, group or community title unit.
How much does Westpac Landlord insurance cost?
Westpac Landlord insurance premium depends on a host of factors. They include property’ location, material used, security features installed, exposure of property to storm, flood, etc., level of cover and expected cost of claims. Westpac provides an online calculator where one can find the approximate cost of building and gives an estimate of the amount one should get insured for.
Customers can also get a rough estimate by adding the cost to rebuild the structure with the given size, design, features, material, etc. One should also add the cost of permanent fittings and fixtures like dishwasher, verandah, pools, carports, etc. It is possible to change the insurance sum if customers feel there is a need for extra cover. This change might be required when the cost of labour and materials changes, if there are changes to building codes and regulation or when there are additional fixtures and fittings.
There is a safety net which gives an extra insurance cover, over and above the sum insured for. This safety net helps a lot during damage caused by natural disasters like earthquake, storms, etc. During this time the labour and material cost get inflated due to higher demand. The safety net provides a cushion against such unforeseen circumstance.
Westpac Landlord insurance excess
Excess is a useful tool in the insurance industry which helps to keep the premium cost low. Excess is an amount which customers need to pay before the insurer pays the claim. The excess options are: $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,000 and $5,000. If a person only needs insurance for major damage to building involving bigger costs, a higher excess can be chosen. This will allow the premiums to be lower and if there is such damage, the insurer will pay a major part of the damage leaving only the excess amount to be paid by the customer. However if the insurance involves cover for smaller content item also a lower excess is suitable which would reduce any out-of-pocket expense during claims.
How to save on you Westpac Landlord insurance policy?
Customers can use the following tips to reduce their premium costs:
- Both cover. By insuring both building and contents by Westpac in a single policy the premium cost can be minimized.
- Higher excess. A higher excess during claims reduces the premium costs dramatically. The ideal excess amount should be chosen based on the type of cover.
- Level of cover. Not all properties require a higher level of cover. If suitable, customers can choose a lower level of cover to reduce their premium cost.
- No claim bonus. If the customers do not make any claim for 1 or more years they will get no claim bonus.
- Good security. Having good security system in the house helps to reduce the premium cost as it deters intruders and reduces insurance cost.
- Age. If the insurer is above 50 years the premium cost will be reduced.
Making a claim
If any event occurs which would require a claim, the insured person is advised to first make sure the tenants and property are safe. If need be a call to police should be made. After this a call can be made to Westpac on 1300 369 989. This number is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.
The company will then ask for some time to inspect the loss or damage to the property. A proof of ownership, value of property and value of rectifying the damage need to be provided. The company will then assess the claim and appoint an assessor or investigator and provide an estimate for the time required to make the decision.
Are there additional benefits?
There are a number of additional benefits with Westpac Landlord insurance. They are: payment for professional fees, emergency repairs & protection and fire brigade charges. Some benefits are available to Quality Care cover, which are payments for loss of rent, mortgage discharge, landlord fixtures and rainwater tanks.
Both Essential Care and Quality Care cover are provided automatic indexation benefit which helps to keep the insured sum in line with the inflation.
People spend their life’s saving in making their house. It is only wise that this property is adequately insured when it is lent out to tenants. Westpac Landlord insurance provides a wide range of benefits to cover both the building and contents which should provide peace of mind to any landlord. The cover includes damage from natural disasters, malicious acts to loss of rent for higher level of cover.