Landlord insurance vs home insurance

Normal home insurance can’t protect you from a problem tenant or loss of rent. Landlord insurance can.

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Home and contents insurance protects your home against damage or accidents. Landlord insurance covers you for the same things, but also covers you for loss of rent and malicious damage by your tentants. It's a no-brainer if you're a landlord.

What’s the difference between landlord insurance and home insurance?

Landlord insurance is simply a form of home insurance that covers everything normal home insurance does plus a range of extra protection for problems unique to landlords. With normal home insurance, you can typically choose two forms of protection: protection for your home (building insurance) and protection for your belongings (contents insurance).

Landlord insurance refers to a group of insurance products that covers three areas: the building, the contents, and the “business” (tenants insurance). Your business in this case involves your tenants, so tenants insurance (or tenants protection) is one of three subsets of landlord insurance that protects you against any issues your tenants may cause.

It is tenants protection that sets landlord insurance apart from residential home insurance, so it’s tempting to refer to this subset alone as “landlord insurance”. However, you must remember that insuring the building and the contents is just as important.

What will landlord insurance protect you for that home insurance won’t?

The tenant protection part of landlord insurance gives you additional protection against the following:

  • Theft and intentional damage by the tenant
  • Loss of rent when your place is damaged
  • Loss of rent if the tenant can’t pay
  • Your legal expenses if you have to evict a tenant
  • Replacement locks if you have to evict a tenant

Features included in landlord insurance vs home insurance

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the similarities and differences between landlord insurance and home insurance.

Type of damage or lossLandlord insuranceHome insurance
Legal liability
Loss of rental income
Legal expenses to evict a tenant
Replacement locks after evicting a tenant
Malicious damage by tenant

How to choose the right landlord insurance

As a landlord, there are three areas you need to protect: your building, the belongings that you keep in the building and your rental income from that investment. Here’s how to make sure you have the right amount of cover:

  • Decide what needs to be protected. If you don’t keep much inside the property or if losing the contents won’t break the bank, you may be able to get away without contents insurance. If you are renting to a family member and trust them not to burn the place down, you may also be able to do without landlord insurance. Similarly, if you’re living in an apartment, you might not need building insurance as strata has your back. But for the most part, it would be shortsighted to go without either building insurance or landlord protection because these can literally save your entire investment.
  • Decide how much to insure the building for. When you’re insuring the building, it makes sense to insure it for it’s entire value, otherwise you would only get a partial payout if it is destroyed. This could end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can also add additional cover that would enable you to rebuild your property to the same specs as the old one, even if the cost of building materials has risen causing the costs to blow out.
  • Read and re-read the exclusions in your policy documents. These are the situations where you won’t be covered. For example, you won’t be covered for floods unless you buy additional flood protection. If you’re not familiar with your policy’s exclusions, it can be easy to overlook a key piece of information such as this.

Do you need home insurance if you already have landlord insurance?

You will not need an additional home insurance policy if you’ve already taken out building and contents insurance as part of your landlord insurance. However, if you’ve only taken out tenant protection, that won’t cover you if the building is damaged, or if the items inside are damaged or stolen. In that case, you would need to add either building insurance or contents insurance depending on your needs.

Do you need landlord and home insurance if you live in the same building?

If you live in the same building where your rental properties are located, you’ll need to make sure your personal home is insured in addition to your rental properties. A situation such as this is a little more complex, but If you ring the insurer you are considering, they can usually set you up with a custom policy to suit a variety of living situations

What is the difference between landlord insurance and tenants insurance?

Landlord insurance refers to a group of products that covers three areas: the building, the contents, and any issues caused by the tenants. The insurance for the latter is known as tenants insurance or tenants protection, and is simply one of these three subsets.

Renting out a property? Get covered with landlord insurance

Updated January 19th, 2020
Name Product Fire, storm, & theft damage Rebuilding & Repairs to your Home Accidental Damage to Home or Belongings Underinsurance protection Pay Monthly at No Extra Cost
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
Save 30% when you purchase cover online
Coles Home & Contents Insurance
Buy online and save 25%. Collect double flybuys points at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Youi Home Insurance takes the time to tailor a premium for you.
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online.
St. George Home and Contents
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online.
Virgin Home and Contents Insurance
Save 30% when you purchase online, plus earn 5,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer Point when you purchase a new eligible policy by 19 August 2020. T&C’s apply.
Real Top Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 20% when you purchase combined Home and Contents online.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    GailApril 21, 2019

    Please advise which companies can offer house and contents insurance for airBnB properties. I keep getting directed to various insurers but but as I finish each quote submission I am advised that they do not cover for such. This is becoming very frustrating and time consuming.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MaiApril 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Gail,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      For Airbnb properties, you’ll need to look for a policy like landlord insurance. They will cover you for things like tenants damaging your property, as well as your home itself.

      You can try landlord insurance from BudgetDirect, Youi and Virgin Money. You can request quotes from our article on Holiday home insurance. The page also discusses Airbnb Host Guarantee which you may need to check when comparing your options.

      Hope this helps! 😊

      Kind Regards,

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