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Landlord insurance vs home insurance

Mark Bristow avatar
Mark Bristow
- 3 min read
Landlord insurance vs home insurance

Home insurance can provide cover for a number of challenges you may face as a homeowner, including if your house burns down, if there’s a break-in and even the medical bills if someone gets hurt on your property.

However, if you decide to rent out your home, a regular home insurance policy may not be sufficient, and you may need some extra cover options designed especially for landlords.

How is landlord insurance different from home insurance?

You can typically opt for home insurance that provides two types of cover: protection for your home (the building) and your belongings in it (contents). Landlord insurance offers three types of cover: building, contents and business. In this case, “business” refers to the business of renting out your property to your tenant, so you should be covered for any issues or damage your tenants might cause.

Landlord insurance may cover everything that your building-only home insurance does, and also offer extra protection for specific problems you may face as a landlord. For example, if you experience loss of rental income, or need to pay legal expenses to evict a tenant, home insurance will not provide cover, but landlord insurance usually will.

What’s included in a landlord insurance policy?

Inclusions, exclusions and extras generally differ between providers. However, there are a few primary coverage areas that most landlord insurance policies include:

Building and contents

Similarly to standard home and contents insurance policies, you will often get cover for any damage caused to the structure of the property from fire, flooding, vandalism, theft, etc, as well as cover for any damages to your own possessions in the house (but not the tenant’s), including carpets, curtains, kitchen appliances and furniture. 

Loss of rent

Landlord insurance will sometimes provide cover in case of rent loss, which includes the tenant failing to make rental payments, eviction of the tenant by court order, or the death of the tenant. In most cases, you will also get cover for the fees incurred if you require legal support while evicting a tenant. 

Public liability

If a person trips on a tree root in the driveway or tumbles down the stairs and injures themselves in your property, landlord insurance may provide public liability cover for the medical and legal costs.

Damage by tenants

Tenant damage is a standard inclusion in many landlord insurance policies, which provides cover if your tenant or their visitors cause accidental or malicious damage to the property. Some policies may have separate covers for malicious damage and accidents, so ensure you read the PDS document carefully.

Is there a difference between renter’s insurance and landlord insurance?

While landlord insurance will often cover any damages to the property caused by the tenant, a tenant is responsible for their own possessions, including their clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, books, and other belongings. So, if a disaster occurs, tenants could potentially lose everything and miss out on the compensation.

If you’re a tenant, it may be worth looking into renter’s insurance, which is a form of contents cover for people living in rented properties. If you’re a landlord, some agents recommend making renter’s insurance a condition of your lease.

Is home insurance required if you already have landlord insurance?

If you take out building and contents insurance as part of your landlord insurance, you may not need an additional home insurance policy - depending on what the policy covers. But, if you only opt for tenant protection, you will not be covered if the contents inside the house are broken or stolen.

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Product database updated 19 May, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Peter Terlato before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.