We’ve heard about wild and wacky tenant damage before, but what about those other claims landlords can make?
The benefit of having landlord insurance is to protect your investment property and rental income, but do you have a policy that can cover weird and unusual incidents that can befall rental properties?
For instance, ANZ’s Landlord Insurance covers a range of strange scenarios, from fires started in microwaves, to damage caused by model aeroplanes. You’re even covered in the event a spacecraft or satellite falls out of the sky and lands on your rental property! Yep, we’re serious.
So, if you’re wondering what you can actually claim on landlord insurance, here’s a rare insight into the wackiest claims encountered by the folks at ANZ.
Wild animal accidents
Yes, you – a landlord – can claim damage caused by wild animals. While property damage tends to be caused by tenants, we rarely think of the damage that can be accidentally caused by, say, kangaroos, wombats or birds.
ANZ customer Vicki recently claimed nearly $900 after a bird flew into her glass sliding door, which cracked and needed replacing.
While we don’t have information regarding the wellbeing of the bird, at least Vicki was able to replace the door.
“While ANZ’s Landlord Insurance Policy doesn’t cover loss or damage that is caused by an animal or bird eating, chewing, clawing or pecking, it does cover loss or damage as a result of an impact, such as that of an animal that is not kept at your site, colliding with your home,” ANZ’s National Sales Manager – Wealth Coaches, Michelle Rolfe, shares.
A forgetful fire
Another thing that surprised us is how a melted baby bottle caused a fire.
In this instance, some tenants had left a baby bottle in some boiling water to sterilise. They left the house, accidentally leaving the stove still on and the bottle in water. When they returned, they discovered a fire had broken out, causing damages to the stove and range hood, as well as some surrounding cupboards. Fortunately, it didn’t go any further!
ANZ Landlord Insurnace covers a range of fire hazards, from microwave fires to fires potentially caused by laptops overheating and catching alight. Specifically, it covers for loss or damage as a result of charring, melting or scorching as a result of fire without a flame (except where damage is caused by a hot item such as a heater).
To reduce fire risks, Rolfe offered these tips:
“As a landlord, ensure you understand the smoke alarm regulations for your state or territory,” she begins. “Also when it comes to microwave safety, you or your tenants should avoid putting recycled materials like recycled paper towels inside. These may contain trace elements of metal that can start a fire.”
Destruction caused by storms is a fairly well-known cause behind insurance claims – but how much are you actually covered for?
One landlord, Tracey, found out when her property was struck by lightning.
According to ANZ, the damage to Tracey’s rental property was quite extreme. The force of the lightning strike caused structural damage to the exterior and interior walls. Exterior lights were blown out, all wall paints were blackened, there was a huge hole in the wall, the front door was damaged as were the power points. Whoa!
Fortunately, Tracey was able to claim just over $9000 from her ANZ Landlord Insurance for the incident, including the specifics outlined above.
“ANZ Landlord Insurance includes natural disaster coverage for major, suddenly occurring natural disasters, which include flood, bushfire, storm, cyclone, rain or wind,” Rolfe explains.
“As a landlord, should your rental property be damaged due to a natural disaster and deemed unliveable, we can cover loss of rent for a maximum of 12 months, limited to a maximum of $52k. In addition, our cover includes full building replacement, which means we’ll pay the amount required to rebuild or repair your home to the condition it was before the damage occurred.”
Flexi hose disasters
Flexi hoses are one of the main causes of household flooding.
For those unaware, a flexi hose is that bendy piece of plumbing that looks like a braided metal hose. It is often attached to sinks in your home and will sit among your cabinets. Unfortunately, these little pieces of equipment are prone to damage and the results can be costly.
For example, landlord Vera claimed $4299 after a hot water flexi hose beneath the kitchen sink in her rental property burst. The water damaged the kitchen cabinets and leaked through the ceiling downstairs.
To prevent flexi hose damage, replace them at least every five to 10 years. Your flexi hose should have an expiry date on it, but to be safe, ANZ also recommends having them frequently inspected to stay on top of potential risks.
“A professional plumber should inspect the flexi hose every two years and install a new one if required,” Rolfe points out. “Furthermore, your tenants shouldn’t be storing harsh chemicals near the flexi hose because this can cause faster deterioration.”
To see how other rental disasters could impact your rental property, visit ANZ’s #RentalFails page here.
Read more : Tenant rights: a guide to every Australian state
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