Renting out your place while you’re away? Beware this trap – Sydney Morning Herald

2 minutes, 12 seconds Read
December 26, 2023 — 5.00am
December 26, 2023 — 5.00am

Heading off over the Christmas break? And maybe you’re thinking of renting out your main residence on the short-term rental market, such as Airbnb or some similar platform? That can be a great way to fund your holiday, but what if it all goes pear shaped?

Make sure you’re covered if you’re considering renting our your home over summer.Credit: iStock

Suppose you come back to wrecked appliances or even a trashed house, or what if your renter suffers an injury during their stay? Slips on a wet floor, falls down a set of stairs or gets an electrical shock from faulty wiring. Any of those scenarios could end up costing you a lot more than whatever you’ve earned from the rental.

According to Andrew Hall, chief executive of the Insurance Council of Australia, most people don’t realise that their standard home and contents insurance typically excludes coverage for short-term rentals.

“If a homeowner is planning on renting their home out for the week or two over the Christmas holidays, it is important that they purchase a separate holiday rental insurance policy or talk to their insurer to make sure they are covered,” says Hall.

Suncorp Australia, ShareCover, BJS and QBE are just a few of the insurers that specialise in policies for short-term rentals. As well as annual cover for owners who rent out their property on a regular basis, another option is pay-per-night short stay rental, under which you pay only for the days that your home is rented out to a paying guest.

Standard landlord insurance is not the answer since this type of cover applies only to stays longer than 90 days.

The major events you need cover for are fire, theft or attempted theft, burst or leaking pipes, malicious damage, accidental damage and vandalism. Some policies will cover the cost of relocation and rental accommodation if during a short-term rental an incident occurs that renders your property uninhabitable.

Every policy has different limits and conditions, set out in the product disclosure statement, and the section that merits close attention is the exclusions not covered under the policy. Make sure the policy you’re buying meets your needs and you can enjoy your own holiday with peace of mind.

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