Insurance is important for both landlords and tenants.

Landlords should insure their rental property against any damage. Tenants should also have insurance for their belongings, and to protect them from liability.

Speak to insurers for more details about their policies.

Landlords need insurance to cover damage

If you’re a landlord, make sure your property is insured and that the cover is for a rental. Landlords are responsible for paying the premiums.

Policies can also cover things like vacancy periods or tenant damage. Check your policy to see what it covers.

Talk to your insurance company about their rules for making claims. Some insurers need the landlord to prove that thorough tenant checks have been done.

You may also choose to insure any furniture or other items that are in the agreement. Any damage to them won’t be covered by the tenant’s contents insurance.

Landlords must provide insurance information in any new tenancy agreement, including whether or not the property is insured, and the excess amount of any relevant policies.

Landlords will also need to include a statement [PDF, 32 KB] informing tenants that the insurance policy for the property is available on request.

They also have to tell tenants if this information changes within a reasonable time.

Liability for damage

On 27 August 2019, new legislation took effect, which will affect tenants’ liability for damage.

If tenants or their guests cause careless damage in a rental property, they will liable for the cost of the damage up to four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess, whichever is lower.

Tenants on income-related rents will be liable for careless damage up to four weeks’ market rent or the insurance excess, whichever is lower.

Landlords will need to provide insurance information in any new tenancy agreement, and tell tenants if this information changes within a reasonable time. Landlords will also need to include a statement informing tenants that the insurance policy for the property is available on request.

Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019

Tenants should get insurance to cover belongings

If you’re a tenant, we recommend that you get insurance. Your landlord’s property insurance doesn’t cover your belongings.

You may be liable for damages caused by you or your guests

Even if you aren't on the agreement you should consider getting:

  • contents insurance to cover your belongings
  • personal liability insurance to protect you in certain situations.

Speak to an insurer for more about personal liability cover in a rental home.

Earthquake damage

If you’re looking at renting a quake damaged home, you need to think about a few things before making your decision. For example, if an insurer thinks it will cost too much to repair the house then it won’t be insured. This could affect your contents insurance.

Renting a property with earthquake damage

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