What Landlords Need To Know About Liability Insurance

Being a landlord means having to juggle a variety of issues, from finding tenants to rent the property to dealing with the day to day running of the business. This can be especially excruciating in the current economic climate, as many renters are looking to cut down on costs and even share spaces with other tenants.

Often times this means being responsible for the safety and housing of more individuals despite receiving the same amount of revenue. This increased opportunity for risk means that many landlords are trying to purchase higher levels of public liability insurance in order to cover themselves in the event of an accident.

For instance, if a tenant were to slip on a loose piece of carpet and sustain a serious injury as a result of the fall, you may be held liable for not adequately inspecting the carpet or providing a reasonably safe environment for your occupants to live in. The client may sue not only for medical expenses, but legal defence costs and emotional trauma.

Furthermore, if the injury causes them to miss work or worse yet, render them unable to do their job, one simple accident can eventuate in costs that rise into the millions. However, if you have a strong public liability policy, these costs are defrayed by the insurance company. While most landlords make sure to have their building and any equipment insured, it is equally important to safeguard yourself from the threat of a negligence claim.

Why do you need Public Liability Insurance?

It is the responsibility of the landlord to make sure their tenants are as safe as possible. In life or in business, there is no way to account for every single possible scenario. Accidents do happen now and again, and having a public liability insurance policy not only protects your from these incidents, but gives you peace of mind. If your property does result in injury to a tenant or their personal property, the policy will cover it. Not having insurance means you will responsible for all the legal fees and medical costs resulting from the accident. Having public liability insurance covers you for:

  • Damages awarded to the claimant resulting from a lawsuit
  • Legal expenses and costs defending against a claim
  • Medical expenses and claimant’s legal costs if you are found at fault

Without public liability insurance, a single incident can result in having to pay an exorbitant sum to the claimant. Moreover, the situation can become even more burdensome if the injury results in the tenant being unable to work for an extended period of time. As a result, you may be responsible not only for legal costs and medical bills, but the loss of income from their incapacitation.

Common Claim Types

A landlord can be liable for any number of accidents, from slips and falls to theft, fire and flooding. The state of the property, if not adequately maintained or safeguarded against natural disasters or crime, may be grounds for negligence. You can minimise your risk and the amount of your premiums by taking regular steps to inspect and ensure your property is properly cared for and secure. You may also wish to extend your policy to cover common eventualities such as replacing locks, reinforcing windows or protection against equipment breakdown. Policies can also be bundled with other insurance services to lower your overall obligation.