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COVID-19 Information Update

Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our customers, our people and the general public. We’re closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and, following the advice of the government authorities and experts, we will respond to any updated recommendations.

People and businesses across all sectors are being impacted by the ongoing situation and there will be ramifications for the property industry. Our claims, enquiries and support teams are committed to continuing to help you during this time.

Terri Scheer’s landlord insurance policies are designed to protect property investors against the more common risks of investing in property. We’ve received a lot of questions from customers wanting to understand how their policy responds to claims associated with COVID-19 and from property managers who may be unable to do an inspection and are worried that it might impact a claim if a landlord needs to make one.

We hope the following information is helpful in providing some clarity.

The Terri Scheer Landlord Preferred Policy provides cover for loss of rent, damage caused by tenants and legal liability subject to the terms and limits in the policy.

If your tenant loses their job, gets behind in their rent and vacates the property leaving rent unpaid, there is cover.

Federal, state and territory governments have outlined measures available in their jurisdictions to assist tenants facing financial distress and eviction if they are unable to meet their rental payment obligations.

The governments have also announced a series of economic support packages for workers, households and businesses. Learn more and see if you’re eligible. For the latest COVID-19 information, visit the Australian Government’s website.

You can find a copy of the Landlord Preferred Policy PDS and Policy Wording.

Please note, if your tenant was in arrears when your Terri Scheer Landlord Preferred Policy started, then Loss of Rent cover will not be available to you under our policy terms until the tenant brings their rental payments out of arrears for two consecutive months. Please refer to the policy terms.

Each State and Territory government is individually responsible for passing any measures, like rental eviction moratorium available in their own jurisdiction. In circumstances where you are unable to evict your tenant whilst an eviction moratorium is in effect, the unpaid rent would continue to accrue until the tenant leaves the property, which may be after the end of the moratorium.

Upon the eventual leaving of the tenant, there is cover for unpaid rent. We won’t require landlords to issue a notice of eviction during the moratorium period for a later claim to be valid, but this is limited to the period of the moratorium.

During the moratorium period landlords are being encouraged to negotiate lower rents for those tenants who have substantially reduced income due to COVID 19. Your cover will be updated to reflect the new rental limit.

A renegotiated reduction in rent is not considered a default by a tenant, so the gap between the original rent and your renegotiated rent will not be covered under your Terri Scheer policy.

However, if a tenant stops paying rent at the renegotiated amount and vacates the property, there may be a valid trigger for a claim.

Terri Scheer encourages landlords who are facing financial difficulty to visit the following link for further support: Learn more and see if you’re eligible.

You can learn more about the specific government support available and details of any rental moratorium in the state or territory in which your property is located by visiting the following:

New South Wales

Queensland

Victoria

South Australia

Tasmania

Western Australia

ACT

Terri Scheer’s Landlord Preferred Policy does not provide cover if your tenant is ill and cannot pay their rent for a period because they cannot work. As per the announcements by governments across the country, Terri Scheer would encourage you to talk to your tenant and try to reach an arrangement that will work for you both.

Terri Scheer’s policies don’t provide cover for cleaning under these circumstances. Subject to the terms of their lease, it is typically the tenant’s responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the property and leave the premises as nearly as possible in the same condition, fair wear and tear excepted, as when they started living in it.

The Landlord Preferred Policy will cover you for the necessary cleaning should this event occur. The Landlord Preferred Policy also provides cover for loss of rent in the event of the death of your tenant when they are the sole person listed on the lease, for up to 15 weeks loss of rent.

When assessing a claim for damages we will request a copy of the property manager’s inspection reports as they may contain information relevant to assessing your claim. Terri Scheer Insurance understands people and businesses are adapting their ways of working in response to the quickly changing situation, meaning property managers may not be able to conduct in-person inspections at this time. We understand the restrictions around movement and will take that into consideration when assessing your claim.

However, it is important to note that you will still need to provide proof of your loss, damage or liability, to support your claim (e.g. photos, receipts). Many property managers and landlords are working with their tenants on ways to conduct inspections remotely.

Urgent or emergency repairs will still be able to be completed.  We appreciate it may take a little longer for repairs of a non-urgent nature which are claimable under the policy to be completed and we will consider this in our assessment of your claim. If an Assessor is unable to inspect your property, we will talk you through the options.

This type of situation may arise for property investors in the coming months.

A Terri Scheer Landlord Preferred helps cover loss of rent that your tenant is legally responsible for under their lease.

If you agree to a rent decrease, the gap between the original rent and your renegotiated rent will not be covered under your policy.

However, if your tenant defaults on the renegotiated rent and if rent remains unpaid at the end of any eviction moratorium period in your State or Territory, you can follow the normal processes to remedy the arrears or lodge a claim.

A claim will be considered if the rent remains unpaid, eviction proceedings occur after the moratorium has ended and the tenant has vacated.

The tenant has signed a lease and is responsible for adhering to the terms of the lease, including paying rent. Loss of rent under this situation is not covered by the Terri Scheer Preferred Policy whilst the lease continues and the tenant has not vacated the property, however we would be happy to consider the individual circumstances of your claim.

The Terri Scheer Short Stay Policy provides cover for lost bookings in short term/ holiday rentals caused by certain insured events, which typically relates to damage to the property. The Scheer Short Stay Policy does not provide cover if a guest cancels a reservation due to a pandemic or otherwise. You can find a copy of the Scheer Short Stay Policy.

Terri Scheer is committed to working with you during this time and being there when you need us. We know that you have invested in your property to protect your future and because that matters a lot to you, it matters a lot to us.

You can contact us in the usual ways, by phone at 1800 804 016, or by email at customerservice@terrischeer.com.au.

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