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Save Our Pets: Keeping Renters out of the Dog House

Australia’s leading landlord insurer wants to save our pets.

Terri Scheer Insurance has market-leading inclusions in its landlord insurance policies to encourage landlords to accept tenants with pets and help reduce the number of animals needlessly euthanised or surrendered due to a lack of suitable accommodation.

“We met with the Animal Welfare League and were shocked to learn how many pets in the shelter were surrendered because their owners couldn’t find a pet-friendly rental property,” said Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella.

“While legislation has been introduced in some states to prevent landlords refusing tenants on the basis of pet ownership, our policy supports landlords in managing the risk of pet damage.”

Approximately 25 percent of all animals surrendered to the Animal Welfare League Queensland last financial year was due to the inability of their owners to find pet-friendly homes.

The RSPCA reports the same issue, with between 15–30 percent of the 45,000 dogs and 54,000 cats surrendered to them last year given up because their owners couldn’t take them into their new rental property. Of those, sadly 6,000 dogs and 14,000 cats were euthanised.

To help combat this issue, Terri Scheer increased the limit for pet damage five-fold to $2,500 per claim in all of its landlord insurance policies.

Additionally, pets are no longer required to be named on the lease agreement for properties insured by Terri Scheer in order for the landlord to make a pet damage claim.

“Pets are important members of many families and we empathise with both pet owning renters and landlords,” Ms Parrella said.

“Like many Australians, lots of our team members own pets and understand the physical and mental health benefits they bring, and some of us are also property investors who own valuable assets that we want to protect. “We worked closely with the Animal Welfare League before making industry first changes to our policy to help encourage more landlords to accept pets.

“We hope this will help to reduce the number of pets in animal shelters across the country.” Ms Parrella said allowing pets to be housed in a rental property was a major decision for landlords and their property managers.

“The feedback we are getting from real estate agents and property managers is that the response to our changes has been very positive,” she said.

“Landlords recognise that there are inherent risks associated with having pets in their properties, but we’re starting to see increasing numbers that are willing to open their doors to renters and their pets.

“By increasing the claim limit fivefold, landlords can be assured they will be well-protected should the pet damage the property.”

Ms Parrella said not all landlord insurance policies across the industry were equal.

“Many policies don’t include cover for pet damage or are very restrictive in what can be insured, which is why it is so important to read the policy’s product disclosure statement,” she said.

For further information call 1800 804 016.

This article is brought to you by Carolyn Parrella, Terri Scheer Insurance Executive Manager Carolyn Parrella is an experienced rentvestor, Airbnb host and the executive manager of Australia’s leading landlord insurer Terri Scheer Insurance. Under Carolyn’s guidance, Terri Scheer Insurance supports landlords and gives them the confidence to invest in real estate. Carolyn is a nationally-respected real estate media commentator, a finalist in the 2019 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards, and a former Real Estate Institute Awards judge.

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