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Top Tips for a Speedy Claims Process

By Mark Hamblyn, Terri Scheer Distribution Manager

Landlord insurance serves as a crucial safety net for property owners, offering cover for the specific financial risks landlords face.

Lost rental income and a property with damaged fittings, fixtures and furnishings are unfortunate scenarios landlords can find themselves in and, very often, the rental bond isn’t enough to cover these costs.

When it comes time to submit a claim, simply having the insurance in place is not enough.

Missing supporting documents is one of the most common causes of delays in processing claims and can prevent an insurer from finalising or paying a claim.

Here are the steps landlords and property managers can take to start the claim process sooner and help ensure a landlord’s claim is not compromised by insufficient information:

Check the policy details

The first step is having a clear understanding of the landlord insurance policy in place. Policies can vary, so it’s important to know the specifics of what is covered and what is not. Take time to review policy documents thoroughly, paying attention to coverage limits, exclusions and specific requirements for substantiating a claim.

Document property condition

Insurers will look to establish the property’s condition before the incident occurred. Regularly documenting the state of a property, through date-stamped photographs, videos and written records will serve as evidence if you need to file a claim. Regular property inspections by an experienced property manager will not only ensure someone is keeping an eye on the property’s condition but also provide an opportunity to capture periodic condition evidence.

Don’t wait to make a claim

If property damage is reported or identified, an insurance claim should be lodged as soon as possible. Payment of an insurance claim could be jeopardised if there is no evidence of the damage occurring, so it’s important that claims are lodged before goods are replaced or damages repaired. In the event of an absconding tenant or unpaid rent, landlords or their property manager should make contact with the insurer as soon as possible to confirm the appropriate action they should take, such as documentation requirements and efforts to re-let a property, if it has become vacant. Proof of advertising will demonstrate to the insurer that reasonable efforts are being made to find new tenants.

Provide evidence

When submitting an insurance claim, appropriate documentation and photographic evidence is crucial. Collect and submit all photographs, repair estimates, invoices and any reports or correspondence with other parties, such as police reports or strata managers. Insurance claims for damage should be accompanied by date-stamped and labelled photographs. These should show each room where damage has occurred and repair work is required. For example, if a landlord is claiming for damage to flooring or window treatments throughout their property, photos should be taken of every room where the flooring is laid or window treatments are located. The more comprehensive your documentation, the stronger the case will be in the first instance and likely reduce any further delays with requests to provide additional evidence.

Serve notices on time

Each state has different legal requirements for issuing notices to tenants who have fallen into arrears. To avoid compromising an insurance claim, landlords and their property managers must understand and act in accordance with the timeframes set out in their state or territory. If a landlord or property manager fails to issue the tenant with the correct notices within the specified timeframe, an insurance claim could be reduced, leaving the landlord out of pocket. Landlord insurers will need to see the correct process has been carried out and that timely attempts have been made to obtain the unpaid rent.

It can take longer to process a landlord insurance claim, and potentially impact the outcome, if supporting documentation is not supplied.

To make the claims process as easy as possible, landlords and property managers should refer to the claims section of the insurer’s website for a guide to the supporting documentation required to support a claim.

Terri Scheer is Australia’s leading landlord insurance specialist, offering dedicated policies to suit the specific risks landlords face. Find out more about our policies here: terrischeer.com.au/landlord-insurance/

For further information, call 1800 804 016.


Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Terri Scheer. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy. The Target Market Determination is also available.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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