For people that live near major Australian Universities, student accommodation can be a great investment that is almost guaranteed to produce returns. As with most investments of this kind, insurance is an obvious necessity for protecting your property.
Yet, many people may not realise that typical domestic home policies are insufficient for covering the additional risks associated with housing students, and can be hit with nasty backlash when they are liable for claims.
So what do student accommodation owners need to know about getting the right kind of business insurance?
Different types of Australian accommodation
There are a number of different forms that student accommodation can take in Australia, so it’s important to understand the different coverage needs of each kind and the insurance you can get.
According to international student advice site Studies in Australia, housing options for students range from on-campus dwellings to rental properties. Some students, especially foreign ones, may also choose to live in a homestay and be hosted by a local family, or halls-of-residents at universities. Other options include hostels, guesthouses, apartments and private flats.
Regardless of the specific type, renting out a property to students can leave you responsible for additional liabilities. The government resource Study in Australia says that, to a certain extent, students are obligated to cover expense associated with cleaning and maintenance, but they also have a right to feel secure in their residence. Whether there is a potential safety issue with the dwelling or the possibility of it being trashed by parties, it’s essential that you ensure you and your property are fully protected.
Owners may be liable for accidents that happen to students on their property.
Why do you need specialised cover?
An incident recounted in the Daily Mail Australia in May 2016 demonstrates the importance of having proper cover. A student was reported to have fallen three stories from a her campus apartment and sustained multiple serious injuries as a result. She was hospitalised in a stable but grave condition.
When a student has an accident like this and it is shown to be caused by negligence from the landlord (such as unsafe balcony railing), the property owner could be exacted with a significant compensation claim from the victim or their family. Unfortunately, many traditional insurance policies may not cover this, leaving you liable to pay the clam yourself.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right kind of landlord protection insurance for your needs. At MGA insurance brokers, we can supply you with a specially designed student accommodation package that will provide you with coverage where other policies fall short and ensure your investment is safe.