Tenants and their children may welcome a visit from Santa Claus, but when the jolly red man drops in, it is not without risk to landlords and their property. Here are six insurance scenarios to consider this festive season.
Accidental roof damage
When nine hefty reindeer land on your roof with a fully-laden sleigh the size of a small car, you’re looking at a load of over 3,000 kilograms – and the potential for serious roof damage. When you consider Santa has approximately 2.2 billion children to visit, take-offs and landings are necessarily rushed, increasing the risk.
Even if Santa’s sleigh lands safely without damaging the roof, there are obvious perils in what comes next, particularly when you consider Santa’s considerable girth. If he gets stuck or injured in the chimney, the landlord could be held responsible. Santa’s beard alone is thought to be worth millions. Worse still, there could be a class action from children who failed to receive gifts as a result of an incident on the property.
Fears for ‘cheers!’
Are the tenants qualified in the responsible service of alcohol? Is each rental property licensed? These days, it could be considered quite foolhardy to leave alcoholic refreshment for a red-cheeked once-a-year binge drinker. Does the relevant landlord insurance include cover for liability?
In Australia, the weather is hot at Christmas time, and leaving perishable foodstuffs for Santa and/or his reindeer is a foreseeable risk. Even a small nibble could cause them to come down with food poisoning, with far-reaching and potentially fatal consequences and associated liability risks. (Please note: leaving food out also increases the risk of vermin – which no landlord insurance policy in Australia will cover.)
Naughty or nice?
Are the tenants naughty or nice? Santa aside, Christmas puts considerable financial strain on household budgets. If tenants spend their hard-earned on other things and neglect to pay the rent, quality landlord insurance will see landlords covered.
Theft of gifts
Fantastic – Santa’s come and gone, leaving behind hundreds, even thousands, of dollars worth of gifts beneath the tree. Tenants need to know that if these gifts are subsequently stolen, landlord insurance won’t cover the cost of replacements. For that, they’ll need their own household contents cover.
Sharon Fox-Slater is the managing director of RentCover, a division of EBM, which insures 120,000 investment properties around Australia. With over 20 years’ experience in landlord insurance, Sharon’s top priority is customer service and positive customer comments are her biggest marker of success. Despite leaving school at 15, Sharon has forged a ground-breaking career – she was the first woman to become a fellow of the National Insurance Brokers Association. Sharon was honoured to have been included in Insurance Business magazine’s Elite Brokers 2013 list.