Home and paying guests

Get cover for your home (where you usually live), contents and the additional space or unit you rent out. Cover specifically designed for the various types of home and income properties.

Let’s help you choose the right policy or policies for your situation.

What if I have two (or more) dwellings on the same property?

Common questions about insuring a rental home

If you have a dwelling that’s separate from the main dwelling, or a second home that’s on the same title that you rent out either long or short term, we recommend you read out ‘two properties, same title‘ page to find the right product(s) for you

Want to check over the full details of your cover? It’s best to read your policy wording. You should also check your summary policy schedule from your dashboard to see what applies to your cover.

If you have an additional property (that has a different address to the property you reside in) and you rent it long-term to tenants, you’ll need our specialised Landlord cover

It’s often a property where you live on the site in your own residence, and also have another residential unit or dwelling on the same land that you rent out to longer term tenants from which you receive an income – “home and income.”

The additional property could be in the form of a self-contained ‘granny flat’ attached to your main residence, OR it could be a completely separate unit or dwelling on your property.

Landlords also refer to properties as being ‘Home & Income’ when it’s a property that has two different tenants occupying it. We like to classify these as ‘Home and Income Rentals’. These are easily insured using two landlord insurance policies.

In recent times, home and income properties have also come to mean AirBnB-style houses where a home owner rents a single room or part of their home (eg downstairs) to a short staying guest.

Yes – thats exactly what the ‘Initio Own Home thats Rented’ policy is designed for.

We know because it’s your own home the property will have a combination of personal effects and general contents items.

Contents you take with you:
If you rent your entire home out and take any contents items with you (e.g. laptop, clothing, phone, bikes, jewellery, etc.) these are insured for their full replacement value (new for old). Note that for jewellery and bikes you will need to specify an individual item if it’s over a certain value (e.g. unspecified jewellery items are limited to $3,000).  Items over the limits can be specified  through your initio dashboard or during sign up.

Contents you leave at the home:
In addition the contents that stay in the home, while the property has guests in it are insured up to the contents sum insured you have chosen if it’s a general loss (e.g. storm, fire, flood, accidental damage by the guest etc).

If the guest steals or deliberately damages your contents cover is limited to $25,000 under the home insurance policy.

No, unlike other insurers the excess you pay is the excess you choose for your own home.  No additional excess applies for when guests are renting the home.

It depends how the property is used as to whether we can provide cover:

Dedicated short stay – we won’t provide cover
If the additional unit (eg airBnB or Bookabach) is rented out to short-term guests, is run purely for short term guests (ie not used by you as part of your ‘residence) and its situated on the same property as your own home then this means that the additional dwelling does not meet the definition of a residential dwelling under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.
Y
ou will most likely require a commercial policy to cover the additional unit on your own property.

Used by you as part of your residence – we WILL provide cover
If you use the additional unit as part of your own residence and also rent it out to short staying guests then you we can provide cover:
Simply insure your own home with us, and then through through Initio dash add the additional property as a rental property / landlord property.

A single dwelling (or living unit) is a premises that is fully self contained.

To be self-contained a premises must contain the facilities necessary for day-to-day living on an indefinite basis.
There must be somewhere:
• to cook;
• to sleep;
• to live;
• to wash; and
• to carry out ablutions.

Generally speaking, if the additional dwelling does not have any of these things then it can be insured as part of the house without the need for an additional policy.

If the additional unit at your own residence is not self contained then it does not require its own separate insurance policy.  You can include the unit as part of the main dwelling (ie add the replacement value of the unit to your own home insured value).

To be self contained all of the following things but apply.  There must be somewhere to:

• to cook;
• to sleep;
• to live;
• to wash; and
• to carry out ablutions.

A tenant can only be held liable for damage if the landlord can prove that they deliberately caused the damage. A landlord cannot hold a tenant responsible for damage caused by accident, neglect, stupidity. Learn more about how the Holler v Osaki court case affects landlords.

Yes, you are a landlord if you receive income for renting out a self contained unit / dwelling on your property.  To this extent you are exposed to additional risks such as loss of rent and malicious damage by the tenant.  That’s why we recommend a separate landlord policy is put in place, in addition to your own home insurance.

This is your choice, but for the sake of convenience, we strongly recommend that Home & Income properties are insured with a single insurer.  If you have a claim (eg a major fire, or an earthquake) your claim will be more straightforward with a single insurer, which will speed up the claims process.

  • A two-storey home; where you and your family live on one floor and tenants rent out the other floor.
  • A property with two homes; you and your family reside in the main home, and you have tenants in the granny flat.
  • A property with a home and studio; you live in a studio unit while tenants rent the main home.
  • A duplex townhouse; where you live in one townhouse, and tenants rent the other.
  • A property with a flat over the garage; you live in the home and your tenants rent the garage flat.
  • Adjoined units; where you live in one unit and the other unit is rented to tenants.
  • A multi-unit complex; where you live in one unit and the other units are rented to tenants. (This would require a one home policy and a multi-unit rental policy)

And home and income, with a rental property examples:

  • Property with two homes; where the main home is rented, and you have seperate tenants in the granny flat.
  • Property with Home and a standalone studio; where the the home and studio have seperate tenancy’s.
  • Property with a flat over the garage; you have tenants in the home and other tenants rent the standalone garage and flat.

And some examples of when the rental(s) are attached

  • Two-storey home; where each floor has a seperate tenancy.
  • Property with a home and attached studio; where the the home and studio have seperate tenancies.
  • Duplex townhouse; that is rented to tenants. Property with a flat over the garage; you have tenants in the home and other tenants rent the garage flat.
  • Adjoined units; where both units are rented to seperate tenants.
  • Multi-unit complex; where you rent out all of the units to individual tenants.

From our customers

We have been a client of initio for over a year, now. Initio has saved us money and we like the user friendly website. It is only when something goes wrong, that you find out how good an insurance is: We did have a wilful damage claim and it was settled promptly and efficiently. We can recommend initio to all property investors.

How likely are our customers to recommend initio?