What is Strata Insurance?
Strata insurance is insurance that the owners corporation (also known as the body corporate) is expected to take out to cover the building, common property and common areas or facilities and contents of a strata scheme or strata-titled property.
If you’re sharing common space with others, you don’t want to be left to foot the bill if there’s damage to shared parts of the building or items. Insurance is available for both residential strata and commercial strata properties.
Residential Strata is for owners of an apartment, unit or townhouse.
Commercial Strata is for owners of an industrial, commercial or retail units.
It is compulsory for body corporates to hold strata insurance which conforms to each state’s relevant legislation in Australia.
What does Strata Insurance cover?
Strata Insurance covers damage or loss caused to strata properties, like apartments and townhouses, including shared property like stairwells and driveways. It includes cover for lost rent and temporary accommodation for unit owners, if an insured event means that the property can’t be occupied. Insured events include things like fire, flood, storm, water damage and break-ins.
Strata Insurance can cover the building of all common or shared property and contents which belong to the owners’ corporation. Common areas include areas such as garages, driveways and swimming pools and common contents cover items such as lawnmowers and washing machines.
The type of cover offered and the cost will depend on the kind of building to be insured, where the location is and the amount of common property shared.
Events like theft of common area contents, repairs to damaged property managed by the body corporation and the cost of recovery if a disaster or insured event occurs are also included in strata insurance.
Liability cover in the event that people are injured on common property is also included in strata insurance. In fact it is also compulsory for this to be provided as part of strata insurance in all parts of Australia.
Who Pays the Strata Insurance?
The premiums are paid for by the owner’s corporation (also known as the body corporate).
What usually isn’t covered?
Exclusions. The excess you need to pay and limits of liability can vary greatly depending on your insurer. This is something you need to check to ensure you the have the right level of cover.
Policies generally won’t include cover for:
Asbestos or asbestos derivatives
Erosion or earth movement
Certain property features such as fencing
Contents within apartments
Who Needs Strata Insurance?
Put simply, every Body Corporate requires body corporate insurance.
In most states and territories it is a legal requirement to have full cover for the replacement value of the building, unless this requirement has been formally divested to each unit owner (often by a solicitor’s document).
If you own a home that shares common property, things can get complicated. You want to be protected. You want that peace of mind. If buildings, outdoor areas or items are damaged, you want to make sure you have the right cover in place. That’s what body corporate insurance does.
Who manages Strata Insurance?
Strata insurance is usually managed by a strata manager, property manager or unit owner who’s been asked to manage the insurance policy and cost on behalf of all the owners. Your building may already be insured if your property is part of a strata or other group scheme. If it’s not then you need STATA TITLE PROTECT.
What if I don't have a strata manager or property manager?
If you’re the owner of a unit in a complex, it’s likely that your building is managed by a body of some sort already. If you’re not sure, check with the real estate agent that you bought the property through or do a strata or other title search of the building. Then check if there is a strata insurance policy in place. If there isn’t you need to call STRATA TITLE PROTECT to arrange a policy.