It is usually only after you buy into a strata property, that you learn there are government regulations you have to comply with, regulations that extend to the insurance of your property. Getting the right insurance to comply with the regulations won’t be a problem if you follow these five simple rules…
1. Start with the right policy
Don’t assume a home and contents policy will provide the insurance cover required for your strata title, even if the properties don’t share a common wall.
A home and contents policy will not extend to provide cover for the common property and/ or areas as outlined on your plan of sub-division.eg. driveways, shared pipes and services.
Strata Insurance is a specialised product offered by a select number of insurers and underwriting agencies. Many providers do not deal directly with the public.
If you need further information on what strata insurance covers, read this insight article.
2. You get what you pay for
Not all insurance policies are created equal. Every strata property is different and has its own unique risks that need to be considered.
When researching insurance policies online, remember to look at what the policy covers, and most importantly what the policy excludes. You should also look at the limits and excesses that apply to the policy.
The quickest way to source a strata policy is to utilise the services and skills of a professional insurance broker. They will provide advice and recommendations, compare covers and pricing options for you.
You can then confidently make an informed choice about the insurer and policy you choose to insure your assets.
3. Insure for the full replacement value
Legislation requires your building to be insured for ‘full replacement value’ and for ‘at least’ the value of the amount indicated by a valuation.
If you decide to disregard the valuation and insure for a lesser sum insured, you are leaving yourself exposed to potential financial disaster.
Whitbread recommend you obtain a professional property valuation every three to five years.
4. Know the details about your property
The insurer will need you to disclose everything you know about your strata property.
This includes information such as the age of the building, whether it is heritage listed, whether it has been re-wired or re-plumbed, or if there is any existing damage or building defects.
The insurer will also ask you for a full claims history of the property.
Non-disclosure could lead to a policy cancellation or future claims being denied.
5. Make it a collaborative process
If you have been asked to arrange strata insurance on behalf of the other owners, make sure you involve everyone in the decision making process.
This way everyone can understand what the insurance covers, and what their responsibility is as a strata property owner.
A frustration for many self-managed properties is other owners not paying their portion of the insurance.
It is important that everyone knows that until the premium has been paid in full, the insurance is not in place. Involving everyone in the insurance process can alleviate this frustration.
To speak to a strata insurance broker about your property’s insurance, please call us on 1300 424 627.
This insight article is not intended to be advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice. Please contact Whitbread Associates Pty Ltd ABN 69 005 490 228 Licence Number: 229092 trading as Whitbread Insurance Brokers for further information or refer to our website.