Understanding strata insurance: when are you covered?

Contributed By: Archers Body Corporate Management on

Body corporate insurance is arguably the most important aspect of building management, but when it comes to using it, it can be difficult to understand what’s covered and what’s not.

The basic principle of strata insurance is to provide cover for common property and the building’s structure. This means that the body corporate is responsible for all common areas and the structural elements of the building. Owners are typically responsible for the internal contents of their unit.

There are some circumstances where the body corporate can provide cover for internal fixtures if they are classified as part of the building’s structure. For example, if an owner’s hot water system is located in a kitchen cupboard and bursts, causing damage to the built-in cabinets in their kitchen, walls and carpet, the body corporate insurance policy will cover the damages caused to the walls and cabinets, as they are permanent fixtures. The hot water system and the carpet are considered to be internal contents and is therefore the unit owner’s responsibility to repair and replace.

Here’s a guide to what’s covered by the body corporate and what’s covered by property owners.

What is the body corporate responsible for?

The body corporate insurance covers common property and building structure, including both external and internal permanent fixtures. This may include:

  • Balconies
  • Built-in wardrobes
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Bathroom vanities
  • Common property (e.g. pools and BBQ areas)
  • Building structure (e.g. structural pillars and bollards).

What are owners responsible for?

This may include:

  • Carpets, tiles and floor coverings
  • Light fittings
  • Mobile or fixed air conditioning units
  • Internal window coverings
  • Furniture
  • Household appliances
  • Valuables and personal equipment.For more information about strata insurance click here or contact your body corporate manager.This article was contributed by Tony Blenkinsop. Tony is a Certified Strata Community Managerat Archers. He has been heavily involved in the strata industry since 2008 and spent a number of years working as a property manager. He has extensive experience managing medium to large schemes. Learn more about our people here .

1 Comment

  1. I’m buying a villa in a 3 Unit strata . The strata is self managed (Unit 1). The villas have a building strata Insurance policy . I will be renting out my villa .
    My question is :
    What is excluded if I don’t take a Contents Insurance Policy? Being rented im trying to work out whether items like ,for example ,kitchen cupboards are part of the Strata Building Policy I’m getting vague answers from Insurance Companies.
    Thanks Graham

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