Do I need Building Insurance for a strata unit?
AAMI Home Building Insurance is designed to cover individual domestic properties which aren’t part of a body corporate or strata scheme. That generally means freestanding homes that don’t share walls, roofs or property with another building.
If a property is part of a strata, body corporate or community titles residential building like an apartment building, then the owner may already have to pay for Strata Insurance - check with your body corporate. These are, of course, subject to their own policy terms, conditions and exclusions.
What is Strata Insurance?
What does Strata Insurance cover?
AAMI Strata Insurance is for residential strata, body corporate and community title residential buildings, like apartments and towhnhouses. That means that it covers more than a single unit for accidental loss or damage or for loss or damage caused by insured incidents. It’s designed for blocks, communities and complexes that are part of a body corporate (or similar entity), and so covers all other buildings within the bounds of the insured address, up to 10 buildings and including shared access.
It also covers the common areas within the strata, like shared stairwells or inground pools. When you add common contents cover to the building policy for an additional premium, AAMI Strata Insurance covers your common contents at the building for accidental loss or damage or for loss or damage caused by insured incidents. This covers your contents which are unfixed and contained within the common areas of the building such as:
- administration office contents
- portable washers and dryers in shared spaces, and
- domestic tools, gardening equipment and cleaning equipment.
This doesn’t extend to covering any personal items of those living in the building, but individual residents can consider whether they would like Contents Insurance for their items.
For more info, inclusions and exclusions, read the PDS.
Does Strata Insurance include Building Insurance?
This coverage is similar to that of Building Insurance for standalone properties, in that it provides cover for loss or damage to the building caused by an insured event,to like storms, fires and burglaries*. It also provides other benefits including:
- legal liability cover
- cover for loss of rent following an insured incident if a tenanted unit in the building cannot be lived in or cannot be re-leased, and
- temporary accommodation for the unit owner, should the unit in the building be made unlivable due to an incident covered by the policy.
Be sure to read the relevant PDS for more information – they can be found here.
What is common property in strata?
In general, common areas are the areas included in a strata, that aren’t part of a domestic unit. These can include, but are not limited to:
- garages and carports
- decks and verandahs
- fixed swimming pools and spas
- sealed driveways or sealed roads
- walls, gates, retaining walls and fences at the insured address, and
- any permanently fixed outdoor items that fall within the strata boundaries.
Who manages the Strata Insurance?
Usually, a group of residential properties is managed by something like a body corporate. So, the owner of a strata unit contributes to their shared premium alongside all other owners, rather than simply covering their own property.
The insurance policy is usually managed by either a strata manager, property manager, or a unit owner on behalf of the others, if that’s the arrangement.
This means that a new owner of a strata unit may likely already have some form of insurance on their property, so be sure to check the details if this is the case!
Mandatory Strata Insurance requirements
Strata Insurance is mandatory, and it’s the duty of the body corporate – or its equivalent – to make sure that a few key things are covered. Each state and territory has different requirements, but one constant is to ensure that the strata complex has public liability cover.
AAMI Strata Insurance covers your legal liability to pay compensation for other people’s death, injury, or loss or damage to their property that occurs in connection with the building, or the common contents or common areas of the strata property.
Consider Contents Insurance
Strata cover isn’t all-encompassing, and doesn’t extend to the inside of individual units. If you choose to cover your contents you may wish to consider AAMI Contents Insurance. Our contents cover for units also includes the fittings that aren’t legally part of the entire building. This could include air cons or lino, depending upon the location of your unit. That way, those bits and pieces that make a house into a home could be covered.
It covers more than furniture, too – it also means you’d also have cover for legal liability to pay compensation for death or bodily injury to other people, or loss or damage to their property related to your living in a unit or ownership of your unit, unless your legal liability is covered under a building policy. So, if a visitor is injured or dies, or suffers loss or damage to their property inside your unit rather than out the door, you could be covered for your legal liability up to $20 million, including associated legal fees.
Always read the PDS before buying insurance. That way, you can know all the ins and outs of what’s covered and what’s not.
- What can be included in Home and Contents Insurance?
- What is Public Liability?
- First home buyers insurance guide
* We do not cover bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami in the first 72 hours of cover. Very limited exceptions apply. Check the PDS for details.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Limits, conditions and exclusions apply. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.