What Does My Body Corporate Insurance Policy Cover? - SSKB - Strata Managers | Community Experts

What Does My Body Corporate Insurance Policy Cover?


BY: KATE O’ROURKE, COMMUNITY MANAGER

Many owners are unaware of their responsibility in relation to insurance cover when they purchase a lot that forms part of a body corporate.

Questions that I am frequently asked by my bodies corporate are:

  1. What does my body corporate Insurance Policy Cover?
  2. What items in my unit do I need to insure?

The information provided below should assist with your insurance queries.

If your building is insured by the body corporate, the policy will cover the full replacement value of the building structure, including:

  • improvements and fixtures;
  • common area contents; and
  • underground services erected upon the block forming part of the strata plan.

The building cover includes:

  • fences;
  • toilets;
  • baths;
  • basins;
  • shower screens;
  • sinks;
  • cook tops;
  • ducted air conditioners;
  • bench tops;
  • built-in cupboards;
  • windows;
  • doors; and
  • fixed tiling.

If your building has wallpaper in the common areas, paintwork or light fittings this would also form part of the building cover.

The common area contents include:

  • carpets within a hallway, entrance or lobby;
  • mirrors;
  • indoor and outdoor furniture;
  • barbecue equipment;
  • pot plants; and

washing machines and dryers owned by the body corporate which are housed on common property for the use of all residents in the scheme.

The following items are not covered under the strata policy and owners must take out individual cover over these items:

  • carpets;
  • light fittings;
  • mobile or fixed air conditioning;
  • internal window coverings;
  • Furniture;
  • household appliances (e.g. dishwashers); and
  • valuables and personal equipment.

In New South Wales personal contents does include:

  • wall paper;
  • paint;
  • temporary wall; and
  • floor and ceiling coverings within a lot.

For more information on insurance please refer to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General website



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Recent Comments

52 Comments

cesare On July 10, 2012 | Reply

Just like to know in a residential block if there is a burst water pipe in and intrenal wall between two units and one unit has some water damage, who would be responsiable for the cost or repair, the body corp or the unit owner with the damage, or the other unit owner that has no damage but the water pipes mite belong to that unit. Could you please give me some info to my email address thank you

    Chelsey On July 12, 2012 | Reply

    Hi,

    Thanks for your question. To give you an appropriate response i would need to clarify which state you are in, as the legislative requirements differ. It would also depend on whether the pipe services one or both units. Please let me know so we can help you with the right answer!

Karin klein On November 24, 2012 | Reply

Please advise if a shower recess that is leaking and needs replacement of walls and recess would be covered by bc insurance

Karin klein On November 24, 2012 | Reply

The shower question is in reference to Vic legislation

David Hadley On February 2, 2013 | Reply

Hi,

We are buying a townhouse in Queensland and there has been a water leak in the unit. I believe its from the upstairs balcony and run down the wall through the coving into the downstairs.
The current owners have said the body corp said its not covered by them but I would have thought it would have been. The leak is not bad and we have a clause for inspections but really want to but the unit but with some sort of certainty in who is responsible for what. Hope you can help. Thank you David

    Chelsey On February 6, 2013 | Reply

    Hi David,

    You need to determine if it is classed as a Building Format or Standard Format. Check the plans and in the bottom right hand corner it will state which, these are part of the CMS (Community Management Statement) and the seller will have a copy or you can obtain one yourself from State Government Land Centre (cost about $20). If it is a Standard Format it’s your problem, however if a Building Format it could be either. I hope this helps, if you have any further questions head to http://www.livinginstrata.com.au and post on the forum!

John gleaden On March 17, 2013 | Reply

Hi

Can anyone tell me if our balcony is covered by body corporate insurance? Everyone it rains the paint on the balcony roof keeps falling off.

Hope someone can help.

Eric On June 2, 2013 | Reply

would i be able to proceed with a purchase of townhouse, without vendor providing current body corporate building insurance details, specially buying at an auction. thanks in advance.

marco On June 28, 2013 | Reply

hi, I would like to no if the ceiling of a bedroom has fallen down form water damage in the roof,will it be covered from the body corporation, vic, melb, thank you

Lisa Moloney On July 3, 2013 | Reply

Reply from: Community Manager, Fran Welsh (VIC)

Yes. If the internal ceiling has collapsed due to water damage in the roof it is classed as resultant damage and covered by the Owners Corporation.

Lisa Moloney On July 12, 2013 | Reply

Reply from Community Manager, Jacqueline Engman (QLD)

Hi James,
Generally maintenance of an improvement to a lot by a lot owner is not considered the Body Corporate’s responsibility to repair, maintain or insure.

However, your Body Corporate insurance may have an allowance in the policy for lot owners’ improvements, which may cover the damage to your roller shutters, if the damage was caused by an insurable event.

It is recommended that you contact your Body Corporate insurance brokers / insurer to discuss what has happened and whether it is recommended that you submit a claim.

John On February 19, 2014 | Reply

Hi,

My neighbor keeps complaining about a rat issue in her roof which is connected to mine. My tenant has not complained as yet. I have had professionals inspect and they have stated that there are gaps in the roof that are allowing them to enter and also a tree which hangs onto our roof. Can we make a claim through body corp to repair the roof?

The property is only 24monthes old. Set of 4 units under body corp.

    SSKB On February 27, 2014 | Reply

    Hi John

    Unfortunately this isn’t a straight forward answer.

    If there is a manager then the response is to simply contact them.

    If not, and there are only 4 lots, then you are the “body corp” – or ¼ of it anyway.

    Is the roof common property? If it is then yes it is a “body corp” responsibility to fix it if it has gaps. But then the building is only 24 months old and if the gaps are a latent defect then the builder should fix them.

    You’ve mentioned “claim” so perhaps you’re thinking insurance – that being the case you should contact the insurer. However if there are gaps in the roof then that will not be an “insurable event”. Any damage the rat does would be, though.

    Sorry its not a simply answer but I hope it helps.

Trish On March 10, 2014 | Reply

Hi there. Could you please clarify if in NSW the Body Corporate insurance covers bathrom tiles inside a unit? Thanks.

    SSKB On March 10, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Trish,

    Unfortunately we cannot give you a definitive answer, as a variety of factors will determine whether it is, or isn’t, the responsibility of the body corporate insurer, e.g., How did the damage occur? What type of tiles? And where are they located?

    You should contact your body corporate insurer with all the details.

    Sorry we couldn’t provide you with a simple answer, but I hope we helped you a little bit.

      Trish On March 11, 2014 | Reply

      Thank you for your reply. It was helpful.

Lyn On July 7, 2015 | Reply

I have just found out that I would be responsible for a cracked pipe behind the shower recess as that wall adjoins another wall in my property. Unlike my next door neighbour who had a cracked pipe but was covered by OC insurance as it adjoined another apartment. My current contents policy won’t cover yet I was told I couldn’t get building insurance in a strata scheme. So how do I obtain cover?

My strata have also told me that fixtures such as toilets, ovens etc (installed when building erected) are NOT covered by OC insurance. Yet my insurance company now tells me they are not covered under contents – in spite of someone else there last year suggesting I increase my coverage to cover those items!
I am very frustrated, to say the least. Can you help?

    SSKB On July 9, 2015 | Reply

    Hi Lyn,

    Unfortunately SSKB are not legally permitted to give insurance advice, however we’re happy to refer someone who can. Andrew Hinz at IAGB is available to answer insurance queries, you can contact him on (07) 3630 1823.

matt On July 16, 2016 | Reply

Hi, not sure if anyone is still reviewing this thread? We have a cracked seat of a tap in our ensuite that will likely require some of the wall to be ripped out to be repaired. Would this typically be covered by body corporate insurance? We live in QLD. Thanks

    SSKB On July 19, 2016 | Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Generally speaking, there are a number of factors which will determine whether this will be covered under insurance, including the type of registration of the scheme you reside in, the cause of the damage and the insurance excess. We would recommend you contact your strata manager who can query this direct with your body corporate’s insurance broker for specific insurance advice.

Joy Pearce On August 7, 2016 | Reply

Hi,
live in a over 55 unit in Perth WA my roof has been leaking and the ceiling in the laundry has started to get damaged, the body corporate called in their handy man who seems to be the guy who does maintenance, he climbed onto the roof and said he could not find any cracked tiles , there is a ducted air conditioner on the roof and he thinks the flashing on the air conditioner has started to deteriorate, can you please tell me is the flashing classed as being part of the roof and covered by the strata insurance or is this my responsibility to get it replaced.
Hope you can help,
Joy Pearce.

    SSKB On August 8, 2016 | Reply

    Hello Joy,
    Unfortunately SSKB does not operate in Western Australia and we cannot directly advise you. We recommend that you contact your insurer for clarification and, if you need further information, suggest contacting the Western Australian Department of Commerce.

Liz On February 15, 2017 | Reply

Hello,

I am a tenant in QLD and am unable to get any clear answers from the complex manager about getting damage to my car repaired from body corp insurance, as the damage occured when my car was parked in my carport and had a large palm tree branch fall on it.
Am I able to put in a claim or do I leave it to the complex manager??

    SSKB On February 16, 2017 | Reply

    Hi Liz,

    Body corporate insurance does not generally cover damage to cars. Unfortunately, this would have to be claimed through your car insurance policy.

    Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

    – SSKB

Nick On March 3, 2017 | Reply

Hi, NSW Renter here.
I’ve just, (7 weeks), moved into a 2bed 1″garage” villa in a complex of 10. Being as I work 65+ hours a week, I haven’t had a lot of time to unpack boxes. The rental agent came for an inspection on Tuesday and decided that because there were boxes in the spare room and the garage, that constituted “Clutter” and I was in breach of my Tenancy and had 7 days to rectify the clutter or face termination.
Complicating matters is the fact that on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there has been heavy rain in Sydney. this resulted in my garage being flooded out, with water coming down 2 internal walls and under the door. Resulting in significant damage to both my possessions and the lot.

Long story short; Can I make a claim against Strata or Body Corporate insurance for replacement of lost property without being vengefully terminated by the Agent?

Tina On March 15, 2017 | Reply

Hi,
We have a unit in our block that has a dripping cold water tap in the kitchen. The tap is simply dripping into the kitchen sink. There is no water damage anywhere and this is not in any way affecting any other unit. The plumber has been out to investigate and has advised that changing the taps will not fix the problem. He advised that the part behind the wall that the taps screw into needs to be replaced. This part services the individual unit lot owners taps only. The plumber has described it as being located in the inner skin of the external wall. Can you please advise if this repair is the responsibility of the owner or body corporate. Thank you

    SSKB On March 23, 2017 | Reply

    Hi Tina,

    This will depend on if your scheme is governed by a Standard Format Plan (SFP) or Building Format Plan (BFP). If you are in a SFP scheme, the repairs are the owner’s responsibility. If you are in a BFP scheme, the responsibility can fall on to the body corporate however it depends on a number of factors, including what is on the other side of the wall and whether it is an internal or external wall. It’s hard to be able to comment on your specific situation without further detail but if you are able to raise this issue with your strata committee and/or strata manager, they should be able to advise you of how to proceed in this specific situation. Feel free to give us a call on (07) 5504 2000 if we can be of further assistance.

Michelle On March 21, 2017 | Reply

Hello, I live in a 24 unit 2-story townhouse in Glen Huntly, VIC. Which I purchased 6 months ago. Built in the 70’s they have flat sheet roofs which several plumbers have advised are not well designed and prone to flooding during sudden storms. As a result of yesterday’s heavy deluge storm water entered via a split membrane surrounding one of the skylights and caused damage to the ceilings and walls of both floors. The OC has advised that the roof is not common property and I am therefore responsible for all the repairs. I only have contents insurance as the OC fees pay for the building insurance. At the time of purchase, I was not advised that I would also need individual roof insurance and I am getting conflicting opinions from OC Committee Members. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said that you can’t claim against two building insurances so I am now more confused than ever. Would appreciate your advice.

    SSKB On March 23, 2017 | Reply

    Hi Michelle,

    In order for us to give advice on your situation, we would need further information regarding your insurance policy and the building’s plan of subdivision. Our Victorian Community Manager Holly would be more than happy to discuss this with you in further detail if you wish – she can be contacted at (03) 8641 6555.

    Kind regards,

    Jayde

Leah harris On March 31, 2017 | Reply

Hi. Our townhouse in Queensland (circa 80s) had water running down above the garage door. The plumber arranged by our agent said it was a leaking toilet tap upstairs and the flashing. The townhouses (20) in this complex are joined by 2s so the guttering spans both townhouses. Is some or all of this claimable via the body corporate? As far as I know it has already been fixed and I am awaiting the account. Thank you. Leah

    SSKB On May 18, 2017 | Reply

    Hello,

    Thank you for your query.

    As we do not have a copy of your insurance policy we are unfortunately unable to provide you with a definitive answer, but we would always recommend that you submit a claim to your Body Corporate/Insurance Brokers and let the Insurance Company make the decision.

Jim Abernethy On April 4, 2017 | Reply

Just visited this site as I was trying to understand the responsibility of owners vs body corporate in a situation where a Standard Format Plan (Town Houses) QLD exists. But in my case I am looking at the dual town houses which are joined by a common wall. That is the Town Houses are not free standing but share a common wall and roof with another Town House. The question relates to insurances. Should the body corporate be responsible for building insurance or should the BC ?

    SSKB On May 18, 2017 | Reply

    In QLD under the Standard Format Plan the body corporate must insure (for the full replacement value) each building that shares a wall with another building (known as a common wall).

Shannon On June 12, 2017 | Reply

Good morning

I own a unit in Qld and have just noticed the carpet is wet that backs onto the bathroom there is no visable leak so I’m assuming it’s leaking through the wall. Is this the responsibility of body corporate or me as the owner to fix?

    SSKB On June 13, 2017 | Reply

    The repairs to fix a leak are at the owners expense. The resultant damage caused by the leak may claimable against the body corporate insurance. We recommend that you engage a plumber to investigate and repair and, depending on the damage, decide whether to submit a claim.

    It is important to note that carpet is an exclusion on the BC policy and any damage to the carpet would be claimable through the contents insurance.

Jules On June 30, 2017 | Reply

Last year there was a leak on the carport roof. Body Corporate is not responsible for that so I had a handyman clog the leak and cover the roof with a light aluminin panel. Just today Body Cotporate has emailed me with a letter saying the pillar holding up the carport roof has partly fallen due to age and deteriation. Are they liable for the repair of the pillar?

Shelley On September 15, 2017 | Reply

Hi there, I would like to know if a Body Corps property has flooded my neighbouring property and they left it unfixed for sometime and my property just kept filling with water, what is there obligation to fix my damage?

    SSKB On September 19, 2017 | Reply

    Hello Shelley,
    The Body Corporate is required to repair and maintain common property. You should consider lodging a claim on your insurance policy for damage to your property. The Body Corporate should consider doing the same for repairs that may be required to common property. We recommend that you discuss this matter further with your Body Corporate Manager or Committee.

Brendan Murnane On January 24, 2018 | Reply

Hi
I would like to know if you live in a duel occupancy townhouse, sharing just one common wall and sharing common ground between the footpath to your respective garages (i.e drive way), is Body Corporate required.
Or is it sufficient that both owners of the dual occs have their own respective building and household insurances.
no common equipment at all.
So its the common wall between the dwelling and drive way at front of property.

    SSKB On February 5, 2018 | Reply

    Hello Brendan,
    If the building is registered with the QLD Department of Natural Resources as a Community Title Scheme (CTS) it is a Body Corporate. A CTS is a method of titling and subdividing land and/or buildings, such that multiple Lots are created according to a Community Management Statement (CMS). The CMS describes the number of Lots, By-Laws of the Scheme, any Exclusive Use allocated to a Lot, and the Regulation Module that applies to the Body Corporate. The Regulation Module will determine what insurance coverage the Body Corporate is required to provide. Once you know the Regulation Module, we recommend you seek professional advice from your insurance company/agent/broker, and familiarise yourself with the details of the insurance policy your Body Corporate has purchased – this can be obtained from your body corporate manager.

Stacey On February 28, 2018 | Reply

Hi, I am a townhouse owner in a body corporate in QLD in a cts scheme, we have water leaking from our ensure shower into our kitchen ceiling downstairs, it is apparently a common issue with our complex and how heard mixed feedback as to where it is covered by the body corporate , we have regrouted but it appears that WV waterproofing has failed, is this our responsibility or the body Corp, their building insurance or our contents?

    SSKB On March 8, 2018 | Reply

    Hello Stacey,
    It would appear that your issue is an owner responsibility.

    Here is the relevant information from the legislation:
    157 Duties of body corporate about common property—Act, 152 [SM, s 159]
    (c) the owner of the lot is responsible for maintaining the tray of a shower that services the lot, whether or not the tray forms part of the lot.

    Any resultant damage may be covered by insurance and would depend on what is damaged as to who’s insurance would cover it. If it is carpets and contents that is an owner responsibility. If it is walls it is the body corporate’s responsibility. Depending on the age of the building, you may wish to raise the issue with the builder.

Lina On May 15, 2018 | Reply

Who owns the building wall outside my courtyard and the seal from my window has come off and has created a lot of mould in the double glazed window and damp concrete floors.

    SSKB On June 20, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Lina,
    To provide a precise answer we would need to understand the plan under which your Lot is registered, ie a Building Format Plan (BFP) where, generally speaking, maintenance would be a Body Corporate responsibility, or a Standard Format Plan (SFP) where such an example would likely be the responsibility of the Lot Owner to repair.

Carole Bankier On June 11, 2018 | Reply

I am in an apartment complex 15 units and water has come down through apartment upstairs into mine below when there is heavy rain I have had my apartment looked at by a plumber and been told no water coming in from my apartment Is it now up to the owner above to sort the problem out and is it covered by body corp insurance

    SSKB On June 20, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Carole,
    Water damage may only be covered by a Body Corporate Insurer as an insurance claim once.

    Insurers will require proof that the cause of the leak has been rectified before any payout for damage caused. If the Body Corporate Committee will not, or have not, initiated any rectifications because the leak originates or originated from within a Lot to which they are unable to investigate, then we suggest that as an Owner your best approach may be to commence a dispute application with the neighbouring Lot Owner, seeking them to rectify the water issue. Before you commence such a formal dispute however, we suggest written correspondence as well as a verbal request is the approach which would probably achieve the best and more timely response. Only after this should you commence any formal dispute process which can take several months.

vesna stankovic On July 23, 2018 | Reply

Hi, i live in a strata unit in NSW and there is water leaking from a pipe in an interenal wall between (one above the other) two units. My unit has some water damage to the ceiling and the water is still leaking, this is an ongoing issue for the last 3 years. the unit above me has had some waterproofing done which stopped the leak for a while but it has started up again. Strata says that it is not their issue even though they have not sent out a licensed plumber to check, they want to send someone from the body corporate who is NOT plumber to assess the issue. Do i have to have him on my premises, and if this is an insurance issue what type of insurance do i need as i thought i was covered by strata insurance.

Thanks

    SSKB On July 25, 2018 | Reply

    Hello Vesna,
    This is a complex problem and without the full background, we are unable to provide specific advice. Our recommendation would be to seek Department of Fair Trading Assistance.

Natalie On October 3, 2018 | Reply

Hi, my unit in a NSW strata block has a leak in the ensuite. A plumber has told me the collar pan needs replacing. Is this my personal cost or will strata OC cover this repair?

    SSKB On October 4, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Natalie,
    As you within your unit are the only owner / resident to utilise this toilet, this is your responsibility to replace and not the Owners Corporation.

    We hope this answers your query.

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