Insurance is a complex institution. However, at its core, insurance is meant to protect from financial loss. Consequently, insurance is a necessity in life. Strata describes the property ownership model where an individual possesses a piece of property within a greater development while sharing common ownership of common areas with other owners. Being part of a strata does not eliminate the need for insurance cover. It is still crucial to have a viable safety net for the development.
When strata and insurance are combined, complications can occur. There are insurance policies to cover the strata as a whole, yet others still cover owners individually. To put it in perspective, think about car insurance. There are four types of car insurance in Australia: Comprehensive, Third Party Property Damage, Third Party Fire and Theft and Compulsory Third Party. Each class provides different levels of coverage at different prices. If one were to get into a car accident, a comprehensive policy would cover both the owner’s vehicle and the third-party’s vehicle and property. In the same scenario, a third party policy, on the other hand, would only cover the third party’s vehicle. However, neither policy would cover any medical bills incurred as a result of the accident.
In the same way, strata insurance policies provide different protections at widely ranging levels with multiple specifics. If a strata owner were to be lax about certifying that they are adequately covered, they would be underinsured. In worst-case scenarios, a less vigilant owner would even lack crucial coverage.
Below are some of the principal strata insurance types. It is imperative to understand where the differences lie between policies covering the strata and those that cover the owner individually.
Residential Strata Building Insurance
Residential Strata Building Insurance is a general policy that covers all common property and areas. The contents of the common areas also fall into this category. The building as a whole is insured through residential strata building insurance. It is best to go first and foremost with those things considered as shared by the strata to determine specific areas and contents which fall within coverage parameters.
Landlords insurance caters to owners who are part of the strata but let their properties to tenants. It protects owners from financial repercussions of damage done to their property by tenants while they are living there. Aside from covering the structure as a whole, be it an apartment, house or villa, landlords insurance protects any possessions belonging to the owner against malicious and accidental damage. They include household fittings like carpets, wall fixtures, appliances, curtains or blinds.
In addition to the tangible, landlords insurance covers intangible losses, for example, those incurred when a tenant is unwilling or unable to pay their rent.
Like landlords insurance mentioned above, contents insurance covers individual owners. The main difference, in this case, is that the owner occupies their property rather than offering it up for rental purposes. Contents insurance covers a myriad of belongings, both personal and those meant for the household, including:
- Light Fixtures
- Carpets and floor covering
- And many more
Different providers have different scopes for the extent to which they will cover the contents of your home. You are advised to check your company’s policy to understand better the level of coverage offered.
The importance of strata and other related insurance cannot be overstated. You should examine your insurance needs then meet them to avoid having regrets later when you have to deal with circumstances you could not foresee. After all, they say it is better to have and not need than to need and not have.