Understanding who is responsible
Owners and tenants, and even landlords, often believe their personal contents are covered by their strata insurance policy, but they are not.
It is important to understand the three types of insurance for strata owners, tenants, and landlords, so you can choose the cover that best meets your needs.
- Residential Strata building insurance – protects the building, common areas and common property.
- Personal contents insurance – protects owners’/tenants’ personal belongings.
- Landlord’s insurance – protects items left in a property for the use of tenants.
Residential strata building insurance
It is mandatory to have strata insurance for both residential and commercial strata properties in every Australian state and territory, although the laws do differ slightly.
Strata insurance covers the building, common property, and common area contents in a strata complex. It could also include cover for members of the Owners’ Corporation or volunteers working on-site on behalf of strata.
The cost of premiums is shared between the lot owners and is usually included in the quarterly strata fees and levies. Here is an example of what the CHU Residential Strata Insurance Plan covers.
Individual lots and common property
- Bathroom fixtures and fittings
- Fixed tiling and flooring
- Ducted air conditioners
- Windows and doors
- Built-in cupboards
Common area contents
- Temporary wall, floor and ceiling coverings within hallways and lobbies.
- Decorative items like pot plants and mirrors.
- Appliances such as washing machines and dryers owned by the Owners Corporation and used by unit owners in common laundries.
- Shared barbeque equipment, gardening equipment and garden or indoor furniture.
While a strata scheme’s residential strata building insurance protects the building you live in, it is your responsibility to protect personal items like clothing, phones, jewellery, furniture, and electrical appliances.
Contents insurance covers the financial cost of repairing or replacing your possessions if they are lost or damaged. You can often choose to include cover for your portable items like phones, bikes, or cameras when you are away from home too.
Here is an example of what CHU Contents Insurance for Strata covers.
- Personal equipment and valuables like jewellery and watches.
- Entertainment equipment like TVs and mobile phones.
- Appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers.
- Light fittings.
- Curtains and blinds.
Landlord’s insurance protects those who rent out their property against accidental damage, theft, burglary, or malicious damage caused by tenants and guests.
CHU Landlord’s Insurance for Strata provides cover for items that a landlord leaves in the property for the use of tenants. This might include carpets/flooring, light fittings, curtains, and blinds, and washing machines and dryers. Cover can also include benefits such as loss of rent if the tenant defaults, leaves unexpectedly or if the property becomes unfit to be occupied.
Consider your insurance needs carefully
Although the building you live in is protected by your strata scheme’s residential building insurance, this does not extend to anything that belongs to you inside your individual lot.
By understanding the different types of insurance policies and knowing who is responsible for maintaining adequate insurance cover, you can make informed decisions about how to ensure your home and your personal belongings are fully protected. Simply put, common property is any real property (land and fixtures) within a strata scheme that is not part of a lot.