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Residential strata insurance – what you need to know before you purchase

If this is your first home or first time living in a strata property, you may not be aware that strata insurance is compulsory across Australia.

Strata insurance is different and quite separate to home and contents insurance in that it covers you for all things you share ownership in, not the items you personally own inside your home. One of the many shared responsibilities of living in a strata property, strata insurance covers the common property and infrastructure of the strata title you share with your neighbours – including:

  • driveways and carports,
  • lobbies and entrances,
  • gardens and storage areas,
  • the building’s walls, roofs, corridors and external windows.
  • nominated contents within the common area strata scheme such as gym equipment.

Not all strata insurance policies are the same

Before you purchase your strata insurance, it is important to assess the policy and make sure it is right for your unique property. When comparing policies, look beyond comparing the price – cheaper policies may not provide the right cover.  It is important to make sure you are comparing apples with apples when it comes to your strata insurance policies.

At Flex Insurance, we've made the process easier by ensuring that we cover the basic property and public liability coverage required in your state, and then allowing you to choose the extras that may be specific to your property, such as voluntary workers cover, fidelity guarantee, machinery breakdown, and office bearers' legal liability.

What to check when comparing strata insurance policies

When comparing Flex Insurance with other insurer’s products, there are several key differences you should consider and assess:

Does your strata policy provide cover for? Flex Insurance Other Insurers
Fire incidents in a strata property - Flex includes some additional peace of mind inclusions when it comes to temporary accommodation, where other insurers list these as exclusions. Yes No
Costs to prepare your claim – Flex includes provides up to $10,000 so you can ensure you have the right help when making a claim, other insurers do not include this at all. Yes No
Damage caused by tenants – with Flex, you can make more than one claim against the same tenant, whereas some of the other insurers only allow one claim against the same tenant in the insured period. Yes No
Capital additions and alterations – Flex covers some costs incurred during construction period for loss or damage to renovations caused by an event covered by the policy, where-as other insurers do not cover this. Yes No

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How to choose the right strata insurance for your property?

There are several strata insurance products available to strata residents, choosing the right one is a matter of understanding what you are covered for, how much you should be covered for and what is not covered by each of the policies in the market.

As strata insurance specialists, Flex Insurance offers a unique strata insurance policy that covers you for what you need and allows you to choose the optional inclusions that may be unique to your property. This ensures you are covered for exactly what you need and not paying for cover you don’t need.

Flex covers you for the most common strata insurance claims

When comparing Flex Insurance with other insurer’s products, there are several enhanced benefits that Flex provides that many other insurers do not. Here are a few scenarios where Flex insurance enhanced benefits will protect owners’ corporations:

  • Fire incidents in a strata property

    Scenario: If your strata property is severely damaged by fire and some (or all) units are uninhabitable, residents won’t be able to access the property until after an engineering and safety inspection and will need access to accommodation and storage for their belongings.

    Flex Insurance provides these benefits as part of our standard strata insurance policy: 

    • Temporary accommodation - lot owners who are unable to access their unit while waiting for the safety
    • inspection. Removal and storage of the rescued common area items up to $2,000.
    • Re-letting costs up to $1,500 to secure a new tenant if your current tenant decides to leave due to the fire damage
    • Cover for the costs of the fire extinguishing equipment, including replenishing firefighting appliances, replacing used sprinkler heads and resetting fire smoke and security alarm systems.

    Without this cover, owners must cover these costs out of their own pocket.  

  • Costs to prepare your claim

    Scenario: Claims come in all shapes and sizes. The process of submitting a claim can be timely and complicated depending on the nature of the claim sometimes requiring engineers, builders and other professionals to assess and repair the damage. This can become a costly process, but essential in ensuring you get the most out of the claim that you are entitled to.

     Your Flex Residential strata policy provides up to $10,000 to cover the fees and expenses associated with preparing a claim. Some policies may not cover this at all leaving Owners Corporations with a costly bill.

  • Malicious damage by tenants

    Scenario: If one or more of the homes within your strata property are leased to tenants, it is important to check that your policy covers you for any intentional or unintentional damage to the common property by a tenant or their guests. Examples of incidents that have occurred include:

    • Malicious damage to carpets and walls in the common hallway
    • Broken windows
    • Theft of gym equipment

    Unfortunately, it is often the case that one or more of these events may occur as a result of one event or from the same tenant, so it is important to check that you are able to claim on these types of repairs more than once during the insured period. 

  • Temporary accommodation where property can’t be accessed

    Scenario: In catastrophic events such as flood or major storms, damage to roads or road closures can prevent access to resident’s property. Residents may need require temporary accommodation until the road can be repaired and re-opened.

    With Flex Insurance, temporary accommodation up to $1,000 per week for one year is automatically included for lot owners who are unable to access their unit. It offers immediate peace of mind for all residents should the worst happen.

    Not all residential strata insurance policies are created equal, so it’s important to compare different policies carefully. Selecting the wrong type and level of cover could leave you exposed to several risks and unforeseen costs.

Not all residential strata insurance policies are created equal, so it’s important to compare different policies carefully. Selecting the wrong type and level of cover could leave you exposed to several risks and unforeseen costs.

Why Choose Flex Insurance

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Strata insurance specialists

As strata insurance specialists, Flex can help you find exactly the right cover for your strata property. You’ll always speak to a strata expert first time, every time.

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We’re flexible

We’re flexible to the unique needs of your property and the wishes of your committee and owners. We offer tailored insurance products, instead of a more risky, one-size-fits-all approach.

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Online at any time

You can purchase Flex insurance online any time, knowing we’ll offer you a competitive price, plus 24/7 access to get a quote or make a claim.

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