Even considering an insurance policy is enough to give most people a headache – let alone handling insurance for a multi-storey apartment block. In Queensland, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act requires the body corporate to insure common property, body corporate assets, public risk and every building which contains an owner’s lot (i.e. an apartment or a unit).
The body corporate’s responsibility when insuring a building depends on how the community titles scheme is registered. If registered as a Building Format Plan (for example, a multi-storey block of residential units), the body corporate must hold insurance for the full replacement value of each building which contains a lot. If registered as a Standard Format Plan (mainly schemes which are low-rise developments), such as a townhouse complex, the body corporate must insure each building to its full replacement value where a building on one lot has a common wall with a building on an adjoining lot. If there are no common walls and the structure is free standing, the lot owner is responsible for building insurance.
The body corporate building insurance will cover the full replacement value of the building structure including improvements and fixtures. The things which should be covered by the body corporate building insurance under Queensland legislation include:
- Toilets, baths, basins
- Cook tops
- Ducted air conditioners (but not mobile or fixed air conditioners which service a particular lot)
- Bench tops
- Built in cupboards
- Windows and doors
- Fixed tiling
Unit owners are responsible for all items from the interior paint inwards (minus fixtures and improvements as listed above) as your body corporate will not insure these items:
- Light fittings
- Mobile/fixed air conditioners
- Curtains and blinds
- House hold appliances e.g. dishwashers
- Valuables and personal equipment
If an owner has a tenanted unit, it is a good idea to take out a form of landlord’s insurance. This insurance will cover the items owners are responsible for which are not covered by the body corporate’s policy (such as carpets, light fittings, dishwashers, air conditioners), and also usually items such as accidental damage, malicious damage, and loss of rent.
It is encouraged insure contents owned by lot owners within the unit, including:
- TVs, computers, DVD players
- Sports equipment
Body corporate insurance can vary greatly depending upon the requirements of the property. While SSKB has provided some basic guidelines, we would recommend seeking the advice from professional insurance providers to cater for the needs of your property.