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Strata v Non Strata Insurance

Posted by Tony Christian on 29 June 2017
There are significant differences in building cover and contents cover between strata and non-strata homes. Find out what you need to know with our no-nonsense guide. Most people would agree it's smart to be insured in the event that your home or belongings are damaged or destroyed. But did you know that cover for strata properties can differ to that offered for non-strata homes? We highlight some differences between the two here in this simple guide. (Note we have used CommInsure's home insurance as an example in this article. Check your insurance provider for the specific details of your policy.) Building insurance versus strata insurance Building insurance typically covers the domestic residence and permanent structures like garages and granny flats. However, with strata buildings the body corporate is required by law to hold residential strata insurance, and this generally covers common or shared property under the management of a strata title. Strata insurance usually includes cover for common areas such as gardens, lifts, walls, windows, pools, ceiling and floors. Strata insurance also includes liability cover for injury to people on common property. You should check what is covered under your strata policy. Items that may not be covered under your strata insurance include any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, like putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, built in wardrobes etc. To make sure you know where you stand, check with your strata management to understand what you're covered for. If there are gaps in cover, you may need to look to your Contents cover under your Home Insurance policy to cover it. For a non-strata home, tell your insurer about any renovations that increase the value of your home, such as extensions or loft conversions. These could increase the value of your home and rebuild costs, so you may need to increase your building insurance to ensure you're covered. Contents insurance versus strata insurance Items that form part of a contents cover for non-strata homes also form part of contents cover for strata-titled properties. However there are some additional areas i.e. any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, like putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, built in wardrobes etc that you may also need to factor into your Contents cover under your Home Insurance policy. Contents cover non-strata home Contents cover strata Everything you'd expect to have to cover in a freestanding building, plus the following items, if they're not included in your strata building's cover: Additional built-in wardrobes Light fittings Other fixtures and fittings Any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, such as replacement windows or an enclosed balcony. Note that like-for-like replacement shouldn't impact any existing strata cover Curtains Carpets Furniture Clothing Electronic equipment Hanging pictures and mirrors Whitegoods Jewellery Wall-mounted air conditioning Do you have the right cover? It's also worth checking your contents cover to ensure you have adequate cover for your belongings as well as those things that strata insurance does not protect. When comparing cover, find out if there are any additional benefits or limitations that will impact your situation. For example, some policies provide for up to an additional 25% on top of the sum insured, in the event of a total loss. This can help enormously if you find yourself under-insured when you are making a claim.
Author: Tony Christian
Tags: Insurance Commercial Insurance

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