Insurance for Bodies Corporate can be quite confusing. The following is a brief outline and further information can be obtained from the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management website.
What must the Body Corporate Insure?
The type of survey plan registered for the building affects the Body Corporate’s responsibility to insure a building. The common categories of plans registered as Community Titles Schemes are:
Building Format Plan (BFP): A building format plan is a form of subdivision that normally occurs within a building. An example of a Scheme that is established as a BFP is a multi-storey block of residential units.
A scheme registered under a Building Format Plan requires the Body Corporate to organise appropriate Building cover and Public Liability (common property only) cover for the whole Scheme. Further details of what is covered by Building cover is set out below.
Standard Format Plan (SFP): A Standard Format of subdivision plan defines land with references to marks on the ground or a structural element (for example, survey pegs in the ground). An example of a Scheme that is established as a SFP includes a townhouse complex where on each lot is a building and a backyard or courtyard.
In most cases, Owners of a Lot in a Scheme registered under a Standard Format Plan will be required to organise their own Building and Public Liability insurance for their respective Lot. The Body Corporate is only required to ensure Building and Public Liability insurance is in place for the common areas.
If you are not sure what plan your scheme is registered under and if you need to organise your own building and public liability insurance for your Lot please contact our office for further assistance.
What is covered?
- Public liability of common areas
- Common property and Body Corporate assets (eg pool and fence); and
- Buildings in which Lots (units) are located
In summary, the Building section of the policy covers the building structure, including both external and internal permanent fixtures (e.g. awnings, pergolas, built in wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, solar panels etc.). The damage must be caused as a result of a defined act or event.
A ‘defined act’ is usually an accidental or malicious event, storm or water damage or electrical fusion (i.e. motor burn out).
Please note: policies are not issued to cover damage resulting from gradual deterioration. Gradual deterioration and wear & tear are maintenance matters and should be attended to as such.
How do I make a claim against my Body Corporate’s insurance policy?
If your unit has sustained damage as defined above and you wish to claim it against the Body Corporate’s insurance, then click here and complete the Insurance Claim Information Form. Follow the instructions on the form and when completed submit it with a copy of your paid invoice or quotes to rectify the damage to our office. A claim will then be lodged with the Body Corporate’s insurer for processing. It is advisable not to undertake rectification of resultant damage prior to lodging a claim as the insurer reserves the right to inspect damage. If the repairs have been completed without the insurer having the opportunity to view the damage, then the claim may be voided.
If the incident/event needs immediate action, we will contact the insurer and request that they appoint an insurance assessor to assist with making safe and assisting with the claim.
What insurance do Owners need to have for their units?
Owners need to organise their own Contents cover and/or Landlords cover for items that are not covered by the Body Corporate’s policy. These include (but are not limited to) floor coverings, light fittings, curtains, air conditioners and public liability for inside their units.
If your Scheme is registered under a Standard Format Plan you may need to also organise your own building cover for your unit. If you are not sure please contact our office.
Owners should speak to their Insurance Broker to determine exactly what coverage they require.
If you have any further questions or you wish to lodge an insurance claim please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can you find more information about the insurance held by your Body Corporate?
Details of the insurance policy for your Body Corporate can be obtained from the Owners Portal – click here to learn more about the Owners Portal.