Strata Insurance: Key Facts and Questions
When you think insurance, you might not think passion.
At Honan we are committed to managing complex strata issues with confidence.
An insulated wall panel that combines exterior cladding with insulation, Greenboard™ is lauded for its lightness in weight, affordability and high versatility in application. This eco-cladding solution is often utilised by designers to achieve the 6-star energy ratings that have been introduced into the building code.
Lot owners need to be aware that rendered expanded polystyrene (rendered EPS) products come with the following cost implications for insurance premiums:
- Due to insurers’ experience with expanded polystyrene (EPS) fires, rendered EPS is rated as an inferior combustible material. Similarly, while Greenboard™ contains EPS flame-retardant resin, it is still rated as a lightweight combustible material by insurers and therefore attracts additional premium.
- Not all Strata Insurers are willing to provide terms for Greenboard products. Fewer Insurers means less competition, which in turn means a higher premium.
- Strata developments with a high percentage of Greenboard™ incur significantly higher insurance premiums for life, with a limited market competing for concrete rendered EPS. In some instances, we are seeing a 50% loading to insurance premiums compared to alternate products such as Hebel concrete.
These higher insurance premiums are typically passed on by developers via higher Body Corporate levies. This becomes increasingly so for developers holding on to stock in the rental pool.
For more information about different cladding options that may reduce insurance premiums, please reach out to Rebecca Crowther – Client Executive, Property.
It’s common for lot owners to volunteer as members on Strata Committees without knowing this personally exposes them to risk. Office Bearers can become personally liable for any wrongful acts or inaction resulting in financial loss to others while acting on behalf of a Strata Scheme. Available as part of Strata insurance, read our Office Bearers Liability insurance 101 to understand more about this type of policy how it can help you minimise personal exposure.
In Strata, water damage can arise from a range of circumstances, whether it be storms, leaking pipes, drains or roofing issues. This means that water damage needs to be assessed on a case by case basis to decide responsibility and then repairs.
This can be complicated and cause a range of ongoing issues.
At Honan, we work with our clients to manage their water damage claims in an efficient and knowledgeable manner. For more information you can contact your local Honan office.
All properties incur fees such as contractor building maintenance, insurance, council rates and utility bills. When you purchase a Strata property the Strata Manager will manage the administration of your common property, and ensure you are meeting Strata regulatory requirements.
Your Strata levy is used to pay the bills, cover ongoing maintenance and upkeep of common property within the complex.
The word ‘Strata’ comes from ‘Stratum’ which refers to a series of layers of rocks in the ground. Today strata schemes refer to multi-layered apartment living. The concept of Strata schemes originated in Australia and was introduced legally in 1961. This terminology is now used globally.
Strata title allows individual ownership of part of a property (called a ‘lot’) which is combined with shared ownership in the remainder (called ‘common property’).
Developments can include:
- Residential strata
- Commercial strata
- Retail strata
- Mixed use strata
- Serviced apartments
- Retirement villages
- Caravan parks
There are a number of contributing factors to strata insurance premiums. These can include factors such as:
- Combustible cladding
- Emergency Services Levy
- Claims history
- Building age
- Building condition
- Building replacement cost
As the insurance market started to harden in 2018, we have seen a slow rise in premiums due to changed underwriting guidelines, increasing reinsurance costs and rising loss ratios. Our market wheel below shows where we are currently placed.
Honan Insurance Group is a national strata insurance broker.
We are a supporter of the Strata Community Association (SCA) both nationally and at state levels.