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Insurance Repairs and Responsibilities

Insurance is an essential part of protecting your strata property against the cost of insurable events which would otherwise be a significant unplanned expense. It is also important to act quickly with arranging repairs to prevent further unnecessary resultant damage and to keep the property at its required standard

The Body Corporate is responsible in most cases to place insurance to protect the building structure and associated common property while the owner is responsible for insuring contents and liability within their lot.

The difference in insurance and maintenance responsibilities can often be confusing due to the cross over between the Body Corporate policy insuring the building which includes fixtures such as kitchen bench tops and internal walls which the owner is responsible to maintain. Likewise, the owner will be responsible for maintaining a sliding door leading onto a balcony as it is within the lot boundary however as the door is deemed to be part of the building structure for insurance purposes, the Body Corporate policy insures this element.

When it comes time to pay the policy excess, if the insurable event only affects one lot owner then the body corporate can impose any excess onto that lot owner, regardless of the cause of the insured damage. If an insurable event affects more than one lot owner then the body corporate is responsible for the policy excess. It is also the responsibility of the Body Corporate to engage contractors to complete insurance repairs for the property it is responsible to maintain and the owner in instances of property they are responsible, regardless of the policy held in the name of the Body Corporate. This is also for practicality reasons as the Body Corporate may not have access to the lot to allow entry, supervision or inspection upon completion of work performed within the lot.

Below we have provided tips on how to identify who is responsible for insurance repairs:

•Check your survey plan to determine the lot boundary

•Determine who is responsible to place insurance for the area – Body Corporate or Owners Contents

•Determine who is responsible to maintain the area – Body Corporate or Owner

•Responsible person to lodge claim with appropriate policy

•Excess to be paid by the either the Body Corporate or Owner depending on who the insurable damage has affected

•Repairs to be arranged by the either the Body Corporate or Owner also depending on maintenance responsibility

•Act quickly to reduce the likelihood of further damage occurring or delays with claim approval


This article was contributed by Grant Mifsud – Partner, Archers the Strata Professionals


Leave a Reply

  1. Ben Keech

    What happens when a Body Corporate engage a insurance repair contractor and this contractor fails to carry out work/s as per the scope of repair works ?

    The committee are then advised and dont wish to engage an alternative contractor to rectify the original contractors work .

    Claim on the Body Corporate committee professional indemnity insurance ?

  2. Craig Philips

    Should this situation arise, we liaise with the insurer and, or assessor, if an assessor has been engaged by the insurer. The assessor or insurer would then liaise with the client to ascertain the specifics of their grievance and would then convey same to the contractor to rectify. The contractor does have the first rights to rectify any faulty workmanship or unfinished work. If there is still an issue the insurer or assessor would then engage an alternate contractor to quote on rectifying the issue. The insurer would then pursue recovery against the initial contractor for any additional expenses to rectify the issues.

  3. Jeffrey Newman

    I have a querie about who is responsible for the insurance damage on a entrance door from a common way of a building in to my unit that was damaged by persons unknown. Would it be my responsibility or the body corporates insurance that should pay for the repairs.

  4. Craig Phillips

    As the damaged component is a permanent fixture, the body corporate insurance will respond. As to who lodges the claim, that is a matter between the unit owner and the body corporate. For a claim to be considered, the insurer will require a completed claim form, quote/invoice, and an image depicting the extent of damage.
    I hope this has assisted with your inquiry

  5. Gary Penrose

    I recently had flooding occur during heavy rain. The water backed up in the outside drain and came back inside the wall cavity and caused flooding to the main bedroom. This resulted in the removal of the ruined carpet and repairs.
    My Body Corporate is refusing to accept responsibility stating that it was an internal incident!
    I had an inspection of the roof and guttering done earlier and it was stated that the guttering and down pipes were insufficient to remove the water in a heavy rain event! This was done by Queensland Building Inspections and their recommendations were forwarded to the Body Corporate but to date nothing as been done!