As an investor and landlord when you own an apartment there are several types of insurance you can get to cover yourself and your property, including building and landlord insurance. Property experts suggest that people with a residential property investment should always take appropriate insurance cover to protect themselves in the event of accidental or malicious damage to the property, legal liability in the case of accidents or loss of rental income. Most banks and other financial institutions offer a range of these types of insurance options for landlords and apartment owners. The best idea when looking for insurance policies is to research and compare different policies in terms of their coverage and fees – some policies, for example, exclude flood or landslip coverage or do not include cover for external fences.
Another type of insurance, called strata insurance (or sometimes known as body corporate cover) is actually compulsory in most states in Australia. Strata insurance is generally required for residential apartment buildings and is managed by either the owners corporation or a licensed strata managing agent. The owners corporation is legally responsible for insuring the building and the common areas under strata title. As a part of the general building insurance that covers the apartments or as a separate insurance cost, strata insurance helps cover the owners of the building in the event of any legal liability claims.
Generally strata insurance is paid out of an owner’s quarterly strata fees, and the costs can vary depending on the type of policy selected as well as a number of other factors including:
- The location, age and overall condition of the building
- The type of construction
- Previous insurance claims made by the body corporate
- The extent of any commercial activities conducted in the building (for example, short term rental accommodation)
- The cost of maintaining the common areas and any facilities such as a swimming pool or a car park.
- The level of excess payment chosen by the owners corporation in the event of a claim
As well as an increase in building and landlord insurance sometimes strata insurance premiums can increase in price over time so investors need to be aware of the possibility and factor these costs into their financial plan.
Especially if you are a first time landlord, one of the best property investment strategies is to appoint a professional property manager to oversee your property, look after your tenants and ensure you are complying with the relevant obligations. They will be able to assist you with all aspects of the maintenance of your property including the types of insurance cover you should get as well as your requirements as an owner under strata rules and legislation. Ironfish offers a comprehensive property management solution for investors who want to enjoy the benefits of owning a residential property investment without having to worry about the complex world of strata management and responsibilities of being a full time landlord.