It is that time of the year again. The meeting minutes have been prepared, the ledger circulated, and owners are ready to cast their votes. If you are one of 270,000 plus strata schemes across Australia, you will be quite familiar with annual general meetings.
The discussion around improvements, the debate on urgent maintenance, and of course the scrutiny of costs. From the lift that keeps on breaking to the peeling front façade paint there is much to mull over. So, when it comes to essentials like strata insurance a little investigation goes a long way.
Perhaps you own a unit, and you are conducting a little personal research? Or maybe you are on the executive committee and exploring alternatives to present. Whether you are a unit or community title holder there is one thing you probably have in common. And that is the desire to keep levies low and value high.
While your strata management team are a great starting point, there is nothing wrong with considering other options. Much like assessments for a residential or commercial properties, strata insurance requires the same, if not greater, rigour.
The intricate nature of managing strata insurance policies is a mind field. Throw in complex legal frameworks and you may find that you need a little help. This is where strata insurance brokers come into play.
Much like general insurance brokers, strata insurance brokers are specialist wheelers and dealers in all things strata insurance. They act as intermediaries between clients and insurance companies, providing advice and facilitating coverage and claims based on individual client needs.
As a valuable component of an executive committee’s professional services arsenal nurturing a long-term relationship will pay off in spades. So, where does one find the most reputable strata insurance brokers in Canberra? Read on to find out more.
What makes a great strata insurance broker?
Great strata insurance brokers provide peace of mind to clients. They source and secure comprehensive policies that protect assets, while masterfully negotiating claims. Here are a few things that may help you evaluate potential strata insurance brokers:
- Qualified & experienced. As with all financial services qualifications and experience are key. All insurance brokers must hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and be either a Qualified Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB) or Certified Insurance Professional (CIP). Ideally, your broker should also be diploma qualified. Moreover, look for memberships with professional bodies, such as peak industry body the National Insurance Brokers Association.
- Local market presence. When evaluating a long list of potential contenders, local market knowledge and presence are an effective way to cull the list down. Canberra’s unique real estate market carries it’s own legislative backbone with regional specific building codes to match. Entrusting a valued strata property to anyone with less than impeccable local knowledge is risky. The same goes for claims management. A broker with a local presence is likely to be much more adept at handling claims, from knowing assessors through to trades they will have it covered.
- Specialised expertise. Due to the sheer size and scale of strata properties their insurance policies are inherently more complex. Without the right insider knowledge, assessing requirements and knowing which risks to insure can be difficult. A great strata insurance broker applies their specialised expertise to navigate their clients through this entire process. In doing so, they extract a firm understanding of each strata title and their unique requirements. They also provide advice on the appropriate level of cover to ensure protection. So, consider your strata property and look for a broker with experience in this area.
- Stellar claims management. When the time comes to call on a policy, the best strata insurance brokers will be your advocate. Having an experienced broker in your corner to negotiate through to the best possible outcome is a huge plus. In addition, the best strata insurance brokers are local, and can meet you in person and be on-site during claims meetings. Should escalation be required, they can handle this as well. Ensure you have a thorough understanding of the extent of claims management services offered.
- Tailored advice. When it comes to strata insurance, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach. The best strata insurance brokers know this well, providing professional advice that is tailored to the circumstances of clients. This should include things like providing multiple quotes from a variety of insurers, outlining the differences in each, as well as benefits on offer. Another important factor is their access to insurers and their products. Any one policy can have a multitude of variations dependent on the channel of purchase. So, look for a broker with buying power specific to your needs.
The best strata insurance brokers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
For comprehensive strata insurance options that mitigates risk look no further than allinsure. Since their establishment in 2007, the locally owned and operated allinsure have focussed on delivering superior client service and fostering strong, long-term relationships. Their client-first culture has propelled them to the forefront of the industry, gaining recognition on a national scale.
In the 2021 Insurance Business Awards, allinsure were the proud recipients of four category awards and three excellence awards; including Australian Brokerage of the Year and Broker of the Year awards. Director, Peter Chamberlain, was also featured in Insurance Business Magazines 2021 Hot List.
As a corporate authorised representative of Insurance Advisernet; one of Australia’s largest networks of independent insurance advisers; allinsure maintain their local ownership and presence, whilst leveraging buying power and product access.
allinsure’s extensive local market knowledge and industry expertise ensures the delivery of tailored strata solutions that safeguard assets and reduce risk. Should you be seeking an independent appraisal from your current strata agent the team at allinsure are best placed to assist. They will package ideal solutions, arrange surveys, provide risk management, and work hand in hand in the event of a claim.
In fact, their strata expertise helped to deliver over $35 million in property claims following the 2020 hailstorms. From damaged roofs, to cladding, facades, and air conditioning; the team coordinated and managed builders, assessors, certifiers, and consultants, to ensure repairs were swiftly completed to impeccable standards and with minimum impact to owners and tenants.
For insurance advice from one of the best teams in the business allinsure are pick of the list.
Warren Apps had this to say about allinsure on Google, “Smart, efficient and great people too!”
CMS Insurance Services have been delivering insurance solutions to Canberrans for over thirty years. With a fully accredited team of general insurance advisers their goal is to provide the best in service, advice, and protection.
With extensive local knowledge they provide customers with the assurance that their cover is appropriate for their needs. Their extensive suite of residential strata insurance products provides options for home units, townhouses, and villas. Be it strata, group, or body corporate insurance this team are a great choice.
Tim Zutaut shared this glowing review of CMS Insurance services on Google, “Great insurance wholesaler, friendly staff and quick service”.
With a brokerage history that spans four decades, the MGA Insurance Group have built an enviable reputation across Australia. Here in Canberra, their specialist commercial team offer body corporate insurance for strata and community title holders.
MGA Insurance Group believe claim outcomes are invariably tied to the quality of the products offered, subsequently placing emphasis on product selection. With access to products from all the leading insurers, they also boast exclusive in-house products for residential and commercial strata clients.
Braedan Kidd shared this wonderful review on Google, “The options and assistance provided to me has been unparalleled. I highly recommend the MGA Canberra team.”
While on the topic of insurance brokers, you might also like our articles on the best insurance brokers, the best business insurance brokers, the best construction and trades insurance brokers and the best workers compensation insurance brokers in Canberra.
For strata management services see our articles on the best strata managers and the best property managers. Moreover, our articles on the best building managers and the best facilities managers may also be of interest.
Your experience with strata insurance brokers in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the strata insurance brokers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is strata insurance?
Strata insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to meet the needs of residential strata, group or community title, body corporates, and owner corporations. Strata insurance typically covers the building and common areas as defined by the lot or complex title.
What does strata insurance cover?
Strata insurance typically covers the building and other common property components as defined by each properties title. This may include building fixtures such as pipes and hot water systems, along with intercom and air conditioning systems. It may also include internal common property such as lobbies, lifts, and stairwells, and car parking facilities. Furthermore, it can include external common property such as gardens, pools, gym equipment, and outdoor furniture. Finally, it may include public liability insurance across the common property itself. Keep in mind that strata laws differ by state, so always check for ACT specific inclusions for clarification.
What is generally excluded from strata insurance cover?
Strata insurance generally only covers common or shared property. This means that anything inside your property or not permanently attached to the building are excluded from policy. Generally, excluded items are things like internal fixtures and fittings, electrical items, lights, carpets, floorboards, and other personal items. The policy may also list certain exclusions such as flood damage so be sure to check to understand your rights. If you are renting out your property bear in mind that strata insurance tends not to cover damage or theft caused by tenants or loss of rent.
Who is responsible for strata insurance?
The owner’s corporation is generally responsible for strata insurance. It is shared responsibility of property title owners, and payment is typically included as a component of strata levies.
What factors contribute to strata insurance premiums?
While each strata insurer develops products to suit, there are some common factors that contribute to insurance premiums. This includes legislative factors such as mandatory requirements of state-based law and government taxes. It also includes the age and condition of the building, common assets costs, replacement costs, and the risk profile of its location. Add to this the claims history of the building, its vulnerability to an insured event, along with excesses and agent fees or commission.