The recent heavy rain and flooding throughout South East Queensland is likely to have a significant long term impact on building insurance. The large number of claims resulting from the recent weather events will almost certainly have an effect on insurance premiums, with increases anticipated to be up to 20% of the previous years premium. Insurers are now placing additional restrictions on both new policies and renewal of existing policies where a building was affected by flooding.
Insurers initially placed an embargo on quoting for any new policies immediately following the adverse weather event at the end of February 2022 and, while many have now lifted the embargo in most locations, insurers are now requiring Bodies Corporate to advise if they have suffered any damage during the recent adverse weather events and the potential estimated cost of damages, even if a claim has not yet been made against the insurance policy.
In many cases, insurance policies for Bodies Corporate have already been impacted based on previous weather events. These impacts as well as the increase in insurance costs that are in place throughout South East Queensland are inevitable, however, there are somethings you can do as a Body Corporate and an individual Lot Owner to try to keep the cost of future premiums down:
- Carry out regular roof inspections and maintenance
As Strata Managers, we all too often see water ingress claims resulting from roof leaks. By carrying out annual roof inspections and actioning any maintenance items before they result in damage this will reduce the likelihood of a needing to lodge a claim for resultant damage.
2. Regularly check hot water systems, flexi hoses and toilet cisterns
Burst hot water systems and flexi hoses or leaking toilet cisterns can cause significant damage to units, especially if the water flows down several floors and/or into several units. Regular instances of insurance claims from these items can also result in higher excesses or restrictions being placed on your insurance policy. Owners should regularly have their hot water systems, flexi hoses and other plumbing checked regularly and replace any items that are showing signs of wear and tear.
3. Have your switchboard checked every two years
By having your switchboard checked regularly this can identify any potential wear and tear of the switchboard and reduce the likelihood of fire and/or electrical damage.
4. Ensure that you have suitable individual insurance cover
While the Body Corporate insurance covers buildings that are registered under a building format plan, or buildings that have joint walls, items such as carpets and air conditioners will need to be covered under Lot Owners individual insurance policies. It is recommended that owners seek independent advice from their insurance broker as to what insurance cover is required in your individual circumstances
5. Ensure that someone close by is able to provide emergency access to your unit
Being able to quickly attend to an emergency event within a unit can significantly reduce the amount of damage caused. If you do not reside in your Unit and do not live close by it is recommended that a key is left with someone you trust who can provide access in an emergency.
Do you need support completing the above checks of your property? Hartley’s Maintenance Supervisory Services is here to help, contact us for a proposal today!
More information regarding insurance in Bodies Corporate can be found here.