Owners of apartments in Brisbane – yes, you do need your own insurance!
Are you insured if a guest slips on your wet bathroom floor this weekend? A common claim against property owners is when someone falls through a glass shower screen. Try Googling “slip and fall claim” and see how many lawyers are ready to assist them in suing you.
“But the body corporate covers all the insurance… doesn’t it?
Many investor owners think they don’t need coverage because they don’t have any contents or furnishings – but this isn’t the case. We often speak to Brisbane apartment owners, some who’ve owned their properties for years, who are blissfully unaware of the risks they face.
To be crystal clear: Apartment owners generally do not have cover from their body corp for incidents inside their apartment. This includes owner-residents and landlords.
Peter Lynch of AON Risk Services says apart from insuring their physical contents apartment owners need liability cover. “This provides bodily injury coverage, since as the unit owner you may be responsible for anyone who is injured inside of your unit, even your tenant.”
In one well-publicised claim a child sued his friend’s parents when he fell from a bunk bed, the court awarding him $853,000 for his injuries . It goes without saying that the number of lawsuits is on the rise. And the size of the claims can be enough to bankrupt most property owners.
Peter Lynch also points out that your own insurance is needed for a number of common issues that the body corp won’t cover. “It also provides property damage coverage. If a loss originates from within your unit, you may be responsible for your neighbours’ personal property damage. The liability coverage is included in your Landlords contents cover.”
Real estate agents get very little training in body corp law so it’s no surprise very few apartment buyers are given a ‘heads up’ on what they might need. Many, many apartment owners are left to think they don’t need any insurance, especially if the place is rented without furnishings.
The cost of this sort of insurance for your apartment? Usually around $5 per week, and tax deductable for landlords.
Note: we’re great real estate agents if you’d like to sell or rent your property, but not qualified to advise you on your insurance or financial needs. Please talk to the experts.