All you need to know

To save on strata insurance

We’re bringing a fairer approach to Strata Insurance for Body Corporates and unit, apartment and townhouse owners. One that looks for ways to reduce your premium, rather than finding reasons to penalise you.

What is

Strata insurance?

Residential Strata insurance is a special kind of insurance required for units, apartments and townhouses. Whereas Home insurance covers damage to a freestanding home, Strata Insurance covers the building and common property for events like cyclone, storms, flood, fires and public liability.

Strata Insurance is organised by the Body Corporate Committee and paid for by each and every lot owner. To find out more about Strata Insurance and how you could save money in the process, watch the short video alongside.

Sure insures residential strata properties up to a maximum of $5m for building and common contents in total.

How sure work harder

to save you on strata

  • We work harder to understand the history of your apartment block, townhouse or units.
  • We use JCU Inspection Reports to determine your property’s cyclone risk and potentially lower your premium.
  • We ask for further details about the maintenance and management of the property if we think they may help you save.

Ready to get a fairer deal on Strata Insurance?

You don’t need to wait until renewal time.

If you’re on the body Corporate Committee:

  • Get advice from an Authorised Broker and a quote from Sure.
  • Recent legislative changes mean that you are actually required to get 2 quotes.
  • Sure may ask for further details about the complex if we feel it could help you save.
  • We don’t deal directly with Body Corporates, so contact our Authorised Brokers

If you’re an owner in the complex:

  • Head along to the next Body Corporate Committee meeting.
  • Ask about the current Strata Insurance cover and ask that they get a 2nd quote from Sure.
  • It’s no extra work for the Committee — their Broker will do all that.
  • If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, contact our Authorised Brokers

Ready to save? IT’s EASY!

Submit your info below TO START A QUOTE,

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Hear from sure strata customers and brokers

Somerville Condo

Who would have thought that removing some palms on a neighbouring block would lead to big savings on strata insurance? John & Stephen write to Sure to explain.

Read more

Beachfront Apartments

Diana shared a simple comment on Facebook that didn’t sound right to Sure. Further discussions uncover several savings added to the original quote for Body Corporate to consider.

Read more

Somerville Condo

As members of the Body Corporate Committee for a block of 11 condo units in Cairns, John and Stephen wrote to Sure Insurance to tell us about their experience organising Residential Strata Insurance for this property. Here’s what they had to say:

“Personally I owned and operated a number of blocks of flats here in Cairns over the years and found Sean at Lords Insurance was always fair and patient and pleasant to deal with.

So when I became an owner of a Body Corp property as an owner/resident, I felt the costs of the Body Corp and quickly got involved with the committee.

As a consequence of joining the committee, we have been desperately looking for ways to save our owners. Naturally, we want to improve our costs as rising Body Corporate costs spoil the resale values of our properties and kill the returns for investors.

We obtained cover for this property with Lords and were insured in the 2018-19 year with Resilium; the cost was around $12,000 and we were very happy with their service.

 However, we were shocked when we received the news that for the year 2019-20, only three or four companies would actually quote us and Resilium was now no longer interested in even quoting. All this was explained by the heavy losses to insurers in the Townsville event.

We worked with Lords and discovered one of the four insurers would not even quote it due to a trivial claim made by our Body Corporate manager. The other three insurers gave price indications that were eye-watering and way out of our reach.

Our broker had some discussions with SURE Insurance and I guess he persuaded them to at least quote, as I think we manage this property as well as we can.

I should explain the price indications I use here are our costs, and I assume they include ‘commissions/margins” for our broker, Lords.

Our first indicative price from our broker was over $32,000 – but in the interest of providing the best outcome for us – Sure Insurance asked our broker to provide further information about maintenance and resilience. We learned that if the property is well maintained and if we make some effort, Sure was happy to find ways to reduce the premium. This showed that this insurance company was a bit different to the others – and we were very happy to listen carefully to their ideas.

We provided our latest “Fire/Building and Pool safety” report and as it was good, they gave us a nice discount on the original quote.

Lords explained that further savings could be made if we completed a free JCU Cyclone Resilience Report. The building inspector, arranged by JCU, came and did a very thorough examination of the complex including the roof cavity. The report showed that we were in pretty good shape to withstand the effects of a cyclone – the report was sent via Lords to SURE.

However, there was one issue mentioned; some 8-12 very large palms in the neighbouring Strata Block that were seen as a risk and suggested as a possible issue. Luckily for us, when we contacted the Committee for the neighbouring block, we were able to show them that it would be most beneficial for them (and us) if these trees were removed as this would reduce the burden on the garden maintenance costs. Removal was going to be a big job, luckily the committee on this neighbouring property were also worried about them, and I suppose our efforts moved them to understand their own insurance costs this year. They agreed to arrange for the removal and we sent photos of the removal process and sent the pictures to Sure Insurance via Lords Insurance. Within a day or so, we were granted a further discount on our policy cost. This was great and showed that they would help us if we helped them manage the risk.

We were also worried about a cause in the new policy that referred to the leaking of water. This was explained as leaking from flexible hoses in each of the units. We were told that if we arranged a ‘plumbing audit’ that showed all hoses connected to the likes of washing machines and dishwashers were new or in good order, we could expect savings and this would reduce the EXCESS on this item greatly. It was a bit of a chore to arrange all the residents to make these inspections possible – however, we did it and a few days later we had a further reduction. At the end with a little effort, we saved over $10,000 of our policy costs and reduced the excess on this water leaking issue.

Our Lords Insurance broker had told us Sure Insurance is different and that they look for ways to save. It is great to have a new insurer entering the market – one with a fresh perspective who will try to give their customers a fair go!

Beachfront Apartments

In June, Sure posted a simple Facebook quote from Diana, a Sure Strata Customer which summed up many of our customer compliments we receive for both home & strata insurance, “Thank you for bringing affordable insurance to the North. I am extremely grateful.”

The post received a number of comments, as you do with Facebook, referrals to friends, good comments, silly comments and of course some negative comments. Some are simply untrue and don’t warrant a response, but on this occasion, Carol from Bowen added: “Definitely not the experience of the Body Corporate we manage”.

Going on to say, “just adding we have had a $7,000 increase on the last years premium, as well as an excess of $24,000 for cyclone damage, plus an extra $1,000 making it $2,000 for any claim. Call that keeping things affordable, I don’t think so. We’ve yet to see if what the Gov. are proposing will make any difference.”

Adding, “That is with Sure insurance and strata insurance being compulsory and no other insurance company available in Nth QLD they have you where they want you. All I can say is brace yourself for the shock.”

Given that majority of our renewals have in fact gone down in price, we were somewhat confused by the comment, and definitely not the experience we want Sure Customers to have. I asked Carol to contact me to discuss, which she did.

We quickly established that Sure had not put their premium up, rather as a result of their previous insurer exiting the market, the premium for New Business was around $20,000 compared to $13,000 with the other insurer. Even though it wasn’t a Sure increase, this didn’t help Carol and her lot owners.

We pulled up her file and started to look into what was driving the premium up. Starting at Cyclone mitigation, based on her comment of the high cyclone excess.

The first thing that stuck me was the year of construction looked wrong. It was written down as 1983 but looked a lot newer. Year of construction is important to insurers based on the various building codes and standards, particularly with Cyclone standards of roofs.

We corrected that and the premium reduced. We then discussed the pitch and condition of the roof. It was noted as a flat roof, where in fact it was a low pitch roof, again a cyclone and storm premium factor.

The roof had also been damaged back in 2017 with Cyclone Debbie and a large proportion of the roof was affected. Now some people may think that is a bad thing for insurers and will drive up premium, Sure views this differently. We talked through the extent of the repairs and the roof was repaired to 2017 standards, making it more resilient and again, the premium was again reduced.

Carol explained how the Committee had been very proactive in focusing in on mitigation improvements. Upgrading fence work, replacing a wooden gazebo by the pool with cyclone resilient umbrella, overhanging trees removed, to name but a few. All of which made a difference to their premium.

I then recommended a JCU resilience report. Carol had not heard of the program. The North Queensland Strata Inspection Program (NQSTIP) is funded by the Australian Federal Government, administered by the Queensland Government, and independently developed and implemented by the James Cook University.

The NQSTIP offers free property inspection reports and provide estimates of the current resilience of strata properties against future cyclone damage along with recommendations, where appropriate, for maintenance, upgrades or changes to enhance resilience. Sure Insurance utilises the voluntary NQSTIP reports to reward Proactive Body Corporates who have invested in property resilience with lower premiums.

Where the premium started out around $20,000, following the conversation around the roof, the premium fell to $15,100. Then taking into account the fence, pool gazebo, tree removal, other mitigation measures and finally the James Cook Uni Cyclone Resilience Report, the premium dropped to $11,606 including government taxes.

What can we learn from the Beachfront example?

Sure Insurance genuinely looks for ways to save. However, we can only do this based on the information that is provided. This is why we recommend Sure Insurance Authorised Brokers, licenced to provide the right insurance advice and trained in the ‘Sure way’ to reward proactive Body Corporates who invest in mitigation and ongoing maintenance programs.

FAQs

Cover

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What areas do Sure Insurance cover?

Sure insures Residential Strata properties for mainland regional Queensland.  From Hervey Bay to the Cape, to Mt Isa in the west, we offer insurance in the following regions: Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, Widebay, Rockhampton, Marlbourgh, Mackay, Proserpine, Townsville, Ingham, Cairns, Cape York, Mt Isa and inland regional Queensland.

What is the maximum sum insured?

Sure insures residential strata properties up to a maximum of $5m for building and common contents in total.

Am I covered for cyclones, flood and bushfire?

Yes, cyclone, flood (including storm surge) and bushfire are automatically included in you cover.

For full details of what is covered please refer to the PDS.

Will you insure short term rentals?

Yes, we do providing there is an onsite Manager or a Property Manager for the short term rental.

Can I just insure my unit only if it is under a Strata title?

No, all units with a shared wall must be covered under the one policy.

Quotes

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Can I get a quote direct from Sure Insurance?

No, because Strata is a complex issue, we recommend you use a Sure Authorised Broker to receive a quote from Sure Insurance.

How long is my quote valid for?

Due to the complexities of organising quotes and the timing of AGM’s, Sure Strata quotes remain valid for up to 30 days.

How do I get my Body Corporate Committee to get a quote from Sure?

Any owner can raise a motion at any Body Corporate Committee meeting and request the Committee to obtain a quote from Sure Insurance.

Do we pay commissions on Strata Insurance?

Sure Insurance does not pay commissions to Brokers or Body Corporate Managers for Residential Strata Insurance. We believe in fair and transparent remuneration where the Body Corporate and the Broker agree on a fee for service in the remuneration model.

How is Strata Insurance calculated?

Strata Insurance is generally a complex pricing formula. This is why we recommend you ask a Sure Authorised Broker what specifically is driving up the cost of your insurance and more importantly, what steps can you take to bring your price down.

Payments

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Can each owner in a duplex pay separately for their insurance?

No, payment is only received via the Body Corporate Committee of one payment per policy.

Do we need a Body Corporate bank account?

Yes, because that is where any policy refunds or claims payments will be made to.

Policy Changes

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What happens if I get a flex hose audit done halfway through my policy?

Please advise your Broker with the details of the audit and rectification work. They will in turn forward to Sure where we will assess your policy and apply any applicable reduced excesses or potential premium savings.

What happens if I get a JCU audit done halfway through my policy?

Please forward a copy to your Broker. They will in turn forward to Sure where we will assess your policy and apply any applicable reduced excesses or potential premium savings.

Claims

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How do I make a claim?

Simply call 1300 392 535 or start your claim online at sure-insurance.com.au/make-a-claim

Renewals

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Do I need to wait until renewal to get a quote?

There is no need to wait until renewal to get a quote, contact a Sure Authorised Broker anytime throughout the year. Why wait until renewal to see how much you could save.

What if we already use a Broker?

Simply ask your Broker to obtain a quote from Sure Insurance. If your Broker does not deal with Sure Insurance, complete your details online and we will get a Sure Authorised Broker to get in contact with you

Complaints

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What is your process for handling complaints?

At Sure Insurance we will attempt to resolve any complaint or dispute you may have as quickly as possible.

The steps we set out below are part of our complaint and dispute resolution process, the details of which are available by either:

  • calling us on 1300 392 535; or
  • visiting our website at sure-insurance.com.au

Stage 1 – First review

Talk to us.

The first thing you should do is call one of our consultants about your complaint on 1300 392 535.  Our consultant will respond to your complaint as soon as possible but will aim to respond within 15 business days of receipt of your complaint provided we have all the necessary information we need to complete any investigation required.

If we are unable to respond within 15 business days of receipt of your complaint, we will contact you to explain why. More complex complaints may take a longer period of time to resolve.  Should we need more information or time to resolve your complaint, we will let contact you to let you know.

After our first contact, we will keep you informed about the progress of your complaint at least every 10 business days during this Stage 1, unless you agree to extend that period.

If our consultant is unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, they will refer you to, or you may request to, have your complaint referred to our Internal Dispute Resolution Service for an independent internal review of your complaint.

Step 2 – Internal Dispute Resolution

You may request the matter be referred to the Sure Insurance Dispute Resolution team or you can contact them directly by:

Our Internal Dispute Resolution Representatives will have the appropriate experience, knowledge and authority to consider and resolve your complaint.

They will aim to respond within 15 business days of the complaint being referred to them or if additional time is required to investigate or resolve your complaint, they will discuss with you a reasonable alternative timeframe.

After our first contact during Stage 2, we will keep you informed about the progress of your complaint at least every 10 business days during this Stage, unless you agree to extend that period.

If our decision at Stage Two does not resolve your Complaint to your satisfaction, or if we do not resolve your Complaint within 30 calendar days of the date we first received your Complaint, you may refer your Complaint to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

Step 3 – External Dispute Resolution

AFCA provides a fair and independent financial services complaint resolution service that is free to consumers if the complaint is one which falls within AFCA’s terms of reference.

You can contact the AFCA by calling or writing to:

  • afca.org.au; or
  • Free Call 1800 931 678; or
  • Email to info@afca.org.au; or
  • Post to GPO Box 3, Melbourne, VIC 3001

External dispute resolution determinations made by AFCA are binding upon us in accordance with the AFCA Terms of Reference.

If AFCA advises you that the AFCA Terms of Reference do not extend to you or your dispute, you can seek independent legal advice or access any other external dispute resolution options that may be available to you.

Helpful Factsheets

An owners checklist for Strata

North Queensland Strata Title Inspection Program

Doing a Building Flex Hose Audit to Save

Five Jobs That Could Save Your Body Corporate On Strata

An owners checklist for Strata

NORTH QUEENSLAND STRATA TITLE INSPECTION PROGRAM
Doing a Building Flex Hose Audit to Save

Five Jobs That Could Save Your Body Corporate On Strata

Ready to get a

Sure Strata Quote?

Email us for further help:
strata-quotes@sure-insurance.com.au

Strata not due yet?

Let us know your complex details and when your Strata Insurance is due and we’ll be in touch closer to the time.