Explore Home & Contents Insurance

Apartment insurance isn’t a specific product you can purchase. Rather, you have a host of insurance options at your disposal to safeguard your apartment no matter if you’re a landlord or a tenant, including:

  • Strata insurance. This covers the building and your apartment’s structure if it’s damaged and is paid through your body corporate fees if your property is under a strata title.
  • Contents insurance. This can cover damage to the contents in your apartment due to events such as fire, storms or theft.
  • Landlord insurance. If you’re renting your apartment to tenants, this can cover your liability if someone is injured on the property, your rental losses if your investment property becomes unliveable due to a claim and more.

Do apartment owners need insurance?

If you’re an owner-occupier of an apartment in a multi-storey building or complex, you should consider insurance for your space. Why? Because while your body corporate’s insurance covers the apartment’s structure, it won’t cover the inside of your apartment. You’ll need a contents insurance policy to cover your belongings, internal walls, fixtures and fittings inside your apartment.

If you’re leasing your investment property to a tenant, you might also consider getting landlord’s insurance that also includes contents cover if your apartment is rented and furnished.

Do renters need insurance for their apartment?

Renters don’t need home building insurance for their apartments as the physical structure of the apartment that you are renting is protected by your landlord’s body corporate insurance. However, if you’re a renter you may want contents insurance to protect your personal belongings.

a woman sitting on the couch in her apartment

How the different insurances can cover your apartment

If you have strata insurance for your apartment, it typically covers loss or damage to your apartment’s external structure caused by insured events like flooding, storm, fire and more. It can also include temporary accommodation cover for apartment owners should their homes become uninhabitable due to these events.

On the other hand, if you have a contents insurance policy for your apartment, it covers your apartment’s internal walls, fixtures and fittings (e.g. kitchen cabinetry) in the event that they’re damaged or destroyed by certain events, as well as your contents inside the apartment.

It also covers your personal belongings in the apartment if they’re stolen, damaged or destroyed by those same insured events (e.g. fire, storm, rainwater damage, etc).

Depending on your level of cover and subject to your policy’s limits, contents insurance covers such possessions as:

  • Appliances
  • Artwork
  • Clothing
  • Collectables
  • Furniture and furnishings (e.g. beds, tables, couches, curtains and blinds)
  • Jewellery and watches
  • Devices and portable contents (e.g. laptops, TVs and mobile phones. Portable contents cover is usually offered as an optional extra).

If you’re leasing out your apartment, you can get landlords insurance which can cover:

  • Legal action taken against bad tenants
  • Your legal liability if someone is injured on your property
  • Missed rent you might incur if your tenant defaults on payments.

It’s important to check the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of a policy for the full details of what’s covered before you purchase.

Frequently asked questions

Why is insurance for your apartment important?

There are several reasons it’s important to get insurance for your apartment.

  1. An apartment is a valuable investment that, as a landlord, you wouldn’t want to risk losing. If your apartment was damaged or destroyed, could you afford to rebuild it out of your own pocket?
  2. What about the contents inside? You could have thousands of dollars’ worth of possessions in your apartment, and without insurance, you would have to cover the replacement costs or cost of repairing yourself.
  3. Just because you’re living in an apartment doesn’t mean it isn’t still susceptible to damage or vandalism, and the contents inside it could still be stolen.
  4. If you’re renting your apartment to tenants, landlord insurance can protect you from liability if your tenants or their visitors are injured within your property. This can save you from potentially expensive legal fees.
  5. If you’ve chosen this as an optional extra, landlord insurance can also cover your losses if your tenant defaults on payments or can’t pay their rent.
  6. Some landlord insurance policies may even offer optional extras that can cover malicious damage that your tenants could cause to your apartment.

Do I still need insurance for my apartment if I pay body corporate or strata fees?

If your apartment is under strata title and you’re paying body corporate fees, your body corporate legally must take out strata insurance which covers the entire building or complex. In that case, there would be no need for you to take out your own home/building insurance policy. Your strata insurance generally covers your building, external walls, gutters, balcony, ceiling and shared facilities, such as:

  • Common areas
  • Elevators and stairways
  • Gardens and gardening equipment
  • Car parks
  • Tennis courts
  • Swimming pools.

However, if required, you’ll need contents insurance to cover the fixtures and fittings inside your apartment, as well as your personal belongings (e.g. furniture, appliances and carpets).

Do I need insurance for my apartment if I lease it out?

If you pay body corporate fees, the building’s strata insurance can cover you for damage to your apartment’s structure, depending on the policy. However, you might want to consider taking out a Landlord’s policy with contents coverage to protect any furnishings you provide or belongings you may have left with the apartment.

As well as standard coverage inclusions such as fire and storm damage, some insurance providers might offer optional extras to add to your landlord insurance. These extras can cover you if your tenant defaults on their rent and legal liability (if someone is injured in your apartment and you’re at fault). Some landlord insurance policies may even offer cover for malicious damage to your rental property caused by tenants. If you’ve left appliances and furniture in your leased-out apartment, a contents insurance policy can protect them against malicious damage or theft by a tenant (if this cover is added to your policy) – just be sure to check whether your landlord insurance covers contents or if you would need to purchase contents coverage in addition to your landlord insurance.

As an apartment owner, the responsible thing to do is protect your investment property.

Do I need renters (contents) insurance for the apartment I’m leasing?

If you’re a tenant in an apartment, you won’t need to take out insurance for the structure of the apartment itself – that’s the responsibility of the owner/body corporate. However, you will be responsible for protecting your personal belongings from damage and theft, which you can do with a contents insurance policy.

What type of insurance covers damage to the building or shared facilities of my apartment?

Damage to the building (e.g. external walls and balconies) or shared facilities (e.g. swimming pools, common areas, lifts and car parks) is typically covered through strata insurance, which is paid for through body corporate fees.

Are building defects or faults covered under insurance for my apartment?

No, claims for building defects or faults are generally not covered by any type of insurance; most, if not all, insurance policies typically have a defects exclusion.

Can I reduce the cost of insurance for my apartment?

There are several factors that can affect the cost of your contents insurance premium. These factors may include:

  • The value of your belongings
  • How secure your apartment is
  • The age and structure of your apartment
  • The oldest person living in it
  • Risks of natural hazards

You can potentially reduce the cost of contents insurance for your apartment if you:

  1. Live in an apartment or building that has tight security. The harder it is for burglars to get in, the less chance your belongings will be stolen.
  2. Live on a higher floor. Apartments on lower floors may have a higher chance of being broken into, as they are more convenient to access.
  3. Live in a certain suburb. Apartment buildings located in suburbs with a lower crime rate may seem like a safer bet to insure.
  4. Live in a newer building. Your insurer will look at the age of your building and the materials used in its construction to determine its risk of withstanding damage.
  5. Choose a higher excess. If your insurer allows you the choice of paying a higher excess when you need to make a claim, this can reduce your premium. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay this amount should you claim.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager

Tips from our apartment insurance expert, Stephen Zeller

As the General Manager of General Insurance at Compare the Market, Stephen Zeller has the following tips for those looking for apartment insurance.

  1. Check if your landlord insurance is tax deductible. As a landlord, you can potentially claim back your insurance premiums for your apartment. You’ll need to talk to a qualified tax professional to discuss landlord insurance tax claims for your situation.
  2. Reduce your premium with a higher excess. Some home and contents policies (including landlord and contents only policies) might allow you to increase your excess in exchange for a lower premium, or vice versa. Just remember if you do increase your excess for a cheaper upfront cost you will have to pay it should you make a claim.
  3. Don’t forget your portable possessions. Some contents insurance policies don’t automatically cover belongings you regularly take out of the apartment (e.g. mobile phones or glasses). In this case, many insurers offer this cover as an additional extra. Consider covering these items as well as those that reside solely within your apartment.

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