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Body Corporate

Strata Titles, Community Title Schemes, Community Management Schemes, Building Unit Plans are other names also used to describe properties where two or more unit holders own a share of a property which is registered under an incorporated title, commonly called a Body Corporate.(BC)

Properties can range from a duplex to a large residential complex. Many duplex owners believe they don't have a BC, however a title search will show that most do.

State legislation requires that BC properties must comply with certain conditions regarding how they are insured. In Queensland, usually the whole property must be insured on one insurance policy and must include public liability cover to protect all unit holders.

The value insured as Building Sum Insured in the policy should be enough to include the following 3 amounts -

a) the cost to rebuild the property from the ground up with new materials,

b) the cost to remove debris and take it away, including any dumping fees,

c) the cost to put up owner-occupiers at equivalent accommodation for up to12 months, or to replace the loss of up to12 months rent for landlords - while repairs or rebuilding takes place.

One important thing to be aware of with BC insurance is that - if the BC does not own the item it cannot claim for it. Many unit holders spend their own money on improvements to their properties, such as carports, patios, pools, built-in BBQs or for upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms where they are of a higher standard than what was there prior to the replacement. They should include the value of these improvements in their personal Contents insurance policy. They are not covered in the BC policy, unless a BC meeting has been held and it is agreed that the item(s) are to be included as BC property and their adjusted values added into the BC insurance policy. There should be an official BC Minute kept of the details of this meeting to be retained permanently in the BC records. It is possible that an insurance assessor would request a copy of this Minute to confirm the legal ownership of an improvement.


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