Most people would agree it’s smart to be insured in the event that your home or belongings are damaged or destroyed. But did you know that cover for strata properties can differ to that offered for non-strata homes?

We highlight some differences between the two here in this simple guide.

(Note we have used CommInsure’s home insurance as an example in this article. Check your insurance provider for the specific details of your policy).

Building insurance versus strata insurance

Building insurance typically covers the domestic residence and permanent structures like garages and granny flats. However, with strata buildings the body corporate is required by law to hold residential strata insurance, and this generally covers common or shared property under the management of a strata title.

Strata insurance usually includes cover for common areas such as gardens, lifts, walls, windows, pools, ceiling and floors. Strata insurance also includes liability cover for injury to people on common property. You should check what is covered under your strata policy.

Items that may not be covered under your strata insurance include any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, like putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, built in wardrobes etc. To make sure you know where you stand, check with your strata management to understand what you're covered for. If there are gaps in cover, you may need to look to your contents cover under your home insurance policy to cover it.

For a non-strata home, tell your insurer about any renovations that increase the value of your home, such as extensions or loft conversions. These could increase the value of your home and rebuild costs, so you may need to increase your building insurance to ensure you’re covered.

Contents insurance versus strata insurance

Items that form part of a contents cover for non-strata homes also form part of contents cover for strata-titled properties. However there are some additional areas i.e. any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, like putting in a new kitchen or bathroom, built in wardrobes etc that you may also need to factor into your contents cover under your home insurance policy.

Contents cover – non-strata homes
Contents cover – strata homes
  • Curtains
  • Carpets
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Electronic equipment
  • Hanging pictures and mirrors
  • Whitegoods
  • Jewellery
  • Wall-mounted air conditioning
Everything you’d expect to have to cover in a freestanding building, plus the following items, if they’re not included in your strata building’s cover:

  • Additional built-in wardrobes
  • Light fittings
  • Other fixtures and fittings
  • Any amendments or additions to any element of the original building, such as replacement windows or an enclosed balcony. Note that like-for-like replacement shouldn't impact any existing strata cover

Do you have the right cover?

It’s also worth checking your contents cover to ensure you have adequate cover for your belongings as well as those things that strata insurance does not protect.

When comparing cover, find out if there are any additional benefits or limitations that will impact your situation. For example, some policies provide for up to an additional 25% on top of the sum insured, in the event of a total loss. This can help enormously if you find yourself under-insured when you are making a claim.

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Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.

Home Insurance is provided by CommInsure, a registered business name of Commonwealth Insurance Limited ABN 96 067 524 216 AFSL 235030 (CIL). CIL is a wholly owned non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (The Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the obligations or performance of CIL or the products it offers. Where we refer to 'we', 'us' and 'our', we mean CIL. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances.

A Product Disclosure Statement is available at all Commonwealth Bank branches, by downloading them from or by calling 13 2423 and should be considered before making any decisions about this product. You should also read the Home Insurance Key Fact Sheet, Financial Services Guide and Privacy Policy which are also available by calling 13 2423.