This question about the excess for repairing damage to a strata boundary fence has been answered by Leonie Milonas, PSC Property Lync Insurance Brokers.
Question: A neighboured damaged the strata boundary fence. Insurance will cover the cost of repair, but who pays the excess?
A neighbour who is not part of the strata, drove a quad bike through the strata fence which forms the back boundary of my lot and damaged it quite badly.
The neighbour has offered to fix the fence himself, but by merely re-using the damaged panels. This means that the fence would not be restored to the original state.
The strata insurance will cover the cost of a professional repair. Am I responsible for the insurance excess as the damaged portion of the fence is in effect my back fence.
Answer: You are entitled to have the decision reviewed by the insurer’s Internal Disputes Resolution Team.
There are a couple of important points with boundary fence damage:
- Strata insurance will generally cover damage to the damaged fence panels only, not the whole fence or any other portion of the fence that is not damaged. You do need to refer to your insurer PDS policy wording, for specific coverage.
- If the fence is a boundary fence, generally you are only covered for 50% of the cost to repair it, as the neighbour on the other side is responsible for the other 50%. If it’s an internal strata boundary fence between owners of the strata, it would be 100% of the cost.
- Excess payments are in line with the arrangement of the strata insurance. Generally, the strata company would pay the excess of a boundary fence, but you should refer back to the strata manager or the council of owners, who arranged the policy and to ascertain what has been agreed as this may vary.
This post appears in Strata News #280.
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The responses to the above question are prepared for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice and should not be relied on as legal or insurance advice. You should consult with a qualified insurance or legal advisor.
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