John Trowbridge, a consultant and insurance industry expert who has been conducting an independent review into strata insurance, has released a handbook for navigating strata insurance, available for free here.
The Disclosure Handbook is designed as a reference guide for owners, strata committees, strata managers and brokers. It has been prepared on completion of an independent review of strata insurance carried out in 2022 and 2023 in three phases:
- Phase 1: disclosure practices of intermediaries
- Phase 2: the remuneration of intermediaries and possible reforms
- Phase 3: competition, affordability and availability of strata insurance
The handbook relates to Phase 1. Its purpose being to present strata property owners and their strata committees with the means to understand and work effectively through the annual insurance renewal process.
The market for strata insurance is generally confusing and unusual because in most strata insurance cases there are two intermediaries, the strata manager and the broker. This means strata insurance is:
– convoluted because in most cases part or all of the broker’s commission is paid to the strata manager and a separate broker fee is charged to remunerate the broker
– complicated because any portion of the broker’s commission not rebated to the strata manager is retained by the broker.
The handbook concentrates on:
– methods for transparent disclosure of insurance premiums, commissions and broker fees, and
– procedures to be applied by strata managers and brokers during the renewal process, from the initial collection of information before renewal through consultations and decision making to, ultimately, payment of the premium.
The papers for Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 of Trowbridge’s independent review of strata insurance can be found on his website or by clicking here.