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New insurance policy leaves apartment owners high and dry

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

In light of the WA government’s announcement of increasing the current HWI to $200,000, the Australian Apartment Advocacy (AAA) is calling on equity for all homeowners

  • Currently only apartment buildings of 3 stories or less can be insured by WA’s home warranty insurance

  • 80% of survey respondents indicated that they would also be prepared to pay 1.5% on the asking price of the apartment in order to have insurance coverage (levy)

  • 76% of apartment owners had experienced defects in their buildings – the most common was water penetration

  • 32% indicated that their builder was no longer operating, leaving apartment owners with limited options for repairs to be carried out

AAA commissioned research in July surveying over 1,100 apartment owners nationally enquiring about home warranty or domestic building insurance for owners in the event a builder goes into liquidation or phoenixes the company. 21% of the respondents were based in WA.

Australian Apartment Advocacy CEO, Samantha Reece said “Following our research, it is clear the current framework is insufficient in protecting apartment owners. We are calling on Government to review the provision of home warranty insurance to create a more equitable system.”

“With the State Government focused on infill representing 47% of WA’s housing mix, they need to provide adequate protection, like they are for traditional standalone homes and townhouses.”

The AAA has created an Apartment Audit and Assurance programme which will seek to undertake inspections of all new apartments during construction.

Ms Reece explained, “When insurance companies understand that an apartment building represents less of a risk then they are prepared to discuss insurance and this will only occur if mandatory inspections are introduced.”

“NSW has led the way and there is nothing stopping WA from also championing quality builds in the apartment sector.

“As cost-of-living pressures increase, Australian’s should not have to foot the bill for an inadequate system. Australians who choose apartment living deserve to feel safe and know their home is protected.”

Ms Reece is requesting all apartment owners to voice their concerns to Minister Cook, Deputy Premier by writing to

"If we speak up then Government will have to take notice."

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