Calamity Cladding

It’s the kind of thing that can cause headaches for many homeowners. Imagine paying a perfectly reasonable insurance premium for many years, only for it to suddenly spike out of nowhere. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to the residents of an apartment in Brunswick, Victoria.

After their building caught fire earlier this year, owners of the Anstey Square building in Brunswick have been ordered to take immediate action to remove dangerous cladding on the building. The apartments are clad in a mix of polystyrene and aluminium composite panelling, the same material that was used on the Grenfell Tower. You can read more about this type of cladding in great detail in my earlier blog post here.



According to The Age, the overall costs to repair the building are estimated to be more than $2 million. But that’s not all that’s leaving the apartment owners out of pocket. The already-stressed Brunswick apartment residents now have another worry. Their insurance premiums have now more than quadrupled, to almost $134,000 this year.

Chairman of an owners’ corporation, Allister Hill, told ABC News that while he was thankful for the insurance, “it’s a bit scary how much they want.”

According to Insurance Business, legal action has already been filed against the builder. But for the moment, the residents are seeking government intervention. It’s not just these residents that could be caught up in the insurance premium spike, however. It’s estimated that thousands of Melburnians could be affected as understanding of how widespread the issue is becomes known. This could mean anyone who owns an apartment clad by builders using combustible materials in the past decade. Stay tuned, folks. These premiums could be going through the roof.

Words by Skye Jamieson