Insuring a block of flats can be confusing for those involved. Whether you’re a freehold owner or leaseholder or have the right to manage, your insurance responsibilities will ultimately depend on how you own the flat.
As a freeholder who owns or manages a block of flats, you are required to insure the entire building, providing complete coverage for all shared areas and structures. There are various insurance types, including buildings insurance and block of flats insurance, so it is best to consider all options.
At Glowsure, we are here to lend a helping hand when it comes to working out your insurance responsibilities on a block of flats. We have crafted a well-informed blog exploring the various types of insurance you should consider and what to look out for when choosing which type of insurance you need.
Keep reading to learn more about block of flats insurance cover, or get in touch with a Glowsure superhero and find out how we can save you time and money.
Is the leasehold or freehold owner responsible for buildings insurance?
Buildings insurance is a type of insurance that covers homeowners if something happens to their home, such as a flood, fire or weather damage. Understanding who is responsible for buildings insurance for flats can be complex when it comes to the different types of ownership – leasehold owners and freehold owners.
Firstly, let’s understand the difference between these two (very similar) words:
- A freeholder owns the whole building, including the communal areas and the land around the building. This is usually the person who fully owns and manages the block of flats.
- A leaseholder is someone who has purchased a lease on a building (usually a flat) for a specific period of time, meaning they can occupy and use the property as they wish. The leaseholder doesn’t own the building or land around it.
Now that we have cleared this up, we can look into who is responsible for buildings insurance on a block of flats.
Ultimately, the freeholder or landlord has the main responsibility for insuring a block of flats, including the entire building and all communal areas. While it is the freeholder’s responsibility, the insurance costs may be reflected in the service charge paid by the leasehold owner.
However, when it comes to personal possessions, the sole responsibility falls on the leasehold flat owner or tenant. This type of protection is not a legal requirement, but it can be covered by contents insurance if needed.
What does buildings insurance cover in flats?
If you are looking to arrange building insurance for your block of flats, then it is essential to check exactly what it covers. You want to ensure you get the best value for your money and protect the livelihood of those who live and work in your building.
Buildings insurance covers the various costs involved with rebuilding or repairing damage to the property. It can include:
- Structural damage
- Fire damage
- Weather issues, such as storm damage and flooding
- Malicious damage to the building and communal areas
- Water issues such as burst pipes
Before jumping in and buying buildings insurance, it is important to do your research and find out exactly what you want covered in your buildings insurance policy. Working with an experienced insurance broker can help narrow your search, saving you time and money.
What would disqualify buildings insurance?
Now you know what is covered in the various buildings insurance policies, it is important to make the most of your insurance. Nobody wants to make a claim that is later rejected because they didn’t follow specific regulations or forgot to provide the right amount of information.
So, let’s take a look at what might disqualify your buildings insurance once you have picked the right cover:
- Misrepresentation of information: Providing false or inaccurate information when applying for the policy, whether intentionally or accidentally, can lead to your claim being denied.
- Unoccupied property: There are specific rules on insuring an unoccupied property; for instance, if the property is left unoccupied for extended periods of time without notifying the insurance company, then the insurance cover may be restricted. It is important to check the insurance policy terms before deciding if you want to go for it.
- Criminal activities: If the damage occurs from criminal or illegal activities within the property, then the insurance company may deny the claim.
- Inadequate coverage: You should be fully aware of what your insurance policy covers. If you have selected insurance coverage that doesn’t protect against certain risks, then you may not be able to make a claim as freely as you thought when initially buying the insurance.
Should you consider other insurance too?
While buildings insurance is a good place to start for landlords and building owners, there are other types of insurance you should consider depending on your circumstances. Since all property investments are different, what covers one unique situation might not work for the next person.
Arranging buildings insurance only takes you so far when it comes to insuring a block of flats. If you want to ensure all areas of your block are insured, then a block of flats insurance policy might be more suited to you.
What is block of flats insurance?
Block of Flats Insurance is a particular type of insurance which covers the entire building, inside communal spaces, communal gardens, lifts (although a separate lift inspection policy will also be required), property owners liability and employers liability.
Block insurance covers the same aspects as buildings insurance (depending on which type of policy you go for) but also ensures a more thorough coverage for the entire building.
The good news is that at Glowsure, we specialise in helping landlords and freehold owners find the best block of flats insurance for their needs.
Speak to Glowsure today for your block of flats insurance
At Glowsure, we are here to be your property insurance superheroes and ensure that you are fully covered as a block-of-flats owner. We provide friendly advice and expert support to make finding the right insurance policy easy.
If you are looking for the right insurance for your building, then contact us today.
The responsibility for insuring a block of flats can seem complex, but with a bit of research and tailored support, it can be much easier to understand. Whether you are a landlord or freehold owner, finding the right insurance that works for your unique needs is the most important consideration.
Reviewing your insurance policy for your block of flats regularly and having regular building valuations to ensure it stays relevant will ensure you cover all possible scenarios, including potential rebuild costs.
Our insurance broker heroes can help you accurately assess and adjust your coverage as needed.
Frequently asked questions about insuring a block of flats
For more information about insurance cover for blocks of flats, please take a look at some of our most popular commonly asked questions below or contact us to have a friendly chat about your current circumstances.
How much should I insure my block of flats for?
When looking into different insurance policies for a block of flats and how much to insure it for, you should consider the various factors that would impact a claim. The size and value of the building, materials, location, potential risks and type of cover you want will all affect how much you should insure your flats for. Each of these factors contributes to the overall value of the building and how much it would cost to rebuild the property if you were in a situation where this was needed.
It is always better to stay cautious and insure for a higher amount than risk being underinsured in the case of a claim. That being said, our specialist brokers have a wealth of knowledge and industry connections and can help you get the best insurance deal while ensuring all essential areas are covered.
Can I save money on flat insurance?
Saving money on your insurance is possible, but it should be done carefully to ensure you aren’t cutting corners or risking a claim being denied. The safest and most sensible way to save money on your block of flats insurance is to take time to find the right block policy that works for you.
Working with a specialist will allow you to make the most of their market knowledge. They will be able to help you find the most competitive rates and support you in case you need to make a claim.