Block of Flats Insurance
Block of Flats Insurance including fire and special peril insurance for houses converted into flats and purpose built flats and apartments in a block for residential management companies, freeholders, leaseholders, buying flats to rent out, landlords block of flats cover, right to manage insurance and self-managed residents responsible for managing a block of flats with loss of rent cover and alternative accommodation.
If you have a flat or apartment in a block of flats through leasehold where you have leased the flat for a number of years it is the leaseholders responsibility to insure the flat, but that insurance might just be buildings insurance for the structure of the flat and probably wonít cover contents insurance, liability cover or legal expenses cover, if the management company do have insurance the liability will be limited and will probably not cover liability for events under your control, for example a chip pan fire that you cause spreading to a neighbouring flat, without liability insurance you would be required to pay the cost of any claims made against you by other residents in the block.
With liability insurance, your insurance company will pay out on any successful claims made by your neighbours, blocks of flats insurance is unique in that any damage you cause to your own property through fire or flood can quickly spread to neighbouring flats in the same block leaving you with compensation claims for damage to property, injury and potentially loss of life.
With legal cover on your block of flats insurance any claim that involves you having to hire your own solicitor or have your solicitor prepare paperwork or represent you in court can be claimed back from your insurance company, for example if there is a dispute about a party wall the dispute can quickly escalate with your neighbours into solicitors work and the calling of experts which without legal cover you would be required to pay yourself.
Your flat insurance should include breakage of glass as well as liability cover for any activity that you might do that might impact on your neighbours causing your neighbours in adjacent flats to make a claim against you, for example you leave your bath running and the resulting flood ruins your own flat and the flat beneath you and potentially the ceiling of the flat beneath them, without liability insurance your be expected to pay to have the surrounding flats made good, this would involve structural work and decoration work.
If your renting out your flat either a single flat or several flats in a block of flats you can insure yourself against loss of rent, the loss of rent can be because your simply unable to find a tenant for your property, your probably need to prove this with advertising showing that you have advertised the property at a fair price and have still been unable to find a tenant.
Loss Of Rent Insurance
The other reason that you might want loss of rent insurance is because of damage to the flat for example if the tenant leaves the bath running and causes water damage to gut the flat needing both structural and decorative work then youíre be unable to receive rental income whilst the repairs are underway, with loss of rent insurance youíre be able to claim off your insurance for the money you would normally receive from the tenant.
If you live in a prominent block of flats that is a major landmark then then you should consider terrorism cover as part of your block of flats insurance, for example if there is a terrorist threat that involves your building even if the threat turns out to be a hoax you will have inconvenienced yourself if you live in the flat or apartment or a tenant if you have one, the tenant might have been required to find alternative accommodation for a few days whilst the threat was cleared, if the tenant was also a commercial tenant running a business from the apartment then you might also have additional liability due to the tenants inability to run their business.
With terrorism insurance, any claims the tenant might have against you for loss of their flat for a few days or inability to run their business will be reimbursed by your insurance company.
Freeholder Or Leaseholder
If youíre a freeholder meaning that you own the flat forever and have not leased the flat for a specific number of years then you will need flat insurance as there is no leaseholder who should be insuring the flat on your behalf, but remember that even when youíre a leaseholder there is no guarantee that the building owner has adequate insurance that your be able to claim against if you need to make a claim, for this reason freeholders and leaseholders should consider their own insurance.
Flat freeholders will be required to have buildings insurance by their mortgage company if they have a mortgage on the flat, the reason being is that the flat belongs to the mortgage company until the mortgage has been paid off and if any damage is caused to the flat with insurance the mortgage company know that claims for repair of the property can be made against the insurance.
If you have a house that has been converted into flats or apartments you can still get blocks of flat insurance the insurance is not just for a purpose-built block of flats, youíre face the same insurance risks like increased liability as the flats are structurally connected to each other in the same block.
You might have a management company that manage the block of flats on your behalf with you paying a service charge to the management company, that service charge may include a charge for insurance in which case you should ask to see the policy so that you know exactly what is covered and what liability you still have that you might want to get your own insurance for, for example the management companies insurance might include structural damage to the property or even terrorism insurance, insurance for things that the management company is liable for, but things that your liable for like leaving your bath to overrun and causing the ceiling in the flat below to cave in might very well still be your responsibility and liability, so you would want your own flat insurance for potential claims not covered by your management companies insurance.
For example, your management company would not have legal cover to enable you to claim the cost of any legal work because you have had to hire a solicitor to undertake legal work, you would need your own insurance for this.
If your part of your building association or management company then you might be responsible for getting flat insurance for all the flats in your block, using a specialist block of flats insurance company means that you can present the residents association with a quote of the options available and how much those options cost, the management association can then decide together what insurance options they want to include on their insurance, for example you might decide that contents insurance should be the responsibility of the tenant and not the management company.
Buying A Property To Rent Out
If youíre buying a property to rent out youíre want to have liability insurance so that any damage caused by your tenant can be claimed against your insurance company, for example a fire started in your flat that spreads to neighbouring flats would make you liable for repairs to the other flats, with liability insurance your be able to claim on your own insurance and if you include contents insurance, broken glass insurance and legal cover your tenant would be able to claim for loss of their contents on your insurance too, or you can claim on the contents insurance if the flat was furnished for example, you shouldnít rely on the tenant to have insurance that you would want to claim on because the tenant is most likely to leave the insurance to you or not have insurance at all.
As a director of a residentís association you have a responsibility to make sure that all the flats are insured, youíre be able to pay for the insurance using the management fees or service fees that the residents association charge, you can get an online quote quickly for the number of flats you want to insure as itís cheaper to insure all the flats in the block together under the same insurance policy rather than separate polices for every flat leaseholder or freeholder.
When itís down to you to arrange buildings insurance for a blocks of flats use an online block of flats expert insurance company, once you have taken out the insurance you have a telephone number to call to speak to an advisor who can tell you how to make a claim or explain a particular action you must take with a tenant, insurance from a specialist is like having your own expert on hand to answer questions you donít know the answer too, when your responsible to the management association knowing that you can rely on an insurance expert to explain things to you is a big help.
Purpose Built Flats Or Have Converted Houses Into Flats
Whether you live in purpose built flats or have converted houses into flats youíre going to need insurance for flats and canít use standard home insurance policies (Home Emergency Insurance) because of your increased liability to those neighbours in close proximity to you, fires and floods starting in your own flat can quickly spread to all flats in the apartment block and your need liability insurance and legal cover insurance in order to claim on your insurance in the event of fire or flood for example.
Your flat insurance should also include contents insurance which is not only for claims associated with damage by fire or flood but also your belongings being stolen which your want to make a claim on your insurance for, flat insurance extends to your car insurance as well, living in a flat your car is probably parked outside and not in a garage and not within sight when youíre in your flat, increased crime around your flat for example will increase your monthly car premiums.
Whilst a leasehold flat should be insured by the landlord (Landlord Insurance) youíre also want your own insurance for two reasons, firstly the landlords insurance is not your insurance, the landlord will insure his liability to claims and not your liability, youíre also want your own contents insurance which the landlords insurance probably doesnít cover, even if the landlords insurance cover extends to include you getting your landlord to make an insurance claim on your behalf it will be time consuming and probably frustrating, with your own insurance you have the security that you can make claims directly to your own insurance company without having to rely on your landlord.
Property Owners Cover
Property owners cover means that your flat is insured by you or your block of flats management company, donít think that your management company has insurance without having them show you the policy as you could be uninsured, itís always easier to have your own insurance policy that you can control and can claim on when the need arises.
If youíre a landlord with a property portfolio your want to get insurance for all your flats, if the flats are in the same block you can have one policy that insures all the flats, this will be cheaper than having multiple insurance policies for each individual flat.
Block of flats insurance can cover commercial and residential properties as your tenant might be running their business from the flat, assuming the leasehold allows you to use the flat for commercial reasons, note that if commercial leasing is allowed youíre have additional liability due to the nature of the business, for example an artistís apartment that makes sculptures from metal may involve hot equipment that could cause a fire and therefore could cause you liability if the fire damages not only your own flat which you would want to claim on your insurance for but also the flats belonging to your neighbours, they would claim against your insurance and possibly take you to court, so its important to have legal cover as well.