If you are an owner of a block of flats, a property builder or a managing agent of a block of flats, you will find blocks of flats insurance useful.
If it’s the first time that you encounter this type of insurance, you may think that this only covers a large apartment complex covering an entire block. Any property comprised of two or more flats or apartments can also be considered a “block” for insurance purposes.
If you are considering insuring your apartment complex or flats, you need one that has extensive and comprehensive coverage.
Find one that covers your flat size
Size matters when it comes to looking for insurance for your block of flats. If you own a flat in a conversion or in a purpose-built block, you’ll have to first determine the size of the flat you want to cover with a block of flats insurance.
There are certain advantages that you can avail depending on the size of the flat you want to insure. A smaller flat of one or two stories can have a low premium, which can make the purchase of insurance more affordable for you and your tenants. Bigger blocks can have a higher policy price than small blocks.
The advantage of this is a greater buying power and a better deal with the different suppliers for your flat.
Look for insurance with high rebuild value
An insurance for a block of apartments/flats is technically a type of buildings insurance. The difference is that every single one of the leasehold properties within your block of flats will be covered under one policy.
The entire block will have a rebuild value that will be divided by the number of flats within that block. This is what owners and landlords should work with when looking for their insurance. Block of flats insurance typically has a higher rebuild value than standard building insurance, but you calculate and choose an insurer that provides the optimum coverage once you break down the rebuild value into individual units.
In a similar manner, the per-block rebuild value will be smaller than the accumulated value of all the blocks if they were insured individually. For example, a large block with a rebuild value of £2 million could have 20 flats in it, giving each flat a £100,000 allocation.
Individual unit insurance can have higher rebuild values as they consider different factors like, flooring, fixtures, cabinets, appliances, external structures, and even personal possessions. Nevertheless, having a good calculation of the rebuild cost to be distributed to each individual flat can put the minds of building owners and landlords at ease.
Find an insurer with transparent policy inclusions and exclusions
As a landlord or freehold owner, you need to know the inclusions of the coverage of your block of a flats insurance policy. Different insurance providers have different policies, but a standard block of flats/apartment insurance would typically consider the following inclusions:
- Employers Liability – This inclusion (coverage up to £10,000,000) is a requirement by UK law if you employ anyone, whether full time or volunteers
- Terrorism Cover available on request
- Property Owners Liability – a standard cover of £2 million to cover property owners/landlords from liability claims due to negligence, but can be increased if required.
- Alternative Accommodation – covers the costs of finding alternative accommodation for your tenant or you (if you reside in the property) in case of fire and circumstances rendering your building uninhabitable.
- Landlord Flat / Apartment Contents Insurance – For furnished flats, this will cover your contents against insured perils.
- Communal Contents Insurance – This covers items in communal areas of the block of flats such as carpets, sofas, blinds, pictures, etc.
- Buildings Insurance – To provide cover for the physical building in case of insured perils such as flood, burst pipes, fire, etc.
Knowing the exclusions can be helpful in order for landlords and property owners to decide if they need to add additional coverage inclusions. Transparency should also stretch out from the landlords to the tenants.
The tenants should also know that inclusions and exclusions of the insurance coverage provided for them. The following can be included, depending on the need and the situation of the property:
- Liability cover for accidents if someone visiting hurts themselves;
- Flats that stay unoccupied for any length of time;
- Additional refurbishment by flat owners
- Cover for malicious damage by tenants.
Compare insurance quotes
Don’t jump immediately to recommendations from friends, colleagues or websites when it comes to insuring your block of apartments or flats. Sure, there may be perks and rewards waiting if you purchase insurance from them, but you should consider a lot of factors carefully.
You need to consider the welfare of the building tenants and the safety of your building for the coming years. The coverage inclusions and the intended budget are important factors when choosing block-of-flats or any other type of insurance quotes.
You will also need to inform your tenants on the insurance that will be purchased and how much of the premium will be included in the management fees. There are many insurance provider websites available that can provide you quotes and coverage details.
If you wish to get a wider comparison range, you can check out third-party review websites or insurance broker websites to find insurance policies that cover your specific needs.
Get to know the claims process
This step is something most of the insurance policy holders tend to put off until something unexpected happens. It is wise to know the claims process beforehand, as early as discussing the policy terms with your insurer. Get to know what are the documentations needed in case you make a claim.
Cite different scenarios and provide as many examples as possible in order to have an idea what to do if ever unexpected events do happen. Also, know the mode of payment when claiming your insurance.
Ask for a processing timeline and other important details. It is your right to ask questions, as you are the insured party or a representative of the property and tenants covered by the insurance.
Ask for contact details where you can reach your insurer in case you have questions about your policy or questions that pop up that you weren’t able to ask at the time of insurance purchase.
Looking for a block of flats insurance or any other type of insurance can be a tedious task. However, there are advantages of securing an insurance for your properties, and this should be what you should keep in mind.
Having insurance to cover damages and accidents within your property, premises can have significant costs, and having an insurance to should a large part or even the entire repair cost can provide you greater savings than not insuring your block of flats at all.
Look ahead into the future and at the bigger picture when deciding to look for an insurance policy for your flats block of apartments.