This article will help you understand block of flat insurance cover an overview. We aim to be helpful!

This article should have given you an outline of the issues around block of flats building insurance. Of course if you do want a quote, you can always call award-winning Emerald Life for a quote at any time of 0330 113 7109. 

Block of Flat Insurance in detail

Sometimes, it can be confusing getting block of flats insurance or buildings insurance cover – in terms of price, getting all the flats to agree, or understanding the terms of the insurance cover or insurance policy. 

With any insurance policy you will need to understand when you arrange buildings insurance or arrange cover, what you are buying (for example, is accidental damage covered or is there third party liability cover?), which insurance providers can help and you and your other flat owners will have to decide if this is the right insurance. 

How to find suitable a block of flats insurance policy at an appropriate price

Looking at buildings insurance or block of flats insurance, you need to understand some basics. However many flats are in the building, or whether you own jointly, through a residents association, residential management company or through other types of management companies, this is a single buildings insurance policy covering the one building. It is not correct to call it a flats insurance policy – or at least a bit misleading. Whether or not this is two or more flats, there is one block of flats and so there is one block of flats insurance policy.

Landlord buildings and contents insurance

Let’s clear up some confusion here. In essence, a block of flats insurance is the same structure as a landlord insurance policy. With landlord insurance, the landlord covers their tenants who are there for the short term. With a block of flats insurance policy, you are covering ‘tenants’ as well, but in this case tenants who have a lease for 99 years rather than 12 months. 

This policy does not provide contents cover for individual flats. While it may provide rent cover in the case of lost rent for a rental property, flat owner may want to look at contents and landlord insurance specifically for their situation. 

If you are flat owner, you will need your own contents cover – and also your mortgage provider or mortgage lender may require to be noted on that policy, and the block insurance policy. 

Are there any extra covers to consider besides buildings insurance for flats?

Core cover for buildings insurance or building insurance is what you imagine – fire, earthquake, escape or water, subsidence etc. However with a buildings insurance policy you may get some added extras. So, your building insurance cover may include legal expenses cover, or insurance for your residents association. 

Mostly however, if there is a residential management company or similar then you may well need another policy for officers liability insurance. There are some restrictions on comprehensive cover for legal liabilities as well, so always read the relevant terms

Property owners looking for block of flats insurance

If you are a property owner that has been tasked with organising a block of flats insurance quotes, then you can look at block of flats insurance comparison sites. However, often these only give part of the picture – so we recommend that for block insurance cover, you also think about looking at some of the award-winning providers of block of flats buildings insurance that AREN’T on a comparison site. 

Such as Emerald Life!

Property owners liability cover

Landlord insurance policy will include property owners liability cover, meaning, that in the case a claim of injury or personal damage has been brought to you, your legal fees will be covered by your provider. Within a block of flats insurance policy 

What does buildings insurance/flats insurance cost?

That depends on the cover but always remember, don’t try and short change your cover. If an insurance provider thinks an owner has, say, been undervaluing a block of flats, then they may reduce your payout in the event of block of flats insurance claims.

Remember that the freeholder will recoup the premium through the service charge, and that will be one of the items that usually goes into the service charge for a block of flats.

What are the benefits of blocks of flats insurance cover for leaseholders?

For property owners who are looking at block of flats insurance, there is one simple fact. Any buildings insurance will not be valid if each owner has their own insurance with a different insurance provider. 

Again see above – when looking at this type of building insurance, property owners must have a single block of flats insurance policy for the entire building. 

The right policy can also provide cover for alternative accommodation whilst repairs are being done, and alternative accommodation can be a very big expense, although not a legal requirement. 

Also, it might provide legal expenses insurance – that may be used by the owner or each individual flat. 

What other blocks of flats insurance products and services are there?

In the rest of this article we outline the various covers that you will need to cover properties such as yours, whether purpose-built or a converted house or commercial building. 

For rentals, individual owners may need landlords insurance as well as their share of a common buildings insurance policy. Again, some items will be covered. So if you have a property manager or resident management company that has to manage company and organise insurance, ask to see the policy and check your cover. 

Terrorism Insurance

Most block insurance policies to not provide terrorism cover as standard, but can quote for you if you needs it. With any block of flats insurance cover, the insurance provider will try to provide comprehensive cover for core issues, but as discussed here there may be add-ons that you want to see. 

Claims process for block of flats insurance

This should be simple and clearly set out in your policy documents. For block of flats buildings insurance, make sure that the right people have the claims details and can notify others of a potential claim. 

What does buildings insurance cover in a block of flats?

All major risks will be covered – fire, escape of water, subsidence, storm damage etc. However, always check the exceptions and exclusions and also the level of any excesses, as with high excesses it may not be worth making a claim. 

Engineering Insurance and Inspection Services

Sometimes customers ask about Engineering and Inspection Services. These are not needed for the vast majority of insurance covers. Sometimes, in bigger modern buildings with several flats, there may be structural reasons to employ someone but most of the time this is not necessary. 

Frequently asked questions about block of flats insurance

For these, please go to the right page on the Emerald website – and you can do that HERE

Are there other services to consider alongside my building insurance for flats?

Sometimes you may want to have an up-to-date valuation from a surveyor – which minimises the risk of underinsurance. Or you can seek advice from the Association of British Insurers. Their website is HERE.

Looking for help arranging insurance and have flats insurance enquiries? Want to know more about accidental damage insurance and public liability insurance when it comes to block of flats insurance? We can offer specialist insurance cover tailored to your needs. Give us a call on 0330 113 7901 or email us at

Building Insurance Valuations

Your insurer will ask for the rebuild value (sometimes building sum insured) for your property. This can be tricky to work out (eg how do you cover communal areas? Do you have communal areas?) but you may have that figure from your previous years’ cover. 

Legal Expenses Insurance for Residential Management Companies

Where you have a company that is managing your building, there will be a board of directors. That may be made up of leaseholders. Even if this arrangement is quite informal you should make sure that the directors have protection. 

There may be legal expenses cover with the insurance for the block, but directors may need insurance if they are sued by the leaseholders, or make an error in management. That will normally be a separate policy – but Emerald can manage that for you as well. Just call us on 0330 113 7109 or look HERE

Is the leaseholder responsible for arranging buildings insurance?

In short no. This is the responsibility of the freeholder (or at least this should be set out in your lease deed – the freeholder will organise the insurance and then reclaim the costs from the leaseholder).

However, sometimes the freeholder is absent, or is a company owned but the leaseholders, in which case the leaseholders can organise the insurance, get quotes, manage claims for the block etc. Each block may be slightly different – but just make sure that someone is doing it!

What buildings insurance do you need for a leasehold flat or apartment?

We get asked this question a lot but mostly in the UK, all flats in the same building are leasehold – and it is not the leaseholder who organisers the insurance for more than one property but the freeholder. 

Please also be aware that some unscrupulous freeholders may also charge the insurance provider a commission which he then passes on to the flat owners. That is not illegal currently. Also, there should be no legal costs involved in setting up cover. 

Does block of flats building insurance cover rented properties or do I need landlord insurance?

We have answered this question above – many landlord items will be covered by your freehold policy but for some, such as malicious damage by a tenant, you will need separate landlord cover. 

To be honest, sometimes these covers can overlap, but better to be safe than sorry when it comes to with the right insurance cover. 

What have we covered today?

Here at Emerald, we hope that this has given you an overview of how this type of insurance works. If it is your task to get the insurance for your freehold we would be happy to help and we are at the end of the line – 0330 113 7109

And finally – what do I do next? 

Lots of things in life are complex, but organising buildings insurance needn’t be one of them. 

If you arrange insurance for your block of flats, Emerald can help with a block insurance policy that will provide cover as a property owner and we hope at a price you like. To get a quote, you can try online but if you have any questions, please give us a call on 0330 113 7109.