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Researching and buying flats insurance may seem a big undertaking.
While most landlords are aware that buildings insurance is their responsibility, that can get more complicated with a block of flats when you have multiple properties in the same building leased or rented out to different tenants. That is where a block of flats insurance policy comes in.
Who are you?
You may not even be the landlord, but the director of a Residential Management Company (RMC), Right to Manage Company (RTM), member of a Residents Association or a resident who has taken on the brave task of organising buildings insurance for a block of flats.
But thankfully whether you’re experienced or not the process is quite simple.
Who are we?
Buildings insurance for blocks of flats is something we pride ourselves on at Emerald Life because of our continuing mission of delivering better quality customer service and dealing with more complex insurance requirements, such as landlord portfolio insurance cover.
A flats insurance policy with Emerald Life largely resembles our standard landlord insurance but with additional endorsements to recognise the requirements of buildings insurance for a block of flats. We can provide cover for all types of tenants including HMO, DSS and students and other additional covers.
What does flats insurance cost?
Click here for a fast quote where we can provide comprehensive cover for block of flat insurance/freeholder buildings insurance.
If you don’t think you own a block of flats but a house of multiple occupancy, that is also something we cover at Emerald Life.
Any property comprising of two or more flats or apartments is considered a ‘block of flats’ for insurance purposes. While that could include all sorts of policies there are some things to look out for with every block insurance policy providing property insurance cover.
What does block insurance cover?
Well, it’s important to have broad cover for your block/freeholders building insurance. Make sure your insurance can cover conversions, a purpose built block, more than one block if required, entire blocks, converted houses or just a converted house!
Also for the freeholder of any block of flats insurance is vital to avoid financial consequences of any event being uninsured, which might result in directors being held personally liable. It is also important for a property manager to have that in place, with the correct sums insured as part of their business purposes.
What exactly then?
- Buildings including accidental damage, water damage, fire, theft, flood and storm
- Trace and access of leaks in service pipes
- Communal contents including fitted carpets
- Alternative accommodation or loss of rent or other rent cover
- Outbuildings like garages
- One excess per incident so if damage affects several flats you are liable for only one excess per total claim
- Replacement keys
- Employers liability to cover anyone working in communal areas
- Third party liability cover
- Legal expenses (legal expenses are not often used but can come in valuable!)
- Malicious damage cover
- Other legal liabilities
Buildings Insurance For Blocks of Flats
A block of flats could be a great investment but also leaves more chances of something going wrong. You have more tenants than a simple house let, each with their own kitchens, bathrooms and other places which could cause an incident.
What’s more is unlike a series of let properties separated by distance, a problem with one flat is likely to spread to another in a block of flats.
This can also have a serious impact on the morale of your tenants and you want to minimise the time needed to reassure them as well reduce churn rate.
A good buildings insurance provider with experience in arranging buildings insurance or block insurance policies can help make sure any problems are solved quickly.
Emerald landlord insurance also offers cover for lost rent if the property is made uninhabitable as standard in every block insurance policy under Emerald’s comprehensive building insurance.
Loss of rent is covered up to 20% of the total buildings sum insured on the policy, so in effect 20% of the buildings value. This is an insurance term that often requires more explanation, as it included alternative accommodation if you cannot live in the block because of an ‘insured event’ such as fire or explosion, which can be important for property owners and their tenants.
Property Owner’s Liability Insurance
Every good buildings insurance policy should also include property owner’s liability insurance. This means that if someone is injured on your property or your property causes damage then you have some cover for legal fees. Liability cover usually comes in bands of £2 million and £5 million.
Here at Emerald, we pride ourselves in being among that select band of award-winning insurance providers and so we offer cover starting at £5m, but can offer more if you want to call us on 0330 113 7109.
We want you to have the right insurance cover for you (building insurance, landlords insurance, cover for rental property etc can all be included in a package when we provide cover for you).
If your flats are going to be unoccupied for a period of time – such as for renovations or waiting between tenants – then we do also offer unoccupied buildings insurance.
That is important because if you have to make a claim on landlord insurance and the property is unoccupied then your claim may be refused. Unoccupied properties carry greater risk and so insurers set the maximum amount of time your property is allowed to unoccupied – including let properties.
It is details like this that make a block of flats insurance policy more complicated than standard landlord insurance. That is why it is often a good idea to find a broker who specialises in these insurance niches.
You are more likely to have your situation listened to by an expert and escalated to an underwriter if there are special requirements and so you can get the right cover for the right price.
Block of Flats Insurance Comparison
If you are looking for a block of flats insurance comparison then be careful to ensure you are comparing apples with apples for the price.
Block of flats insurance is quite a specialist area and so different policies are likely to have different features and terms and conditions.
If you are buying a block of flats with a mortgage then you should also check the requirements of your lender.
Here at Emerald we are keen to help – be it with a block of flats, or even a block of flats that forms part of a portfolio of more than one property.
Block of flats insurance can seem a big task – especially if you’re just a resident who has volunteered to sort things out. But with the right broker you can make a more informed choice about what you are looking for. As ever you should shop around to get the best idea of the market and get qualified financial advice if you’re unsure.
And lastly, to get the best return on your investment, it helps to be a nice landlord. There are lots of articles around on how to do that, but we like this one here!
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