Researching and buying block of 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.
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.
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.
A block of 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 DSS and students.
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’ for insurance purposes. While that could include all sorts of policies there are some things to look out for with every block insurance policy.
- 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.
- 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
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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 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.
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.
If you have items in communal areas that are your property as landlord, we also offer £5000 of landlord contents cover free in every policy.
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.
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.
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.