If you’re looking for freeholder building insurance then a block insurance policy is probably right for you.
As a freeholder – or if you are obliged to settle a share of freehold buildings insurance – then you need to protect your investment in the physical structure of your property.
But if there are multiple flats in the same block, all with different owners – even a simple maisonette – then your freeholder buildings insurance can be a little bit more complicated.
For flats that have been sold on long leases, a building can have multiple flatowners in multiple properties within the same building and so the risks and responsbilities within the property are slightly different.
As such, you should not assume that a standard home insurance or landlord insurance policy is right for you. Pick the wrong type of policy and you may find that the insurer will decline to pay out on a claim, so this is important.
So why might an insurer decline to pay a claim? That’s because you would have been paying for a policy that is not priced according to your actual risk. And a wrong policy may not have the cover terms that you need for a block/freeholder policy.
Thankfully you need not panic. At Emerald Life we have experienced underwriters who specialise in properties that are beyond the sort of thing you simply enter into a comparison site.
We began with a mission on inclusivity, equality and expert customer service. While we can’t give advice we can help you sort through the relevant information you need to help you find a policy that’s right for you.
Freeholder building insurance is a policy we can provide, including joint freeholder building insurance, and can help make sure that you understand the policy you are buying.
Our Freeholder Buildings Insurance
Any property comprising of two or more flats or apartments is considered a ‘block’ for insurance purposes in that the buildings cover will need to be taken out as a single policy, irrespective of the number of flats that there are in the building. While that could include different variations 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
- Third party liability cover
Joint Freeholder Building Insurance
Freeholder building insurance can seem complicated enough without getting other parties involved. However if you do need share of freehold buildings insurance then we can certainly help.
A joint freeholder building insurance policy is not much different to buying a house jointly or with a mortage. In both those cases there are additional parties with an interest in the property and who are effectively joint policy holders. Often this is where there are only two flats in the building, where the effort of setting up a jointly-owned company to own the freehold seems like a lot.
We can therefore offer joint freeholder building insurance quite easily as long as you have the details of the joint freeholders.
This is important because in the event of a claim the payout obviously needs to go where it’s needed and each share of the freehold is treated appropriately.
Property Owner Liability Cover
A good freeholder insurance policy should also include third-party liability cover, which essentially means if the property causes harm to someone or their property and sues you your legal fees are covered.
Liability cover usually comes in bands of £2 million or £5 million – the same that we offer at Emerald (£2m comes as standard and is the most popular option) – although higher bands may be available elsewhere.
In a block of flats the potential claims here are probably higher than in a standard house as you may have more people coming and going and also the rebuild value may well be higher.
What is freeholder insurance?
Freeholder insurance is building insurance so that if a building is damaged your costs are covered. Freeholder insurance is also a form of landlord insurance which means you are still covered even though you are not the occupant of the property. It should also include features like third party liability, landlord contents and loss of rent if the property is uninhabitable.
What does freeholder insurance cover?
Freeholder insurance is a form of landlord insurance that mainly covers your investment in the structure of the building. However, it should also include features like third party liability insurance, landlord contents in communal areas (including carpets) and loss of rent if the property is uninhabitable.
What insurance do you need for a flat?
If you are a tenant in a flat then generally you only need to think about contents insurance because the buildings insurance is the responsbility of your landlord as you have no financial interest in the structure of the building.
If you are a landlord then you may need appropriate landlord insurance for let properties. That’s not a legal requirement but is important to protect your investment in the value of the building in case it is damaged.
Do I need buildings insurance for a leasehold property?
If you are a leaseholder then usually buildings insurance is the responsibility of your freeholder, although you can double check this in your lease. Typically buildings insurance is then included as part of your service charge.