Expensive insurance due to sensitive 3rd party information?

by Readers Question

11:16 AM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Expensive insurance due to sensitive 3rd party information?

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Expensive insurance due to sensitive 3rd party information?

My freeholder is responsible for building insurance for a flat that I own in a building with 8 flats. The insurance premium is 3 times (£450) what I pay for a similar flat about 200 yards away (£175).

When I challenged this, the freeholder refuses to disclose any other quotes obtained due to “sensitive 3rd party information”.  I have suggested that the sensitive information can be redacted to no avail.

Furthermore the management company is claiming for small repairs (7 in past 5 years – 4 rejected by insurance). We fought to change the management company (for excessive charges ) successfully 3 years ago, demanding the right to manage. Despite a new management company being in charge, the premiums are still rising.

I am being told that I have no option, but to pay up (the insurance premium) what is demanded no questions asked.

Many thanks

Ajith


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Comments

Neil Patterson

11:19 AM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Dear Ajith,

Is it possible there have been multiple or expensive claims made against the block policy or even a flood risk that is causing the premium differential?

Neil Patterson

11:20 AM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Please also see the Leasehold Advisory Service
>> https://www.lease-advice.org/faq/my-landlord-arranges-the-buildings-insurance-and-i-pay-a-proportion-of-the-cost-through-my-service-charge-can-i-get-information-about-the-policy/

My landlord arranges the buildings insurance and I pay my share through my service charge. How can I get information about the policy?

Legally, as a leaseholder you are entitled to ask for information in relation to your insurance policy. This right does not arise automatically but only upon a request made by you as a leaseholder to the landlord.

An individual leaseholder or the secretary of a recognised tenants’ association can ask the landlord for a written summary which should be sent to the leaseholder free of charge.

You can also ask the landlord and are entitled to inspect and take copies of the policy.

The request must be made in writing and the landlord must comply within 21 days. Your landlord can only be required to provide the summary once in each insurance period (usually a year).

The summary should contain the sum for which the property is insured, the name of the insurer and the risks covered in the policy.

Mark Weedon

12:40 PM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

There may also be a difference in the sum insured between your block and the other and differences in construction. once you have a copy of the insurance you will be able to make a more informed decision.

BTL Landlord

12:55 PM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 30/06/2020 - 11:20
Are leaseholders allowed to ask the freeholders / management for a copy of the actual insurance premium invoice to see the exact cost?
Some freeholders apparently charge extra on top for their administration time but do not disclose the info the leaseholders

NewYorkie

14:27 PM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

This is a classic example of how management agents rip-off leaseholders through service charge items such as Buildings Insurance and utilities. They obtain the most expensive policies and services because they receive large kick-backs from the providers. But if you have obtained RTM, then the appointment of the management company is in the hands of your RTM Co Ltd. If you are not happy with the agent, give them the requisite notice of termination. But the first step should be for your RTM directors to request full transparency of the insurance policy, premium and how much kick-back the agent has taken.

I've been through 2 RTMs and am a director of one. Our first act was to kick out the freeholder's management company, and we immediately saw a huge reduction in our Buildings insurance. We have 25 apartments and pay £3200 pa (£128 each).

Not knowing what sort of property you have, I can't say if this sort of premium would be right for you, but I would put money on it not needing to be £450 pa.

Tim Rogers

15:40 PM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

In one block of 6 flats we got so hacked off with the extortion of a certain well known management company, appointed by the freeholders, (there was some kind of symbiotic link we never did quite pin down), we forced the sale of the freehold. Ultimately it is the only real solution.

Our costs are now 25% of what they were and the value per flat increase was more than the divided total costs involved.

But, it is a long painful process and you spend a lot of time removing the obstacles they erect.

Gracie

17:05 PM, 30th June 2020
About 5 months ago

This is such a typical complaint - managing agents loading insurances & using their own company to ensure buildings. I've been looking into my own excessive charge today. They really are sods.

Join the NLC group and you'll see this and many other complaints re the leasehold system , hopefully get some help with any other issues that you may be having. https://www.facebook.com/groups/nationalleaseholdcampaign/


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