Landlord insurance for flats?

Landlord insurance for flats?

0:02 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago 10

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Hi, I own a few flats that are in blocks, they are all unfurnished (so I have no contents) and the buildings insurance is provided for the block via the managing agents/service charge.

There doesn’t appear to be any products out there that will provide ‘landlord cover’ without also taking buildings or contents – I’m thinking about claims against me by the tenant, cost of rehousing/lost rent should there be a block fire or something. Or what if my tenant does something that voids the block insurance causing a significant uninsured loss to myself/other owners?

I also worry that the block insurance is not specifically for rental properties (unlike the policies I have on all my houses) so there could be also sorts of clauses and limitations in the T&C’s which could limit pay outs for rented properties.

What do others do when they have flats covered by block insurance?

Thanks,
Adrian


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Comments

John

10:20 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I sort out the block insurance myself. Lower premiums and better insurance.

I use acorn insurance based in kent i think. they are great.

Our managing agent was charging £1200 for insurance cover of £550k on a 7 block. The rebuild cost was £880k so they were well under insured.

I said i would sort out the insurance and they agreed to it. £880 for £880k cover. Includes landlords cover and holiday lets plus free contents ins for all flats up to £5k.

You have to shop around, but these guys are the cheapest i know and were recommended through this site.

The other 3 block i insure went from £800 down to £450

Laura Delow

10:28 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Ask the Managing Agent if you don't have a copy already, for a copy of the Policy Schedule & Policy Wording as you might find Loss of Rent/Alternative Accommodation is already covered even if rented out. If not, speak to the experts like Total Landlord Insurance (part of Hamilton Fraser recommended by NRLA) or Property118's partner; The Home Insurer.

Judith Wordsworth

11:16 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I have emergency landlord cover via The Home Insurer. I deal with Tom, absolutely brilliant

Chris Bradley

11:35 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I have a flat and checked the buildings cover which didn't include the individual flats fixtures and fittings. most contents cover doesn't include fixture and fittings either. The only place that I could find was simply business to contents and fixtures and fittings cover and landlord cover.

AnthonyG

11:55 AM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I think you are right Adrian. The biggest issue is liability insurance, which isn't sold as a stand alone product for landlords who are leaseholders. That means you are entirely dependent on the freeholder's policy if a tenant makes a claim against you. You might be covered or not for the tenant's claim and if you are covered by the freeholder policy, there may or may not be a massive insurance excess (for some of my flats it is £250,0000). It is about time the industry stepped up. The only way I am aware of to get liability insurance is to buy another insurance product. If you buy rental cover, you can get that with liability insurance and rehousing.

Susan Bradley

12:04 PM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

I have a horror story about this! I have several flats which are unfurnished and relied upon the fact that was paying for buildings cover via because I am contributing to the premium by virtue of the fact that I pay service charges.
Then I had a tenant that claimed that a radiator had fallen off a wall and injured someone and put in a claim. I ought to add that this was all to do with them damaging the flat (breaking the bathroom sink) and painting the walls lime green and purple without permission. So it was a ploy to stop the deposit being withheld. They had a no win no fee lawyer and it took about 3 years to sort out because I was excluded from the policy even though I was paying towards it. I took it to the Ombudsman because I was irate that I could be excluded. Anyway it all came to nothing because as soon as I said I would turn up at the Court and take my chances it all went away.
Apparently it is well known to insurance companies that if they pay it will cost them a fortune so they deny cover because they know it will die. The no win no fee lawyers want an out of Court settlement and most people give it to them. Anyway since then I have taken out a policy with Rentguard purely to save my sanity should I ever experience anything else like it.

Seething Landlord

12:52 PM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Homelet have a policy that gives liability and limited contents cover, cost is around £80 per annum. We have had this cover for years but have never made a claim so no experience of how it works in practice.

Jason McClean - The Home Insurer

14:28 PM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Hi Adrian

You are covering a lot of ground here, so I'll try to answer each point in turn.

Insuring as a block is common, with a managing agent organising. You need to tell the managing agent what you need from your insurance. You should be named on the policy as an interested party. That means the property owners liability should extend to you if ever needed.

If you need loss of rent on the block policy, then you need the managing agent to deliver that within the block policy. This is fairly common so shouldn't be an issue.

Saying that, a managing agent arranging insurance on the cheapest possible price is likely to go for a lower quality policy that may well exclude all sorts of perils or have high excesses (this is needed to achieve lowest possible price). It's best for you to read the policy and ensure it covers exactly what you need.

Your tenant voiding the insurance is an interesting one. How? I'm not sure how they could do this in practice. If you mean leaving taps on and flooding the entire building, then the block insurance escape of water would cover it...as long as it is not excluded. Again, check the policy meets your needs.

In terms of blocks and renting, this is very common, but not all policies are equal. You need to read the policy, wording, excesses and exclusions and make sure it meets your needs.

The block policy in place should meet your needs. But policies are all different and you are the only one that knows your exact needs against what your current policy delivers. If the managing agent hasn't arranged insurance to meet your needs, then you need to tell them and get it updated.

We can tailor a block policy to meet almost any requirement, so here to help if needed. 01823-735388.

Blodwyn

15:14 PM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

Try Bennett Christmas at Burgess Hill 01444 810088 and ask about Landlord Protect against e.g.: loss of rent, cost of putting tenant in alternative accommodation if the flat becomes uninhabitable.

Helen

18:15 PM, 9th March 2023, About 12 months ago

We use Lansdown insurance brokers they do flat insurance although ours are cottages in a row but on a group policy
They might do different levels of cover??

https://www.lansdowninsurance.com/blocks-of-flats-insurance/

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