For many homeowners, purchasing a buildings insurance policy is a relatively straightforward affair. For some types of buildings, however, a specialist insurance provider is needed. This can be, for instance, where a dwelling shares part of its structure with commercial premises, such as an apartment above a shop. Another area that has the potential to be problematic is insuring a property that is part of a block.
Blocks of flats are just as varied as houses, so there is no hard and fast rule to follow. Nevertheless, most flats fall into one of a couple of categories, so it is important to make sure you have collated the necessary information before you begin your search.
At Livingstones, we have a wealth of experience in arranging competitive insurance to protect the assets and interests of both residents and landlords. Our bespoke insurance policies provide cover for a range of different purposes.
For example, small blocks of flats, where there is just one flat that resides above a ground floor apartment can be relatively simple, but may still require a specialist policy. This is quite a common arrangement where a family home has been converted to two dwellings.
If you own the ground floor flat you will probably also own the freehold of the property. In that case, the tenure of the first floor flat will likely be held as leasehold. Even so, you are likely to want to split the costs of the buildings policy between the flats. If this is the case, you will probably need a landlords’ policy, held in the name of the owner of the ground floor flat with the owner of the upper flat named as an interested party. Should the flats be destroyed, both parties are protected.
Landlord insurance policies usually place special requirements on policy holders that conventional cover does not specify. This is because landlords are usually renting properties as a source of income and need to provide some basics.
If your home is in a larger block of flats, there is usually a management company that is set up to administrate the upkeep of common areas, if the landowner themselves does not do it. Check with the freehold owner, or their agent, that they do not already cover the buildings insurance, in which case all you will need is contents insurance.
If you need to insure your proportion of the building individually, or you simply think the cover provided is inadequate, we’ll do our best to help you find the right policy. You will need to consider damage from escape of water, particularly if you have someone living above you, as well as other unexpected incidents such as infestation or fly-tipping.