Requesting an insurance quotation for a block of flats is a fairly straight forward process, once you are in full possession of all the required information. It’s probably a good idea if only one person does the calling around for the premiums, as if more than one attempts the process, you can end up with insurance brokers and companies being contacted on numerous occasions and confusion as to the actual information disclosed. It’s quite usual for an individual flat owner to call around and obtain a very competitive quote, only to discover at a later date, they did not disclose all the information.
Insurance quote for a block of flats
How to obtain a flats insurance quote
The easiest way to proceed, is to have a meeting and elect a person that will ask for quotations. As this person will be requesting quotations on behalf of all the flat owners, it is vital that they are provided with all the relevant information. If the information presented to the insurer is incorrect, it can lead to serious consequences at a later date, if a claim is submitted. Most facts are straight forward such as the address of the building and post code but there are a number of areas where problems arise. One is relating to previous claims and it is essential that accurate information is obtained. Sometimes, blocks of flats allow individual flat owners to make claims without going through a system where the actual claim is logged, this can lead to numerous claims being submitted without the knowledge of the other flat owners. If this happens, it is possible that any new insurer will quote, but not be in possession of all the facts. The simplest way around this to is to have a point of reference for submitting claims. If this has not been done in the past, issue a memo to all flat owners and ask them to detail all claims made within the last 5 years. You will need to know the date of the claim, the type of claim and the amount paid. This information can also be obtained from the previous insurance company, but if the freehold has just been obtained, or relations with the previous landlord are not good, this information can be difficult to obtain.
One the piece of important information is the rebuilding cost. This causes problems to almost all owners of blocks of flats and it is practically impossible to obtain an accurate insurance quotation without it. If you are just buying the freehold of your property, it’s probably best if you obtain a professional valuation for insurance purposes, at least that way you know you are setting off on the correct footing. There are various calculators on line which provide help with the rebuilding cost of property for insurance purposes, but alas most of these do not lend themselves to blocks of flats, especially purpose built blocks .
When calling to obtain an insurance quotation, it’s a good idea to point out immediately that the insurance is for a block of flats. Many insurance companies will not cover this type of risk and you could save yourself a good deal of time and effort. Various questions will be asked, fairly similar to that under a standard home insurance policy, you will need the full address and postcode, details of the construction and of when the property was constructed. You will also have to supply details of how many flats are in the block and how they are occupied. General questions relating to the history of subsidence and flooding will also be asked. If your flats are above a commercial building, this should also be pointed out as it will almost certainly make a difference.
Some insurance companies will offer you a sum insured in respect of contents, it’s should be remembered that this will only be in respect communal contents and not items of contents in each leaseholders flat. Another core part of the wording will cover Loss of Rent or Alternative Accommodation cover, this is usually set at 20% of the building sum insured. You will need to make sure this is adequate for all of the flats in the block. Most policies are issued on a package basis, with a fairly standard range of perils that can be extended to include Accidental Damage. Some optional extras include Legal Expenses & Terrorism cover.
When you purchase a block of flats insurance, some consideration should be given as to the name the policy issued in. In most cases, this is the freeholder s name. If you jointly own the freehold with others, then their names should also be mentioned on the policy document. Lenders normally like their interests to be added as well, in a large block, this is not always practical and in the cases a ‘global’ inclusion can usually be added. In some cases, freeholds are purchased in the name of a limited company and thus the individual owners names do not need to be mentioned,. If you are in any doubt, always ask.