Home Insurance for Blocks of Flats, Listed Buildings, Thatched Property and Holiday Homes

Insurance for property in the UK, is divided in to two separate main classes; Residential which covers homes, holiday Homes & landlords that have purchased residential property for buy to let purposes (even though there is a commercial element because of the letting) and commercial property insurance which covers such things as shops & offices, factories and landlords that have purchased Commercial Buildings for Buy to Let purposes. The policies are then divided in to separate sections where you can choose whether to insure just the building or to add contents (commercial risks will have separate considerations such insurance of equipment, stock, etc). Before we have look at the covers available, lets examine a term that insurers call insurable interest, this is quite important when it comes to landlord covers and the insurance of commercial risks where frequently, the owner of the building (such as the property management company of a block of flats or apartment block), is not the person that actually occupies and uses the premises for commercial premises. To be able to take out an insurance policy covering a building or it's contents or in fact any type of insurance coverage you must have an insurable interest in the items, this basically means that any person entering in to a contract of insurance must stand to loose financially if the the insured item is lost or damaged.

Before we have look at the covers available, lets examine a term that insurers call insurable interest, this is quite important when it comes to landlord covers and the insurance of commercial risks where frequently, the owner of the building (such as th property management company of a block of flats or apartment block), is not the person that actually occupies and uses the premises for commercial premises. To be able to take out an insurance policy covering a building or it's contents or in fact any type of insurance coverage you must have an insurable interest in the items, this basically means that any person entering in to a contract of insurance must stand to loose financially if the the insured item is lost or damaged. Thus if you own your own home, you have an insurable interest in the building and the contents by virtue of the fact that you own them. If you are a landlord of a shop that you rent out, you have an insurable interest in the building itself, but your tenant will, have to insure the contents and stock as they belong to them. What ever type of property insurance policy you opt for, in the UK, you will be presented with a document that contains a list of eventualities or perils. Whilst these are slightly different from insurer to insurer, the “core” covers such as Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Earthquake, Storm , Flood, Theft, Attempted Theft, Subsidence, Landslip & Heave to name just a few, are little changed in over 30 years. In fact if you are buying a property on a mortgage, you will find that the lender will require you to confirm that you have a policy that meets with the minimum set of cover standards as laid out in the council of mortgage lenders hand book. This type of peril based wording has been developed for the Uk and you may find that if you insure a property abroad, in say Spain or the United States, you will be offered a slightly different set of perils, more tailored to local needs.

Blocks of Flats Insurance UK - at Insurance-Answers we specialise in providing Blocks of Flats Insurance to property management companies and landlords with converted flats or purpose built blocks of flats. Apartment blocks as they are curiously known in the USA are fondly known as high rise blocks of flats in the UK. Blocks of flats were regarded as the solution to housing problems after world war two when many large towns had suffered a great deal of damage. At first they were typically council owned whereby the tenants pay a rent to the council. However, in modern times and thanks to the 1980's Government policy of home ownership, tenants were given the opportunity to buy their own council homes outright. Today, property developers are looking at blocks of flats in urban areas as a means of providing upmarket, quality housing for professional people. Cities such as London, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham, where land is scarce are seeing a massive rise in the building of flats for single people and mobile shore term workers. These areas are prime for regeneration and redevelopment, especially in 'brown field' sites where are green belt areas are off limits due to legislation and planning policy. The demand seems insatiable; for instance, in Exeter recently, a newly purpose built blocks of flats development was opened for vendors on a first come first service basis and the que of people had been waiting for the opening for one week in the street to ensure they had an opportunity to buy.

What Will Insurance Companies Need to Know To Provide a Quotation - before you request a quotation for property insurance you will require to know certain amount of information to enable an accurate figure to be presented to you:-

  • Risk Address - The insurer will also require to know the full postcode of the property that you wish to insure, in the Uk, all properties are allocated a postcode and if you do not know you postcode. The postcode, will instantly present the insurance company with information regarding the location of your property, they will be able to tell if it is likely to flood, the type of soil and its susceptibility to subsidence, they my even have access to information regarding crime in the area. In addition, the type of property and its construction¬†are factors in deciding whether cover is available... property can be classed as either residential or commercial but within these two there are many more sub classes, buildings can be detached, semi detached, split in to flats. Attention is paid to the construction of the property, is it bricks and mortar and does it have any unusual features such as a Thatched Roof or perhaps it is a listed building.

  • How is it occupied - The cheapest form of property insurance in the Uk is available for owner occupied home Insurance, if you property is let out to tenants, then generally the insurance is a little more expensive and certain tenant types attract even higher loadings. For commercial, building insurance risks, offices are usually the cheapest but the rating offered by the insurer usually reflects the occupation of the building and takes in to consideration and trade processes that are being carried out that are likely to increase the chances of a loss

  • The Building Sum Insured - Insurers wish you to insure for the rebuilding cost of a property, this is not to be confused with the market value of a property which is often a lot higher and will of course take in to consideration the properties location. If you have a mortgage on the property, in most cases, your lender will recommend a sum insured to you. If you do not have a mortgage, a guide to rebuilding costs can be located on the Association of British Insurers website although this will only be of help to you if the the property is residential. It is important to make sure that you sum insured is accurate as failure to do so, even in the event of a partial loss claim may result in you not receiving payment for the full cost of damages. Insurers apply a something known as an average clause to cases of under insurance, where claims may be reduced in proportion to the amount of under insurance. As premiums are based on sums insured, you do not wish to over insurer either as this will result in you paying too much money.

  • Previous Claims - When obtaining your property insurance quotation, you will be asked for details of any previous claims that have occurred within a certain time period. This is usually 5 years although some insurers only ask for 3 . You must disclose all claims even those that occurred at other addresses although in practice for building insurance, these tend not to have an effect on the premium. You should advise all incidents even if they did not result in a claim being paid or because you were not insured at the time. Remember that insurance contracts are contracts of good faith and in order for you to obtain a accurate quotation and receive full policy cover, you must advise the insurance company of all relevant information and material facts. Failure to do so may result in a claim not being paid. If you are ever unsure as to exactly what constitutes a material fact, you should always check with your insurance advisor.


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