What is block insurance?
Block Insurance is for property owners or management companies with multiple connected properties. The risks associated with a single property are not the same as properties which are connected, so block insurance exists for these types of properties such as blocks of flats, conversions or maisonettes. It is also commonly known as blocks of flats insurance.
What do I need to know to apply for block insurance?
To complete an application for block insurance you will need to know the basic information about the connected properties such as:
- Overall size of the building and how many individual connected properties you are insuring
- Construction and utility information such as the materials used for the walls and roof, security arrangements such as locks on doors/windows and whether there is any security on site as well as what kinds of utilities are available i.e. gas,
oil heating etc.
- Whether there is a mix of residential and business and if so, what types of business are within the properties
- What fixtures and fittings are including within the properties – and if there are any items provided with the blocks such as furniture, electrical items etc.
Once you have gathered all this basic information you need to chat to an expert in Block Insurance, such as one of the team of Property Insurance Centre. It is always better to talk to a professional advisor rather than try to insure the property yourself, as an expert will navigate you through the quotation more swiftly and make sure all the right questions are asked. They can then give you details on all the different types of cover which you must include before discussing the range of optional extras.
What cover do I need to include in my block insurance?
At a minimum a basic policy should include:
- Property owners liability cover in case someone is injured in the property
- Employers liability cover in case a member of staff or volunteer is injured
- Cover for damage or theft which is malicious or intentional and for accidental damage.
Optional extras which are normally regarded as beneficial include:
- Legal expenses to cover any legal advice or representation you need if someone takes a claim against you
- Loss of rent or cover for alternative accommodation in case the block become uninhabitable for any reason.
Why would I need to make a claim on my insurance?
Many people purchase insurance and put a large excess on the policy as they think they will never use it but it’s important to note that in 2018 property insurance companies in the UK paid more than £15 billion in claims*. A recent article ** noted the top most common insurance claims made by small businesses in 2018 were for:
- Burglary and theft
- Water and freezing damage
- Wind and hail damage
- Customer slips and falls
The type of building you have and the frequency of access by tenants and members of the public will clearly influence the likelihood of having to make a claim, as will the age and type of building being insured. There are however practical steps which you can take to try to reduce the likelihood of a claim and this will normally be viewed favourably by insurance providers. Make sure you have suitable fire detection, CCTV and physical security at your block as this will help to reduce the likelihood of fire, burglary or theft. Good building maintenance and monitoring can help to reduce the potential for weather related damage, malicious damage in common areas or claims for accidents as a result of poor maintenance or negligence.
Rather than just renew your insurance, take the time to think about what cover you need and also consider what steps you can take to reduce your risk by reviewing your current maintenance and security regimes.
For more advice and information on available policies, call one of our experts on 0800 085 3761.
While you are here and block insurance is on your mind, why not check out this Fire Safety Guide for Blocks of Flats.