Your Guide to Properly Insuring Your Flat

Are you letting a flat or apartment? Letting a property requires you to obtain adequate insurance. Typically, a landlord will have block of flats insurance if they own multiple properties that need proper cover.

A few of the most common questions asked by an insurance provider are:

Is Buildings Cover Needed?

As a landlord, you may or may not be responsible for buildings cover. The responsibility falls on the owner of the freehold. However, many freeholders will add in a premium that is part of the service charge.

Anyone that owns the freehold will be responsible for arranging buildings cover.

If a group of people own the freehold, a block policy is a wise choice. This policy will cover the entirety of freeholders and allows for greater cost control. Owning a freehold also means you have the right to shop around for insurance.

Do I Need to Insure Possessions?

Personal possessions are not covered against loss unless household contents cover is provided. As a landlord, this is your responsibility and not that of the freeholder as seen with buildings cover.

Anyone that is in a flat share can also take out insurance on just their own possessions. This allows you to avoid costs for other flat mate property.

A communal policy is not recommended. While these policies may be more cost effective, they are also contingent on all parties paying their insurance. If one flat mate doesn’t pay the insurance, this may mean that your items still remain uncovered. After all, the entire policy is due, and partial payments are often not allowed.

Possible Mishaps

There’s a lot that goes into insuring a flat. Oftentimes, it’s a neighbour or someone else that causes damage to your property that may or may not be covered under your policy. In this case, you must have the right insurance in place to cover all of your possessions.

For example, an old tenant may still have the keys to the flat. This person may enter the property at any time and steal your belongings.

Many insurance policies will not cover these losses. Why? Insurance providers often require some proof of forced entry. Since the past tenant didn’t need to break a door or a window, there is no way to determine if a burglary occurred, or if you were at fault for the items disappearing.

Flat mates are also a risk and may steal items.

A long discussion with your insurer is the best thing you can do to ensure proper cover is provided at all times. Knowing when this cover is needed most will allow you to ask the insurer all the right questions before signing a policy.

Taking out a large excess on claims is another valid way to keep premiums low.

Inadequate cover limits are also a concern. If an upstairs flat caused a leak in the roof and damaged your furniture, these items may not be allowed to be claimed if cover is not high enough. The right limits should be discussed with an insurance agent.

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