Essential tips for residential property owners
From a single buy-to-let private dwelling through to a multi-property portfolio, including blocks of flats, landlords and property managers need to expect the unexpected when arranging property insurance. Follow our expert tips on what to ask for when arranging your insurance cover:
1) Claims resulting from leaking water pipes are one of the most common causes of damage in properties, especially so in blocks of flats. The cost of repairs to pipes is generally not covered unless the cause is accidental, however in order for the cost of tracing the leak to be covered, the policy must have a ‘trace and access’ insurance extension. It is important to check that this extension is in place and that the level of cover is adequate. It is not uncommon for trace and access claims in large blocks to exceed £15,000.
2) It is recommended that the buildings sum insured is on a ‘Day One’ basis. This is an inflation provision that provides protection against under-insurance in the event of a claim. The sum insured is inflated by between 15% and 50% to protect against increasing costs during the course of a repair or in worst case scenarios, a complete rebuild of the property.
3) Insurance against terrorist acts is normally an extension of cover that can be purchased for a relatively small additional premium. Although the risk of a terrorist attack outside our major cities might be considered as minimal, if an event was to occur the parties involved in arranging the insurance cover could be held liable if inadequate cover is in place.
4) It is important that the building sum insured is correct at the inception of the policy. We recommend that professional advice is taken to determine the right rebuilding cost. Further advice relating to rebuilding cost can be provided by surveyors Barrett Corp & Harrington.
5) Anyone who takes on a management or administration role either in a Company or in a Residents’ Association or Residents’ Management Company should also consider the need for Directors & Officers insurance. It is becoming common practice for Directors & Officers to be held personally responsible for any wrongful acts committed in the course of making management decisions, putting their personal wealth at risk should a claim or allegation of wrongdoing arise. Directors can be held accountable for the actions of fellow Directors and Officers even though they may not have committed, or taken part in a particular act.
If your property insurance is not due just yet there is no harm in carrying out some research now as this will save you time later and it may highlight some aspects that you were not aware of on your present policy. Now is also a good time to make sure any new purchases or renovation works are included in your current cover. At Adler Insurance Brokers we are happy to review your insurance now, even if your renewal date is later in the year.
For further advice about insurance for blocks of flats, contact our property team on 0844 335 0371 or contact us via our web contact form and let us help you with your property insurance renewal.