Buildings Insurance – Common Questions
Buildings insurance policy covers the fabric and communal areas of a building or buildings, the roof and walls, foundations and floors, etc., of which an individual apartment may form a part. This is usually known as a ‘block’ policy.
Block Policies vary from one insurer to another but all will cover certain fundamental risks, usually limited to sudden and unforeseen events, but sometimes extending to include the cost of investigating the cause of a problem, such as a burst pipe or collapsed drain.
Who arranges the buildings insurance?
- If you own an apartment that forms part of a building or buildings it is usually the responsibility of your RMC or the Freeholder/Landlord to arrange the Buildings Insurance.
How do I know who is responsible for arranging the Buildings Insurance?
- Your lease will detail who is responsible for arranging Buildings Insurance.
How do I pay for the Buildings Insurance?
- If it is the Freeholder’s/Landlord’s responsibility to arrange Buildings Insurance then they will either invoice you directly, or they may invoice your RMC.
- Where the Freeholder’s/Landlord invoices your RMC then the cost will be incorporated in the Service/Maintenance Charge invoice you receive. Similarly if your RMC arranges the insurance the cost will be incorporated in the Service/Maintenance Charge invoice you receive.
My building society has arranged Buildings Insurance. Why should I pay twice?
- It is extremely rare that an individual apartment owner should arrange their own insurance. Sometimes mortgagees package insurance products with a mortgage or loan, perhaps as part of a buildings/contents insurance package. Upon receipt of supporting documentation confirming that cover is and should be placed elsewhere (for instance as a requirement of the lease) they will usually cancel any pre-arranged surplus policy.
I own a house but am a RMC member/shareholder. Who arranges my Insurance?
- If you own a house, whether or not you are a member/shareholder in a RMC, it is usual that you should arrange your own buildings and (optionally) contents insurance. In this case you will find that you have not been charged for buildings insurance by the RMC.
Does the Buildings Insurance policy cover my contents?
- No. Buildings Insurance policies generally only cover the fabric of the building and sometimes, but not always, fixtures and fittings that are ‘fixed’ (i.e. they cannot be moved out of the building upon, say, the sale of an apartment).