What does buildings insurance for flats cover?

Also known as landlord insurance for flats, it covers various risks for multiple properties on one policy. We work closely with a specialist panel of insurers to find the right policy at the right price for your block of flats buildings insurance. Cover can include:

Bullet Point

Landlord buildings and contents insurance

We can provide comprehensive buildings and contents cover for your block of flats, including cover for theft, accidental and malicious damage.

Bullet Point

Pet damage

Our Lets with Pets landlord insurance via NIG provides cover for damage caused by your tenants’ pets. Just ask for pet damage to be included in your quote when you speak to our team.

Bullet Point

Up to 120 days unoccupancy

Cover for up to 120 consecutive days while the property is unoccupied (depending on insurance provider). Just let us know the amount you need and we’ll work to reflect it in your quote.

Bullet Point

Alternative accommodation

Alternative accommodation cover provided for up to 25% of the building’s sum insured should the property become uninhabitable (depending on insurance provider). Just let us know your requirements and we’ll work to reflect it in your quote.

What is block of flats insurance?

Block of flats insurance is for landlords that own blocks of flats – whether that’s as a freeholder, leaseholder or management company. The policy will provide comprehensive cover for the entire building, factoring in that the flats will either be leased or rented out by the freeholder. Block of flats insurance doesn’t just refer to large residential blocks – cover can be provided for commercial tenants as well as maisonettes or houses that have been converted into flats.

What you need to know about buildings insurance for flats

When it comes to renting out or leasing blocks of flats, you’ll need to make sure that your policy is designed to protect your investment against the risks you could face as a landlord. Here you can find out more about the specific cover you’ll need as part of your flat’s insurance policy.

Who needs buildings insurance for flats?
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Insurance for blocks of flats can be complex. Whether or not you need to arrange cover for the building will depend on whether you’re the freeholder or the leaseholder, and what legal agreement you have in place. If you own the whole building and all of the flats within it, you are likely to be the freeholder and therefore responsible for arranging buildings insurance cover, or freeholder buildings insurance, for the property. If you own a lease on just one of the flats, you will usually only require cover for any contents you own. Read more about different types of ownership below.

Who is responsible for arranging building insurance for a block of flats?
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There are a number of different types of property ownership and circumstances relating to flats that can affect who arranges the insurance.

  • In some instances, the freeholder will be responsible for organising buildings insurance for shared freehold flats.
  • In other cases, separate leaseholders will team together to form a residents’ association or a ‘right to manage’ company. Once they take over the management of the building, the leaseholders will then be responsible for arranging buildings insurance, meaning they all pay a fair share of the freehold buildings insurance.
  • A block of flats can also sometimes have a managing agent who is appointed by the freeholder to manage the property day-to-day, including arranging insurance.
  • If you’re renting a flat from a landlord who is the freeholder, it will likely be them or their managing agent who organises the buildings insurance.
  • And if someone is renting a flat from a landlord who is the leaseholder, the responsibility of buildings insurance for the flat could lie with any of the above.

For these reasons, it’s important to check the agreement you have in place and what your responsibilities are before taking out block of flats insurance.

What does buildings insurance cover in flats?
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To make sure your investment is protected, you should consider whether you need buildings insurance for your block of flats – it may even be a requirement of your mortgage provider. Block of flats buildings insurance will provide cover for all major risks, such as fire, theft and flood. Consider every option, such as accidental damage, leaks, theft, or fire damage, and make sure you apply cover to the flats themselves as well as any other shared areas you’re responsible for. It’s a good idea to make sure your block of flats insurance provides you with as much cover as possible.

What insurance do I need for a leasehold flat?
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If you’re the leaseholder of a flat or block of flats, it’s likely that you will be paying a service charge (or management fee) to the freeholder for maintenance services, so it’s unlikely you’ll need to arrange freeholder building insurance. 

In this instance, it’s probable that the freeholder, or their managing agent, is responsible for arranging block of flats insurance. However, always check that this is the case with the freeholder. If you’re part of a ‘right to manage’ company or leaseholder association, then it is their responsibility to insure the buildings, rather than the freeholder.

Rules around leaseholder’s responsibilities are slightly different in Scotland, so we are able to offer buildings insurance for an individual flat on this basis. Please speak to the team to find out more.

What insurance do I need for a freehold block of flats?
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As a freeholder of a block of flats, you may be responsible for insuring the buildings as well as the service and maintenance of the building itself and the surrounding grounds. This could include parking areas, pathways, shared corridors and everything that needs to be maintained in those areas of the building.

This general maintenance will not be covered by a block of flats buildings insurance policy, but is usually charged back to the leaseholder in the form of a ‘management fee.’ However, if you’re the freeholder then a specialist block of flats buildings insurance policy should meet your responsibilities to the leaseholders.

Get a freeholder insurance quote for your block of flats

How do I arrange block of flats insurance?
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Arranging your block of flats insurance, otherwise known as apartment complex insurance, doesn’t have to be a long-winded process. With Endsleigh, all you have to do is call our UK-based team on 0333 234 0039 or click ‘Arrange a call’ further down this page to fill out an enquiry form.

We’ll then take the time to get to know you and your property or portfolio so we can ensure we’re getting you the right block of flats insurance cover, at the right price from our leading panel of insurers. Once you’ve received your quote, simply let us know when you want to go ahead and we’ll get you set up.

Whether you’re searching for a building insurance quote for an entire block of flats, or a view on leaseholder buildings insurance, we can help.

What optional extras can I add to my block of flats insurance?
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You may find that you would like to add on additional protection for your building within your block of flats insurance. Endsleigh offer a range of optional extras which can easily be added to your block insurance policy, including:

  • Employers' liability insurance
  • Terrorism cover
  • Engineering and inspection cover, including passenger lifts
  • Extended legal expenses cover - including tenant disputes
Should I let to tenants with pets?
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This is a question only you can answer – but it’s worth bearing in mind that the government has recently updated their model tenancy agreement with the primary aim being to support people with pets becoming eligible to rent.

Use of the model tenancy agreement is entirely voluntary - however if you’re not currently allowing lets with pets, it could be a good time to re-think your stance.

The tenants with pets market is vast. Any landlord looking to rent their house quickly could increase their reach dramatically by advertising their properties as pet friendly. Equally, the model tenancy agreement already includes rules to protect properties from poorly behaved pets - so you could find that the financial reward of filling properties quickly far outweighs the losses caused by a boisterous pet.

If you do decide to let to tenants with pets, Endsleigh’s landlord insurance via NIG gives you peace of mind that you’re covered against pet damage at no extra charge. Speak to our specialist property team for a quote, mentioning that you’d like to include pet damage cover on your policy.

Do you need building insurance on a leasehold property?
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One of the most asked questions about block of flats insurance in the UK, is “Do I need building insurance for a leasehold flat?”. Buildings insurance is required for a leasehold property. However, who arranges the leasehold buildings insurance for your flat will be down to your agreement with the freeholder.

For example, in many instances, the freeholder will be responsible for organising the buildings insurance. But the leaseholder may pay a management fee/service charge to them for maintenance services.

And in other instances, the leaseholder may be part of a leaseholder association or ‘right to manage’ company where they will source their own cover.

But it’s always worth checking just in case you have any insurance responsibilities in your leasehold agreement.

Other than buildings insurance for flats with a leasehold, it’s also important to keep in mind other types of cover. For example, freeholder insurance doesn’t just cover buildings. You can also get cover for your flat’s contents, providing protection against theft, accidental and malicious damage.

What does a freeholder do?
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A freeholder is either a person or company who owns the freehold of a building. They may either choose to sell the individual flat leaseholds or rent them out to tenants.

The freeholder will normally be responsible for a variety of different tasks such as

  • Maintaining and repairing shared facilities
  • Maintaining and repairing the building’s structure
  • Implementing buildings insurance to cover the entire building. In this case, the leaseholder won’t need to source their own leaseholder buildings insurance cover.
Where to find freehold insurance
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There are various freehold insurance providers in the UK. At Endsleigh, we have over 25 years in the landlord market and we won the title of Best Landlord Insurer at the Insurance Choice Awards 2021. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with block of flats insurance that has been designed specifically for freeholders, leaseholders and management companies. Whether you’re looking for buildings insurance for a small block of flats, or leasehold flat insurance, we’d love to help.

How much does block of flats insurance cost?
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No block of flats is the same. Whether we’re talking about general size, number of flats, number of leases etc. So, it’s no surprise that no block of flats insurance cost is the same either.

The best way to get an accurate cost for your unique circumstances is to get a quote with a block of flats insurance provider. Whether you’re looking for a freeholder insurance quote or leaseholder insurance quote we can help.

Get a block of flats insurance quote

Will I need buildings insurance if I am renting within a block of flats?
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No, if you’re renting a flat within a wider block, your landlord will be responsible for the buildings insurance. They will likely have landlord insurance in place which covers blocks of flats.

If your landlord is the freeholder, they will normally be required to sort the buildings insurance, unless they use a management company, or have a separate agreement with the leaseholder.

If your landlord is the leaseholder, this may mean that they either rely on the freeholder or management company, are part of a residents’ association or a ‘right to manage’ company, or could even be responsible for organising buildings insurance themself.

It’s a sensible idea to approach this query with the landlord as soon as you know you want to rent a flat within a wider block of flats.

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