Building insurance for leaseholders

Household building insurance provides financial protection against unpredictable risks. The insurance pays for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it is damaged by unforeseen events (as detailed in the insurance policy).

We arrange building insurance cover for all leasehold properties. This is a condition of your lease which is binding on both of you and the council and is because the council remains responsible for the upkeep, repair and maintenance of the structure and communal areas. The terms and conditions the council has agreed with the insurance company is similar to any comprehensive insurance cover and provides value for money for leaseholders. You do not need separate cover with your lender.

Building insurance certificates are sent to all leaseholders at the beginning of each financial year and to all new leaseholders in the welcome pack.  Further copies can be provided for an administration fee.

Cover

Your buildings insurance policy is with Ocaso S.A. U.K. (Policy number: 40012 LBE) and is renewed on 1 April each year.  The policy covers the structure of the flats situated within the building, constructed of brick, stone or concrete and the leaseholder’s liability for any common or structural parts of the building such as roofs and foundations that are damaged due to insured perils.

The policy also covers the internal decorations and fixtures and fittings within the flats and building and any domestic outbuildings and garages, drives, patios and terraces, walls and gates owned by the leaseholder or for which the leaseholder is legally responsible.

The policy does not cover damage to contents and we strongly recommend you arrange insurance cover to protect your contents.

The risks covered under the policy in respect of loss or damage to the building are:

  • fire, lightning, explosion or earthquake
  • aircraft
  • storm, tempest or flood
  • escape of water (causing damage to the building)
  • escape of oil (causing damage to the building)
  • theft of fixtures and fittings, and damage caused by thieves
  • impact
  • riot
  • subsidence, landslip or heave (excluding the first £1,000)
  • damage by falling TV/radio aerials
  • falling trees

The policy does not cover the cost of repairing or replacing items due to wear and tear.

The insurance policy booklet contains further information on all the terms and conditions of the building insurance currently in place. This booklet is provided with the first service charge invoice and also upon request from Home Ownership and Leasehold Services.

If you let your property you should also be aware that the policy excludes malicious damage to your property caused by your tenants and any damage as a direct result of negligent behaviour by your tenants.  In light of this you may wish to consider obtaining a ‘Landlord’s policy’ with an independent provider to cover you against potential losses.

If your property remains unoccupied for 30 consecutive days or more, the standard excess for all claims will increase from £50 to £250. In addition, claims for water damage, theft and malicious damage will be excluded completely unless agreed by OCASO by prior arrangement. If your property is or will be unoccupied for more than 30 days, please contact Home Ownership Services.

Payment and premium

The annual building insurance premium applies to the financial year as opposed to calendar year. You pay for it through your normal monthly service charges.

Under the policy, your property is given an 'insured value' which is the cost of rebuilding your home. The rebuilding value is different from the actual value of your home if you were to sell it. We adjust the insured value every year in line with changes made in the house rebuilding cost index.

Claims

Ocaso Insurance Services has arranged for a claims handling company, Davies Managed Systems, to deal with all the claims under the policy.

To make a claim please contact Davies Managed Systems on 0344 856 2032. This line is open 24 hours.

Please note that all claims must be made within 90 days of the damage occurring, even if the cause of damage has not been resolved. Also, you must not carry out any repairs without first getting consent from Davies; this includes emergencies. The insurers will typically reject claims made outside this period or if works were carried out without approval

The insurers will automatically reject any claims made outside this period. There is a £50 excess for each building insurance claims except for subsidence, landslip and heave where a £1,000 excess applies.

For smashed glass,  Davies will take a card payment of £50 for the policy excess and send glaziers to replace the glass.