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Insurance for Blocks of Residential Flats

Blocks of Residential Apartments

Blocks of Residential Apartments do have special insurance needs. An off-the-shelf policy may not provide sufficient cover, and cutting corners on insurance can have consequences at a later date, creating extra work for you and certainly compromising your relationship with service charge payers.

As a specialist in buildings insurance for blocks of flats, Ferndale can negotiate policies specially tailored for your block of flats at competitive rates. As we work with a specialist panel of leading insurers, we are able to provide comprehensive cover at competitive premiums.

 

Our cover will typically include:-

 

         Accidental loss and damage to buildings, outbuildings, paths and fences

         Storm damage to hedges, gates and fences

         Loss of metered water

         Accidental damage and tree root damage to cables and underground services, including septic tanks

         Costs incurred in tracing and accessing damages service pipes

         Architects' and surveyors' fees during reinstatement

         Loss of rent and alternative accommodation - including pets

         Replacement locks following loss of keys

         Gardening equipment

         Damage to gardens caused by emergency services

         Legal fees for removal of squatters

         Removal of bees or wasps' nests

         Cover for temporarily unoccupied flats

         Contents of communal areas of the building, including carpets (not on all policies)

         Property owners' liability

         Employers' liability - certain information is needed if employer's liability cover is  required

         Terrorism cover is available on request

 

Plus

         Option to pay by monthly installments

         Index-linked adjustment of sum insured

         24-hour glass and lock replacement (on some policies only)

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

 

The most prudent Director/Officer can make decisions (in good faith) which prove later to be ill-judged or flawed. However, ignorance is no defence in UK law.

 

Directors and Officers of all companies, including Residential Management Companies, should be aware that they could potentially face unlimited personal liability without the kind of protection offered by this type of very affordable insurance cover.

 

Although the position as a director or officer of a Residents' Management Company is usually on a voluntary basis, for no benefit to yourself, the law recognises no difference between people running a Residents' Management Company and those running a large Public Company. Directors can be held personally liable for the consequences of their actions, errors and omissions.

 

Managing a building is a time consuming task, even with the assistance of professional property managers, and anyone prepared to put in the time and effort deserves a minimum of the reasonable protection afforded by this insurance.

 

What could go wrong?

         A director could be held liable because the value of another lessee's flat had fallen due to the effects of a failure to identify and rectify external dilapidation.

         A lessee might hold a director responsible for the poor workmanship of contractors paid for out of the service charge Fund.

         A third party might sue as the result of a defamatory remark inadvertently made by someone in the capacity of director.

 

It could prove difficult or even impossible to recruit suitably skilled and experienced people as directors of a residents' management company because they are unwilling to accept the potential personal liability.

 

Cover is provided for breach of duty, trust or contract, neglectful, misleading statement, wrongful trading or wrongful acts or omissions.

 

What is covered?

         Legal defence costs

         Consequential loss

         Damages awarded against a director

         Out of Court settlements

         Claimants costs and expenses

         Legal advice

         Legal representation

 

Is cover available where Ferndale does not currently arrange buildings insurance?

Yes, it certainly is. We can cover for Directors and Officers of an individual property or large portfolios.

Engineering & Inspection Insurance

Engineering and Inspection Insurance

If you are responsible for managing a block of flats, you are required to ensure that any equipment such as lifts, boilers and window cleaning gantries are inspected regularly and are well maintained. Even where specific legislation does not apply, plant and equipment may be subject to Health & Safety guidance notes.

We can negotiate a single policy, written for your building, which will cover the costs of professional inspection of vulnerable equipment specified by you and then cover you for unforeseen breakdown.

 

What is covered?

 

Optional extensions:

 

How much does the policy cost?
This will depend on what equipment is covered. We will negotiate a competitive price for the right insurance solution, tailored to provide the appropriate level of risk protection for your building.

 

By protecting all of the plant under a single policy, instead of taking out a different contract for each item, you can realise significant savings.

 

Remember that you will in any case have to arrange - and pay - for statutory inspections of lifts and boilers and that the costs of and arranging of these inspections would be included in your Ferndale engineering and inspection insurance.

 

Does all this legislation apply to residential flats?
YES! The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 may have been written primarily with the workplace in mind, but blocks of flats, because they have common areas, fall under their remit.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended) place duties on consumers, installers, suppliers and landlords.

 

What do the inspectors do?
The engineer or surveyor carries out statutory and non-statutory examinations. In a block of flats statutory examinations typically cover lifts, window cleaning gantries, pressurised boiler systems, electronic installations etc.

Non-statutory examinations cover equipment not governed by specific UK or EU legislation (although it may be the subject of Health and Safety Executive guidance notes). E.g.: play equipment and swimming pool pumps.

After an examination is completed, clients receive a report detailing all the items of equipment and record their condition at the time of examination. The report identifies any defects and will make recommendations for refurbishment and maintenance.

 

Are the inspectors' recommendations mandatory?
Where legislation is concerned, the answer is obviously yes. In addition, your insurance cover will be invalid if you choose to ignore the inspector's recommendations.

 

Do I really need this cover?
Unless you are fully confident that your service charge budget can cover the costs of unplanned emergency repair work, we recommend that you consider this insurance. If the worst did happen, you might not find that flat owners have much patience if, say, the central heating boiler broke down in mid winter or the lift was out of order for days or weeks.

Lastly, do remember that directors of the management company could be held personally liable if equipment failure causes injury. Inspection and maintenance is essential

Leaseholders Right To Take on the Management of their Property

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 gave a majority of Lessees the right to take over the management of their block of flats. (There are various exceptions where there is a resident landlord etc).

Essentially it allows Lessees to take over their managment using a special form of company (a Right to Manage Company - RTM) with a prescribed form of Memorandum and Articles of Assication. The RTM Company has the Lessees as its principal shareholders, but the landlord is also able to own a share. The company has a Board of Directors who are elected by the Members/Shareholders of the Company.

The RTM Company is responsible for carrying out all the landlord's obligations under the terms of the respective leases and is also liable to notify the Landlord of any breach of lease terms. 

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

It is important to appreciate that the RTM Company will be taking on some very serious obligations of the Landlord. These responsibilities may include the responsibility to insure the actual buildings and separately to maintain and insure the lifts, boilers, window cleaning gantries, electric gates, swimming pool machinery etc. There may be extra costs relating to running the Company and we would advise the Directors to obtain "Directors and Officers Liability Insurance". If a professional Managing Agent is not engaged, the RTM Company should, in our opinion, also obtain "Professional Indemnity Insurance" to protect against negligence claims from both residents and visitors.

Leaseholders Information Request Form

Select the items that apply or tell us in the "Request Details" box, and then let us know how to contact you.

Send Company literature
Send Leaseholder literature

Name
Property Reference
(please see most recent insurance/service charge  invoice)
Request Details
Address
E-mail
Phone
 

Services to Freehold Landlords

We recognise that Freehold Landlords, who are frequently commercial investors, require the expertise of a professional Insurance company who can offer advice on up to date requirements of ever-increasing statutory legislation.

Freeholders, Property Mangers & Developers

The Ferndale team arranges insurance for residential and mixed-use leasehold / Tenant owned property, and has an in depth understanding of the requirements of property owners and managing agents, whether they are employed by landlords or residents' management companies. We provide cover for mixed use as well as residential property, and specialise in leasehold / tenant owned residential accommodation. One of our main strengths is the efficiency with which we handle administration and claims, reducing the workload for property managers.

In early January 2005 regulation of the general insurance market passed to the Financial Services Authority, now replaced by The Financial Conduct Authority. There are a range of options for your business.

FCA regulations and how they affect you?

In order to sell general insurance, arrange or administer insurance for any of your customers you ARE affected.

If you wish to have a revenue stream from insurance you have three choices: to become an Authorised Firm (AF), OR become an Appointed Representative (AR) or an Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) of an Authorised Firm

Authorised Firms (AF)
This route is sometmes the route chosen managing agents with dedicated staff who already handle a large volume of insurance business

FCA authorisation enables a firm to undertake specified regulated activities. These firms are answerable to the FCA for compliance and will be required to complete half-yearly returns and be subject to FCA audit. The FCA will expect all authorised firms to be able to demonstrate that they are compliant at any time and will require regular confirmation through reports and investigations.

AFs are liable for FCA fees, which will vary depending on the size of the firm, as well as the costs involved in becoming compliant and maintaining compliance.

Appointed Representatives (AR)
This is an option for managing agents with a reasonable level of insurance related income that they wish to protect / develop but which does not, however, have the infrastructure and/or sufficient levels of insurance-related income to support a full in-house insurance function.

The FCA allows an authorised firm to take responsibility for an appointed representative's insurance activities. The appointed representative must comply with FCA rules at all times, however, it is the authorised firm that will be held to account for any breaches. In other words, appointed representative status enables managing agents to continue to enjoy insurance-related income while outsourcing compliance management activity.

The authorised firm will specify what activities the appointed representative can and cannot undertake.

We have appointed Remus Management Limited as our Appointed Representative.

Introducer Appointed Representatives (IAR)
The role of an introducer is strictly limited and they are not allowed to advise on or administer insurance. However, it is the option that may be best suited to managing agents with a low level of insurance related income.

Introducers are restricted to passing on information and contact details; they cannot express an opinion or give insurance advice. In many cases, this means that a managing agent will not be able to offer the same level of service that clients are accustomed to.

We currently have arrangements with several Significant Players to act as our Introducer Appointed Representatives (IAR).

This type of relationship is beneficial to all involved and allows IARs and their customers to receive beneficial insurance rates while leaving the burden of regulation and compliance with ourselves.

 

Services to Tenant Management Companies

 

Blocks of Residential Apartments

Blocks of Residential Apartments do have special insurance needs. An off-the-shelf policy may

not provide sufficient cover, and cutting corners on insurance can have consequences at a

later date, creating extra work for you and certainly compromising your relationship with

service charge payers.

 

As a specialist in buildings insurance for blocks of flats, Ferndale can negotiate policies specially

tailored for your block of flats at competitive rates. As we work with a specialist panel of leading

insurers, we are able to provide comprehensive cover at competitive premiums.

 
Our cover will typically include:
Accidental loss and damage to buildings, outbuildings, paths and fences
Storm damage to hedges, gates and fences
Loss of metered water
Accidental damage and tree root damage to cables and underground services, including septic tanks
Costs incurred in tracing and accessing damages service pipes
Architects' and surveyors' fees during reinstatement
Loss of rent and alternative accommodation - including pets
Replacement locks following loss of keys
Gardening equipment
Damage to gardens caused by emergency services
Legal fees for removal of squatters
Removal of bees or wasps' nests
Cover for temporarily unoccupied flats
Contents of communal areas of the building, including carpets (not on all policies)
Property owners' liability
Employers' liability - certain information is required if employer's liability insurance is required
Terrorism cover is available on request
Plus:
Option to pay by monthly installments
Index-linked adjustment of sum insured
24-hour glass and lock replacement (on some policies only)

Tenants Information Request Form

Select the items that apply, and then let us know how to contact you.

Send service literature
Send company literature
Have our Sales Person contact you



Name
Title
Company
Address
E-mail
Phone
Request Details
 

Service for Developers

We are able to offer a specialised service for Developers of blocks of flats across the whole spectrum of development issues, covering new build to period conversions.

 

Developers Information Request Form

Select the items that apply, and then let us know how to contact you.


Send company literature
Have our Sales Director contact you



Name
Title
Company
Address
E-mail
Phone
Request Details