Block of flats insurance


Buildings insurance for flats may seem like a large undertaking. You’ve got multiple properties within the same building, communal areas and different types of occupants to consider.

Thankfully, arranging this type of insurance is a fairly simple process. As the freeholder of a block of flats, or a representative of a property management company, then it is your responsibility to insure your block.

A block of flats insurance policy is a form of landlord insurance that takes account of these additional risks posed by multiple leasehold properties in one block.

At Protect My Let, we’ve been helping landlords like you find better cover for your rental homes since 2004. We take it personally – there’s no hard sell, just real people going off-script to find you exclusive deals on your landlord buildings, contents and liability insurance.

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What is block of flats insurance?

Insurance for a block of flats usually centres on buildings insurance. This is cover for the physical structure of the property. It is likely that the leases for your flats require you to provide this basic level of buildings insurance and then seek reimbursement through a service charge.

In particular, mortgage lenders for individual leaseholders will require buildings insurance in order to lend on any of the flats. But insurance for block of flats is much more sophisticated than a standard home insurance policy. Even if the block is a converted house, don’t be tempted to go for standard home insurance. For a start, your insurer needs to know about the occupancy of the flats.

Any unoccupied flats usually pose the highest risk of expensive claims because dangers like leaks may go unnoticed while lots of damage is done. The risk of burglary is also higher. Then you have different types of tenants to consider as, for example, students are often seen as a higher insurance risk. But you don’t need to worry about these as landlord insurance is designed for these kinds of situations.

In fact, a specialist broker like Protect My Let can help you go further towards finding the right policy for you by working with a wide array of insurers.

While different types of property and occupancy can seem daunting, the most important thing is to be clear with your insurer so that they can provide the right cover for you at the right price. Different risks are not normally a problem but they still need to be disclosed, so make sure you’re upfront about anything you think is important.

Block of flats insurance can also come with a variety of extras such as public liability cover, landlord home emergency and legal cover.

Landlord home emergency insurance cover

A burst pipe or broken heating system is difficult for any landlord to fix. But imagine how many times you’re going to be facing such problems when you have a whole block of flats. Landlord home emergency cover offers you quick and easy access to professional help for these sorts of unforeseen emergencies that need fast fixes to keep your tenants safe and healthy.

Landlord public liability insurance cover

Just as more properties means more risk of emergencies, you may also face a higher risk of legal action if your building causes someone an injury. That’s why most good home insurance policies include a level of liability insurance for legal expenses.

With a block of flats there are lots of people involved from tenants to guests and tradespeople, so it makes sense to protect yourself from financial liability from circumstances such as someone tripping over loose carpet or damage from falling roof tiles.

Most landlord insurance offers bands of liability cover such as £2m or £5m of legal expenses but working with a broker offers you the best chances of finding more specific covers to suit you.

Alternative accommodation

While buildings insurance should help cover the financial loss of a block of flats hit by disaster, your residents will still need somewhere to live and so your leases may require you to organise alternative accommodation.

Most good flat insurance policy wordings include an allowance towards alternative accommodation if your property is made uninhabitable. This is a helpful addition for most normal home insurance policies but for flat insurance this could be a huge benefit given the higher number of residents you are obliged to look after.

Block of flats insurance cover- what do I need to know?

No two properties are the same and we understand that at Protect My Let. As such there are quite a few questions we need to ask to get you the right cover. Some of the more obscure ones you may want to prepare for in order to get your block of flats insurance are:

Rebuild cost

The rebuild cost of your block of flats is how much it would cost to rebuild the property based on materials and labour. Note that this is not the same as the market value of the property, or popular but often inaccurate methods of working out rebuild value based on taking the market value and subtracting a percentage.

Market values are highly postcode-driven while material and labour costs do vary based on location but not to the same extent. A house in London shouldn’t cost much more to build than a house in Wales but the market values for the same property will probably be vastly different.

To get an accurate idea of your rebuild cost you could have a survey done or use an online calculator such as that provided by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Block insurance occupancy

Your insurer may have questions about the occupancy of the various flats. Some types of tenant are regarded as presenting a higher risk of a claim such as students. Similarly, let properties are higher risk than owner-occupied properties. That said, any type of tenant is likely to present a lower risk than an unoccupied flat.

Make sure you answer any questions your insurer asks truthfully and they will be able to calculate the right buildings insurance premium for your residents.

Block insurance claims history

If you have any claims on home insurance within the last few years then it’s important to declare these to your insurer when asked. They will often need the date of the claim, total cost and details about what went wrong.

With block insurance this is quite simple if you are the freeholder. But if you have co-freeholders for whom you are speaking then you may need to check with them if they have any previous claims.

Date of construction

Most insurers use bands to determine the risk of a property based on age. That means you may not need to give an exact date as long as you are accurate to within a few years.

However, you should still make every effort to work out when the block of flats was built from your purchase documentation, land registry records or even asking neighbours.

Insurers are also likely to ask if the block of flats is listed as this also affects risk. Listed properties are required by law to be restored using authentic materials and methods if there is damage, which can be much more costly than a standard property.

Joint freeholders

If you are the only freeholder then you will only need to give your own details as policyholder. A management company you are authorised to act for can make the process of getting insurance faster if the freehold is shared. However, if you don’t have a company and the freehold is shared then you are likely to need their details as well such as date of birth and claims history.

Multi-property insurance/landlord portfolio insurance

If you own more than one property then you might be able to get better value by arranging buildings insurance for all your properties at the same time. Not only are insurers willing to compete more for bigger customers but this can save a lot of admin hassle by keeping all your properties on the same policy renewed every year.

What to look for

When buying a policy for buildings insurance, there are a few key aspects to look out for.


The quality of an insurance policy largely comes down to how easy it is to make a claim. Don’t assume the cheapest policy is right for you as these may come with prohibitive exclusions or high excesses (see below).

Exclusions are boundaries insurers set within an insurance policy that an insurer will not pay out for.

However, exclusions can sometimes be helpful if you’re working with a specialist insurer. For instance, if you live in a high flood risk area or your block of flats has a previous claim for subsidence, you may find insurers either won’t cover you or will inflict a very high premium unless that particular high-risk peril is excluded.

Nevertheless, this still affects the overall value of the policy to protect you so try to find an insurer with fewer exclusions.


The excess is the mandatory contribution you pay towards any claims. For example, a £10,000 flood claim might require you to pay the first £500 depending on your policy wording.

A higher excess will often mean a cheaper premium but will make claims more expensive. You may find it’s not even worthwhile to claim for smaller damages if you have a higher excess.

Nevertheless a good insurer should be willing to work with you to provide a range of excesses and prices to suit you.

Remember that different types of claim may have their own excesses and these should be defined in your policy wording. For instance, subsidence claims tend to carry a significantly higher excess than other types of claim.


It goes without saying that different insurers will often have very different prices for the same policy. This is a natural side effect of a market competing for your business. You may have a smaller market of providers than you’re used to for buying insurance but there should still be enough to justify spending the time to get a variety of quotes to compare.

Customer service

While it may seem shallow to judge an insurer based on how they present themselves, it’s fair to assume that the service you receive when you’re trying to buy a policy should say a lot about how they’ll treat you if you have to claim.

You need an insurer that actively invests in every relationship with its customers – from initial questions, to sale, to ongoing support and – should you ever require it – claims handling.

If you find yourself frustrated just trying to buy a policy – being passed around call handlers or getting stuck with a chatbot – then these are often red flags.

Once you’ve found a more personal service like Protect My Let, don’t forget to check genuine customer feedback on sites like Feefo, Trustpilot or even Facebook. Everyone makes mistakes, but see how those brands are responding to their negative reviews to get a real idea of what they’re like.

Give us a call
01206 655 899
Or, we can call you

Read our Policy Documents


What does buildings insurance cover in a block of flats?

Buildings insurance covers the physical structure of the property. Insurers typically say that anything that would remain if the block were turned upside down would be buildings, like walls and fixtures, while anything that fell out would be considered contents.

What is block building insurance?

Block building insurance is landlord insurance cover specifically designed to cover multiple properties within a single block.

What building insurance covers flats?

Freeholder building insurance covers flats. This is a form of landlord insurance that considers the additional risks of multiple properties within the same block.