Building Insurance

The council owns the building you live in and the responsibility to insure the building and common parts lies with them. In April each year, we will bill you for your share of costs for building insurance.

The building insurance policy includes the building as the structure of the block and communal areas. The policy includes:

  • Interior decorations and fixtures and fittings within the communal areas
  • Private garages, including garages on nearby sites forming part of the property
  • Domestic outbuildings
  • Septic tanks and central heating fuel tanks
  • Walls, gates, fences, hedges, railings, terraces, lamp-posts, patios, drives and paths
  • Sheds

The building insurance is supplied by Ocaso SA. 

Types of damage covered by building insurance

Generally, the policy insures the building against the following:

  • Fire, lightning, explosion or earthquake
  • Aircraft and things dropped from the air
  • Storm or flood damage
  • Escape of water and frost damage to fixed water tanks or pipes
  • Escape of oil from fixed domestic oil-fired heating installations and associated
    smoke damage
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Impact by any vehicle or animal
  • Riots or violent disorder
  • Subsidence or landslip
  • Falling of fixed radio and television aerials, fixed satellite dishes, and their
    fittings and masts
  • Falling trees, telegraph poles or lamp-posts


What building insurance does not cover

Building insurance does not cover every situation. For example, faults caused by mechanical breakdown, hidden defects or wear and tear are all treated as normal repairs. Other examples of situations not covered include:

  • Carpets (if there are any), and contents in your home or the communal areas of the block
  • Repairing pipes or replacing heating boilers or radiators that have worn or broken down (although you can claim for damage to the building caused by the sudden escape of water)
  • Maintenance failures such as rain seeping through worn out window seals or through holes in the roof (in these circumstances you may be able to submit a liability claim, please contact the insurance section for advice)
  • Effects of condensation or damp in the block
  • Loss or damage after the home has been unoccupied for more than 30 days
  • Reduction in cover should the property be lent, let or sublet in whole or part

If you sub-let your property, we suggest that you or your tenant consider additional landlord/tenant’s liability insurance. This will cover accidents in your property that cause damage to any of your neighbours’ properties. For example, you may be liable for the cost of repairs if you have a leaking washing machine, which damages the flat below yours.

Making a building insurance claim

If you need to make a claim for your property on the building insurance policy, you should:

  • Check the policy booklet and schedule of cover to see if the loss or damage is covered and what conditions might apply
  • Pay the first £50 (the ‘excess’) of any claim (except for subsidence where you pay the first £1,000)
  • Contact the insurer’s claims handlers directly on 0344 856 2032
  • Make your claim within 90 days. (30 days for subsidence and legal liability claims)
  • Quote policy number 164266
  • Not carry out any repairs (except for essential emergency works up to £250) without the Insurers approval. If you do carry out essential emergency works please retain receipts as these may be requested by DMS when you report the claim