Insurance (buildings and contents)

As a home owner, you need to arrange your own contents insurance. Buildings insurance is included in your service charge as our buildings are covered by a site-wide policy.

This applies to apartments only, if you have purchased a house, you will need to arrange buildings insurance for your home.

Buildings insurance

We are responsible for ensuring that damage to the structure of our buildings is repaired. Our building insurance cover allows us to claim to cover the costs of certain types of damage or acts of god, and consequential damage caused by an incident.

As a homeowner you are responsible for carrying out repairs to your property as defined in your lease. You may be able to make a claim against our insurance policy (or a third party’s policy if we do not own the freehold) to cover the costs of putting damage to the structure of your property right if it is caused by:

  • fire
  • impact (such as a car or falling tree)
  • vandalism
  • escaped water / flood / storm
  • subsidence
  • loss of keys / rent / metered water or electricity.

We have an appointed insurance broker. The broker co-ordinates all insurance claims against our policy and liaises with the insurance company. If you think you have a valid claim, we will direct you to our insurance broker who will advise you. If a third party provides the policy we will direct to their broker.

If you are leaving your home empty for more than 30 days, you must tell the home ownership team as this will have a bearing on your insurance cover.

Contents insurance

It is important that you get your own contents insurance. As well as covering your personal belongings, it will cover you for anything that might be your own personal legal responsibility, such as if you cause water damage in another property because your bath overflows or your washing machine breaks down.

If your possessions are lost or damaged you need to make a claim against your own insurance policy. We will not cover the costs of damage to your belongings.

Making a buildings insurance claim

If you think you have an eligible insurance claim and wish to claim for the cost of putting right damage caused to the structure of your property (by an act of god, an incident such as a fire, or if there is an issue with a part of the building we are responsible for) contact us as soon as possible.

We do not always own the freehold of buildings. We (or our insurance broker) will let you know if our policy covers your property. If it does not, we will put you in touch with the relevant management company / managing agent responsible for arranging building insurance so that you can process your claim.

The process below refers to Octavia’s policy, where we are the freeholder. If we are not the freeholder a different process may apply including a different excess level.

Once you contact us, we will provide you with the contact details of our insurance broker / agent within 1 working day. They will assist you to make a claim.

If the broker agrees that you are covered, you need to make a claim as soon as possible. Do not wait for your supporting documents (including quotes for the work required) before making a claim; insurers will refuse a claim if there has been a delay in telling them. If the insurer refuses a claim due to a delay that is not our fault, you will have to pay for any required works to rectify the damage.

If the insurer needs more information from us we will provide them with the information as soon as possible. How long this takes is dependent on what information they need, whether the information is easily available and if we / third parties need to carry out assessments. We will let you know how quickly we expect to be able to give the insurer the information. We will contact you and the insurer in advance if the process is likely to be delayed.

Depending on the type of claim, you may need to pay the insurance company the excess fee in order to claim against the insurance policy. For information about the current excess please contact the home ownership team.

It is up to you and the insurance company to come to an agreement following your claim. If you disagree with the insurance company you need to appeal directly to them.

Guide to insurance terms

  • The freeholder is the owner of the land the building is on.
  • Building insurance covers the structure of the building and fixed equipment in it. The insurance policy sets out what is included in the cover.
  • Contents insurance covers loss or damage to possessions within the home. Residents must arrange contents insurance for their belongings.
  • An insurance broker arranges and sells insurance cover on behalf of insurance companies and may also deal with claims. An act of god is a term sometimes used in insurance policies.
  • Acts of god tend to cover natural phenomena such as lightning strikes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and freak events that cannot be prevented.
  • A managing agent is a third party appointed by the freeholder to manage services at a development / property. Where they are in place the managing agent arranges and administers buildings insurance.
  • A management company is a separate limited company which owns the freehold. Generally, the management company appoints a managing agent to manage the services on a development. Sometimes the management company will arrange the building insurance.