do I need to insure my leasehold flat
How to insure your leasehold flat
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Do I need to insure my leasehold flat?

(Last Updated: 29/05/2024)
2 min read

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 was passed on the 24th May 2024, but is not yet in effect and the date for this is not yet clear. We will update our content as and when the finalised legislation is published.

Some of the expected changes include:

  • 990 year standard lease extension for houses and flats
  • Standardised format for service charge bills, for greater transparency
  • Leaseholders will no longer have to pay their freeholder’s costs when making a claim
  • Freeholders who manage their building directly must belong to a redress scheme, so leaseholders can challenge them if needed (already applies to managing agents)
  • Ban on sale of leasehold houses, except in specific circumstances and schemes
  • Fair and transparent buildings insurance handling fees
  • Removal of two year requirement before statutory extension

While the existing act abolishes ground rent on lease extension and new leases, the new act does not cap ground rent on pre-existing leases.

The obligation to insure your leasehold flat for building insurance sits with the freeholder, however, you are liable to pay for your share of the cost for this. The cost is split between all of the leaseholds in the flat and is normally paid annually. I need to insure my leasehold flat?

Whilst the freeholder organises the buildings insurance, depending on their policy, there are parts of your leasehold which you still need to insure such as your personal possessions or internal damage.

Some building insurance policies don't cover all of your leasehold flat, as the policy covers damage to the building not to what is fixed to it. For example:

Does the insurance cover a bathe overflowing?

Covered by building insurance
Not covered by building insurance
  • Floor joists
  • Brick walls
  • Plaster and plaster board (not all policies cover this)
  • Ceiling of the downstairs flat
  • Tiles (floor or wall)
  • Bath, sink or toilet
  • Electrical appliances
  • Underfloor heating

Does the insurance cover a broken window?

Not all building insurance policies cover damage to the window, so you'll need leasehold insurance to cover if it is excluded.

Does the insurance cover the Boiler or Fuse Box?

No. You will need to insure your leasehold flat for damage to your boiler and fuse box. The latter isn't often covered, however boiler cover is offered by a variety of providers including British Gas HomeCare.

Does leaseholder insurance cover the pipes?

When a water pipe bursts and the pipe is an exclusive service to your flat, then the responsibility is that of the leaseholder, to repair the pipework at their own cost or using their own insurance. If the latter, then you may be liable to pay an excess premium.

When a communal water pipe bursts, it is commonly the responsibility of the freeholder/managing agent to repair and as such, they may call upon the block of flats building insurance to do so. The cost of the works or the premium excess may be passed back onto the leaseholders through their service charges.

Where a leaseholder of the flat has been negligent or didn't take appropriate action once the leak was found, they may be sued for losses incurred by the freeholder or other leaseholders for uninsured losses.

The above table is just an indication and you should read the inclusions and exclusions contained within the Building Insurance policy for your own leasehold flat.

Get a copy of your building insurance

You need to know what your building insurance covers and what is excluded. During the conveyancing, you need to get a copy of the policy and read through it. You solicitor should request a copy from the seller's solicitor.

If you already live in the property, then you can ask your freeholder/managing agent to provide you with the current policy and then you can decide what insurance you need for a leasehold flat.

Frequently Asked Questions
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

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