What Home Insurance Cover Do Apartment Owners Need

Caeva O'Callaghan | October 20th, 2020

Home Insurance for apartment owners in Ireland

I Own An Apartment – What Type Of Insurance Cover Do I Need?

If you own your flat, you’ll need slightly different insurance than if you rent.

You’ll need your own contents insurance, but you don’t need your own buildings cover if you own an apartment. However, you will find that you’ll probably be paying something towards its maintenance and insurance.

Unlike people who live in a house, you’ll share the building’s structure with other people. This means it’s the responsibility of the management company or freeholder if you rent, and if you own it’s the collective responsibility of all residents.

  • Read on to discover answers to questions such as:
  • Do I need home insurance if I live in an apartment?
  • Do I need to tell my home insurance if I make changes to my flat?

In other words, you won’t have to pay for everything you necessarily would in a standard home, but apartment owners still have to pay for insurance somehow.

Freehold apartments

If your flat is freehold, you’ll jointly own it with everyone else who owns their flat in the building. Just like if you had roommates, it’s everyone’s responsibility to arrange buildings insurance with the other residents. You can choose not to do so, but you’d be crazy not to.

Many apartment residents form groups and committees to take care of these responsibilities. This is a good idea if your building has a lot of residents, and if a committee exists already you may want to join it to help out and find out how things work. If not, they’ll be happy to answer questions about your insurance. You may already be paying some kind of maintenance charge to cover repairs and maintenance. Just like if you were buying a policy yourself, check out the policy and ask questions, ideally before you buy your flat. You don’t want to find out that you don’t have enough cover for your liking too far down the road. That said, if you join the residents’ association and make your case persuasively, you may be able to get others to pay a little extra to cover more risks.

Your contents insurance

But, you’ll also need your own contents insurance to go along with whatever you contribute towards buildings costs. What are contents? A good general rule to follow is that if you turned your apartment, contents is everything that would fall out.

Everything permanently fixed in your house is part of the buildings cover. Furniture, upholstery, belongings and everything else are contents. Therefore, your landlord, residents’ committee or management company’s buildings insurance will cover your fixtures, walls, ceilings, doors and windows. For everything else, you’ll need to sort out your own insurance.

Contents insurance is important as it covers the stuff you care most about. Your electronics, appliances and other belongings all fall under contents. So, this means you may need to shop for contents-only insurance if you live in an apartment. It’s vital that you do so, or you may lose everything and not get a penny towards repair or replacement. Living with others means it’s more likely someone else in your building could cause a fire or flood.

If you rent your apartment

If you own a leasehold flat or apartment, your building may have what is called a “block insurance” policy. This type of cover protects the building and structure from the normal perils such as fire, flood and storm damage. This policy is usually held by the freehold owner, or management company.

Whoever owns your apartment building is bound by the law to provide you with evidence that they have insurance in place. Most importantly, any mortgage provider will insist upon seeing it before they give you a mortgage.

If this is the case, you’re probably paying for this buildings insurance as part of the service charge. Or, it might be directly arranged with your landlord. Check the policy carefully to ensure you’re happy with the terms, or call us to give it a look over before you sign. Your mortgage company won’t do this – it has to be an insurance broker.

Of course, if you buy your flat to rent out, this landlord will be you. You’ll need to check out specialist landlord insurance to protect your apartment from the extra risks associated with having tenants.

In any case, give us a call and we can advise you on setting up a solid insurance policy for the flat or apartment you own.