What is common buildings insurance?

Depending on what your title deeds say, or don't say, you may need to take out a joint insurance policy with the other owners to cover common areas of your building.

Even if not mandated in the deeds, it is advantageous to have a joint policy as all the homeowners are then insured for their share of the reinstatement of the building. In simple terms, it is one big policy which covers all the of properties within your building.

If your buildings insurance is arranged by the homeowners themselves, the property factor cannot get involved in the claim process if your property is damaged. For example if you live in a building of 12 flats and the building suffers roof damage, the individual insurance policies would need to be claimed against. Of course that can turn into an administrative nightmare.

A common buildings policy removes that problem, and your factor will take care of all of the dialogue with the insurer. We think it make good sense.

OK. Reinstatement? For example if our building was destroyed?

Yes. Reinstatement is the process which would need to happen if your building was irreparably damaged and needed to be rebuilt. That may sound a little dramatic, but is something you need to consider carefully. Particularly if you live in a shared building.

Are common buildings policies always the right approach to insurance?

Yes, unless you have a very close group of residents who you are 100% sure are insured to the correct level and for the sufficient sum.

The area in which some common buildings policies fall short is that the agreed sum insured is sometimes not properly qualified when the policy is issued. In reality, some policies are drawn up on the basis of a £ figure which has been nominated by the homeowners who can be unaware that the reinstatement costs need to cover debris management, planning, temporary re-housing, application costs, and other incidentals.before the building process even starts. If your policy sum is not enough to cover everything, you may even find yourself without a home.

How do I know that my sum insured is enough?

You may want to establish an accurate cost to completely reinstate your building, based on a figure which is calculated by a RICS accredited surveyor (www.rics.org) who would account for all of these items. Of course, we can arrange that service for you.

How do we get the right policy?

To make this simple, we have partnered with one of Scotland's leading brokers who are the industry experts in this field and currently insure almost £2bn of property throughout Scotland. They can check your current policy and advise you if it is robust enough to cover you and your neighbours in the event of a disaster.

How do we make a claim on our policy?

Thats easy. Just report the problem to us when something goes wrong in your building. Although the insurance policy is not issued by 91BC, we will still take care of the administrative work when you need to make a claim. We simply visit you and gather all of the facts.

Ok. What next?

Talk to us today if you think you need to review or better understand your current policy. Or if you don't have a common policy across your shared building, this is the best place to start.

Advice is free, and its all part of the 91BC service.