Insurance information sheet
Believe Housing Limited manages in excess of 18,000 properties, which we insure.
In order to provide the most competitive premiums and appropriate cover, we insure your home under one major insurance programme, covering all the properties that we are responsible for. This programme is broken down into separate covers; one for our homes rented by tenants, including our commercial properties and one for Leaseholders and Shared Owners.
To ensure that we are getting value for money, we regularly review our insurance arrangements. In 2020, we are undertaking a full review of our insurance programme, including reviewing the insurance arrangements and the provider, the level of cover and alternative quotations.
In procuring insurance services we will be following the rules dictated by Public Contracts Regulations 2015 with a proposal to enter into a ‘qualifying long-term agreement’ and we are consulting with Leaseholders and Shared Owners in accordance with Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended).
The Tender will focus principally on the quality and experience of the Brokers and Insurers, the value and sustainability of their insurance programme, their claims handling service and how comprehensive their cover is.
Insurance is always arranged on an annual basis and your premium therefore has to be renegotiated each year. We have to provide up to date information on all our housing stock annually to our current insurers, which will also include details of any new properties or properties that have been disposed of. Our insurers will analyse this information and a fundamental part of the review will be the volume of claims received during the past 12 months for our entire housing stock. This is why there can be annual differences in premiums, especially if the claims experience has deteriorated.
To ensure that we are getting competitive premiums, we can retender the insurance programme, as we are doing in 2020. We intend to do this every three to five years as a matter of course.
How is your premium calculated?
Calculation of the insurance premium that you pay is undertaken by the insurance company and can be a complicated process, based on a number of factors. We provide them with information about our housing stock, including but not limited to, the type and age of the property, construction details, tenure, location, rebuilding values and probably most importantly, the value of claims received.
Utilising this information, they will assess what they see as the risks associated with our housing portfolio and attach what they see as an appropriate insurance rate, which they then apply to the buildings sum insured to calculate your premium.
The Insurer charges us one overall premium for each policy to cover all the homes we are responsible for. We then pass this cost on to you in the most efficient and fair way possible.
Our group Insurers provide insurance cover for your building’s structure. It is for you to insure your own contents if you wish to do so.
The buildings cover provided is extensive and includes the usual range of perils that you would expect to see, such as:
Fire, lightning, explosion, aircraft, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, accidental damage, earthquake, subterranean fire, storm, flood, escape of water, falling trees, impact, theft, leakage of oil, aerial breakage, accidental breakage of fixed glass and fixed sanitary ware, accidental damage to supply pipes and cables, subsidence, ground heave and landslip and Terrorism.
Other Interests clause
The policy provides a blanket interest clause. This will apply to include the interests of building societies, banks and other mortgagees.
Our existing insurance provides for our Rented stock to have an excess under the Policy of £5,000 (five thousand pounds) for all claims.
Where Leaseholders live in a mixed building, the excess for the common parts is £5,000, but incidents within individual leaseholder’s flats is £100 (one hundred pounds), increasing to £250 (two hundred and fifty pounds) for escape of water losses and to £1,000 (one thousand pounds) for Subsidence.
For Leaseholders and Shared Owners living in blocks where there are no believe housing rented flats, the excess under the policy is £100 (one hundred pounds) for general claims, increasing to £250 (two hundred and fifty pounds) for escape of water losses and £1,000 (one thousand pounds) for subsidence claims.
Contents in the communal areas in our owned properties
These are areas that are used or can be used by all tenants and owners within a block. For example, in a block of flats you may have a communal hallway where you gain access to the stairs or where the post boxes are. We insure all our contents in these areas such as carpets, light fittings etc. In the event of a claim, the current excess amount will be £5,000 (five thousand pounds) per claim. The excess would be divided and recovered in your service charges in accordance with your lease provisions.
The £5,000 excess for Rented units and the £100/£250 Excess for Leaseholder claims may be the subject of change to make sure we achieve the best value for money.
Frequently asked questions
Who is responsible for providing building insurance?
Under the terms of the lease, the building owner or ‘freeholder’ (in most cases this will be Believe Housing) is responsible for providing building insurance, with Leaseholders & Shared Owners contributing towards the cost of the insurance through the service charge.
If believe housing is not the building owner and there is a ‘superior landlord’ who owns the building, they are likely to be the ones who will insure the building. In such instances the notices and the processes set out in the accompanying letter is not relevant.
Why is there a need to get a new insurance Policy?
The current policy has been in place since 12 April 2015 and is due to expire on 31 March 2020; therefore a new Policy will need to be in place in order to ensure the Buildings remain insured.
Where can I get a copy of the buildings insurance Policy or summary of cover?
A copy of the new summary of cover will be made available to Leaseholders and Shared owners on demand, once the new Insurance Policy is in place. If you require a copy of the current summary by contacting:
Business Risk and Assurance Team
1st Floor spectrum 6
Spectrum Business Park
County Durham SR7 7TT
How much will the insurance be?
The new policy has not been tendered for as yet; therefore, we are unable to supply estimated costs. believe housing will be tendering for the best cover and premium rates available from the market to ensure that the Leaseholder’s and Shared Owners insurance offers best value throughout the length of the agreement.
Once the competitive Tenders have been returned and the estimated contributions have been established, a further notice will be issued to all Leaseholders & Shared Owners with more information.
What is a Long Term Agreement?
This is an agreement entered into by the Landlord with an independent organisation or contractor, for a period of more than 12 months.
What is a public notice?
This refers to contracts where the sum involved will be of a level where the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 apply and the proposed contract must be advertised by public notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (or other such Website determined by the UK Government in the event of Brexit).
At the time of writing, public notice was required for contracts for the supply of services over £181,302.
Can I nominate a company to provide building insurance?
While the opinions and views of Leaseholders & Shared Owners are invited and considered, you are not invited to nominate a contractor or company for us to approach for the Buildings Insurance. This is in line with the regulations set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended), as the invitation to tender is made by way of a public notice
How will this affect a current claim that I have?
The change of insurer will have no effect. Even if believe housing changes from the current insurer, the existing insurer will continue to deal with claims where the damage occurred during their period of cover.