24. Insurance and liabilities

24, INSURANCE LIABILITIES
Several residents have queried the responsibilities for insurance. As the consequences of Wrong or no insurance are enormous I hope to clarify the responsibilities and liabilities below. See below for details on making a claim.
a. CONSEQUENCES
If you do not have proper cover there may, in exceptional circumstances, be a claim against you. The result of using cheap and incompetent contractors has given rise to instances in the block where substantial damage has been caused by water leaks to flats directly due to contractors’ errors. In some instances the contractors did not have liability insurance and the lessee did not have contents insurance. The buildings’ insurers who have met the claims are seeking to recover their losses against the lessees of the flats from where the leak originated. Some claims have been for over £6,000
b. SERVICE CHARGE
Through the Service charge payments the Buildings Insurance is paid. This covers the Structure, which includes the roof, walls, foundations etc as well as the common parts contents, e.g. carpets. There is a separate engineering insurance to cover the mechanical matters with lifts and boiler plant. Residents are responsible for their own contents insurance.
C, LESSEE LIABILITY
The lessee of each flat is responsible for his or her own contents insurance. This includes their carpets as well as personal effects. This protects you in the event of damage to your or another property as a result of something occurring in your flat e.g. Washing machine Overflowing. If in doubt check with the office
d, TENANT’S LIABILITY
As Sub-tenants of a leaseholder, or tenants of the freeholder, you are responsible for your own Contents i.e. those items not covered by your immediate landlord. If you are in any doubt ask your landlord or agent you rented through.
INSURANCE LIABILITY OF ASSURED SHORT HOLD TENANTS – (STATEMENT FROM DORRINGTON BELGRAVIA LIMITED)


As your landlord, we are responsible for paying the insurance premium for insuring the building and the common part contents against fire, theft or accidental damage. You should be aware that this “Buildings Insurance” does not cover the contents of your flat or any damage, accidental or other, to your Landlord’s or any third party’s property or Contents due to an act by yourself, family or visiting guests.
Also, please be aware that it is your own responsibility to insure any personal belongings or possessions brought into the flat against such risks.
For example, should water damage occur to the contents of the flat below due to a tap left running or overflowing bath/washing machine, this may not be covered by any buildings or landlord’s contents insurance policy and any claim would be made against you directly which may run into many thousands of pounds.
It is advisable for you to be properly insured against all risks and if you have not already done so, you should arrange appropriate cover as a matter of urgency. An insurance company or broker will be able to advise you on the most appropriate policy.
Making a Claim
Before making a claim, please keep in mind that, as in the case with motor insurance, the premium payable this year and in future years is directly affected by the number of claims,
If you find it necessary to make a claim, please contact the Estate Office at Du Cane Court.
The excess under the buildings insurance from 24 June 2012 to 2013 has been raised by insurers to £1,000.00. This means that you will be responsible for the first £1,000 of the claim which you will be required to pay. If the cost of the works is below £1,000 then you are required to meet the cost yourself and no claim may be made.

Download the full Du Cane Court Guide for owners and tenants October 2015