Ringley estate management
Money Manager
Online Property Manager
Insurance Claims & Policy Insurance_policy

How to make an insurance claim

  1. Almost all insurers now accept claims by phone from the witness and person suffering the loss, i.e, you.
  2. Ringley usually hold details of the insurance for the block, except where you pay ground rent and/or insurance contributions directly to the Freeholder, in this case the Freeholder’s Agent will hold details.
  3. Find_insurer_eg
  4. Click www.findinsurer.co.uk to find the insurance details, including policy reference numbers, policy excesses and the insurers 24 hour helpline number.
    Just enter 0000S in box 1 and your name in box 2. From this page you can also email or SMS yourself the information and a copy of the policy we have on file.

To submit your claim on paper, go to www.findinsurer.co.uk check the insurer and choose their claim form from the selection on the right.

Tip to get your insurance claim processed and paid as quickly as possible

  • Tip 1: Unless you use the insurer’s nominated contractor, most insurers require at least two quotes
  • Tip 2: Any invoice for repairs, needs to itemise costs to demonstrate
    1. the cause of the damage has been rectified (simple statement/sentence from contractor)
    2. you have deducted repairing the cause of a leak (eg, pipework repairs £55, replacement and decoration of ceiling £265) The insurer will not pay for the fault, only eligible repairs.
  • Tip 3: If you need time to submit quotes, e.g., you want repairs done when you renew your kitchen, put your claim in now and say estimates to follow. Note: insurers may close or time-out claims if the delay is more than 1 month.
  • Tip 4: If the claim is due to a break-in or crime – include the crime reference number.
  • Tip 5: If you submit a claim on paper, you as witness will need to sign and date the form.

The Managing Agents role in claims

Our role here at Ringley, as defined by the RICS/ARMA Guidance note is to facilitate "buildings insurance" claims. Buildings insurance covers the fabric of the buildings only, walls, roof and trace and access. Contents within your flat will be covered by any 'contents' insurance policy that you may have. Facilitiate means signpost you to the insurer, any claim is your claim to manage and submit supporting evidence as required by the insurer.

Help in understanding water issues, generally there are 5 types of water claims:

  1. outlet leaks - these happen when you use something: bath, shower, washing machine, kitchen sink.
    ADVICE: Isolate appliance and DO NOT USE until fixed
  2. inlet leaks - these do not stop unless you SHUT OFF the water supply to your property
    ADVICE: turn mains water OFF at mains stopcock immediately
  3. central heating system leaks - so long as the filling loop to the central heating circuit is OFF, this will stop the leak once all the water in the radiator system has escaped
    ADVICE: turn filling loop on central heating boiler to OFF and do not use system until fixed
  4. damp penetrating walls or floors – here this could signify failure of a damp proof course or tanking (vertical waterproofing). This type of damp is not covered by insurance.
    ADVICE: talk to your Property Manager, generally repairs/renewal of the damp proof course is a service charge issue but the cost of replasting the wall usually falls to the owner
  5. roof leaks - will be worse when raining and may take a few hours to infiltrate your property
    ADVICE: notify your Property Manager as soon as possible

But I don’t know where the leak is coming from – what do I do?

The insurance will cover trace and access to find the source of the problem but will not cover repairs. Usually there is an insurance excess on any claim which the insurer will disallow from your total claim value, Check the insurance policy details for your block as above.

What can be paid for by the service charge?

For flats and apartment blocks service charge money is collected to repair and maintain the landlord's retained parts of the property, this means the structure and fabric of the building. Put simply, the roof, walls, foundations, drains and not much else. For houses - in most circumstances you will have your own buildings insurance and service charges are for the communal gardens, estate road etc...

Why do I have to pay to fix the faulty pipework?

Simply because the legal documents for your property require you to keep all the fixtures and fittings within your property in good repair. So insurance covers resulting damage only.

How do you decide if a pipe is mine or if it is shared?

The simple test is: Does the pipe serve exclusively your property? If YES then repairing the pipe is your cost. As soon as more than one owner’s unit uses the pipe it is shared. e.g, the waste pipe from your WC when horizontal (in your property) belongs to you and once vertical becomes shared by all properties.

But how will we know whose pipe it is until the plumber has been?

When a contractor attends he/she should photograph the damage as this will help establish to whom a pipe belongs.

Roof leaks & insurance issues in communal areas

Where repairs relate to shared parts of the building (roof, communal areas) then Ringley will deal with the insurance claim and arrange contractors. We may need your help with access, eg, to get onto the roof through an access hatch inside your property. We try to avoid putting up external scaffold for roof access as this is expensive. Whilst roof repairs are a priority, all working at heights has to pass a risk assessment and for this reason we are unable to send contractors in the dark or in icy conditions. If we did the Health & Safety Executive could prosecute.

Shower leaks – help in diagnosing the problem, check these 5 possible causes

There are 5 possible causes that may cause intermittent leaks to a shower:
  1. The grout between the tiles is worn and the shower needs re-grouting
  2. The silicone seal around the bottom of the shower is aged and no longer providing a water tight seal - needing renewing
  3. The trap beneath the shower is clogged or blocked with hair causing it to leak
  4. The trap has become dis-lodged or the thread of the seal has aged/perished and the shower trap needs replacing
  5. And, there is one likely cause for a continuous leak from the shower:
  6. The water supply pipe(s) to the shower have sprung a leak ADVICE: Do not use the shower until repaired

ADVICE on turning off the water supply to your property & diagnosing mains pressure leaks

All mains pressure water leaks will slow and stop IF you shut off the mains water supply and turning off the water supply to a property is usually quite simple. Typically the mains shut off valve will be either:
  1. under the kitchen sink
  2. in a riser cupboard in the hallway often near the front door to the property
  3. in a small liftable inspection cover in the grass/garden outside the block
  4. near the communal front door in older buildings
ADVICE: Before you turn off your water do fill up your kettle and a bucket as you will not be able to turn your water on until the problem has been resolved. You can speed up finding the problem by turning ON cold taps and flusing the toilet. DO NOT turn on your HOT TAPS as we would not want any damage to be caused to your boiler.

If you follow these instructions then it should take no more than 15-20 minutes to see the water flow SLOW down therefore confirming that the leak is coming from the property whose water supply has been turned off.

Is it an emergency & why do we ask?

Simply because it is cheaper to get a plumber out the next day.....

Too busy to make your claim?

The RICS Code of Practice defines a Managing Agent’s role as being to 'facilitate' insurance claims which means signposting owners to the information they need to get to make a claim and helping them with contractors.
However we do offer 2 levels of paid support if you need it.

Support to submit & track your claim
For a fixed fee of £160 Ringley's insurance officer will be able to submit, track and manage your insurance claim. We will arrange for 2 or 3 quotations for repairs shown around by the occupiers at a mutually convenient time. To satisfy insurers to get consent to start remedial works we will arrange for contractor certification that the 'cause of the problem' has been resolved. We will instruct contractors, seek photographic evidence of the works done as well as confirmation of satisfaction from the occpuiers.

Insurance claim - submission and contractor management
For a fixed fee of £240 Ringley's insurance officer will be able to submit, track and manage your insurance claim. We will arrange for 2 or 3 quotations for repairs with access facilitated by one of our Site Inspectors as key holder. To satisfy insurers to get consent to start remedial works we will arrange for contractor certification that the 'cause of the problem' has been resolved. Where our attendance is required to stay a the property to supervise contractors for the duration of the remedial works this will be charged at £300 per day or part day.

Building insurance

The buildings that make up the overall development are covered by the Insurance, which is organised and put in place by the freeholder. Exact details on what the insurance covers can be found in the Insurance policy

The main events that claim can be made against the building insurance include:

  • fire
  • explosion
  • lightning
  • aircraft impact
  • earthquake
  • riot
  • malicious damage
  • storm or flood
  • escape of water or oil
  • impact by any road or rail vehicle
  • accidental escape of water from sprinkler installation
  • theft or attempted theft
  • subsidence, ground heave or landslip

The costs covered include:

  • Basis of Cover - Day One Rebuilding Value + inflation provision
  • The cost of complying with Building Regulations - Included
  • The cost of removing debris - Included
  • Accidental Damage - Included
  • Architect & Surveyors Fees - Included during reinstatement
  • Landscaping Expenses - Included
  • Extinguishment & Alarm Resetting Expenses - Included
  • Loss of Metered Water or Gas - Included
  • Common Parts - Limit 5% of the building sum insured
  • Glass Cover Extension - Included
  • Replacement of Obsolete Building Materials - Included
  • Reinstatement to Match - Included
  • Replacement of Locks
  • Trace & Access
  • Eviction of Squatters
  • Loss of Rent / Alternative Accommodation - Limit 20% of sum insured extended to include pets
  • Property Owners Public Liability
  • Employers' Liability
  • Legal Defence Costs
  • Terrorism Damage