After raising the issue of new insurance checks on flat roof surfaces back in August (see it here), we are pleased to say that, via our preferred broker Alan Boswell, we have convinced insurers to change their approach on this issue.
We recommend members check the wording on their renewal 'Schedule', especially if you have an Aviva 'property owners' policy.
Most landlord insurance policies now include a clause which basically excludes damage caused by faulty flat roof surfaces unless it can be confirmed that the fault was not due to normal 'wear and tear'.
One schedule read, "Felted roof areas: We will not provide cover for You in respect of any Damage caused by storm where You have failed to fulfil the following condition: You must ensure that all felted roof areas over 10 years old at the Premises are inspected annually by a competent roofing contractor and any necessary remedial work carried out. Written evidence of such inspections and any remedial work must be retained and provided to Us if requested. "
We told them it was overly demanding and for most landlords, it would significantly increase their costs even if they could find roofing specialists willing to provide condition assessments on what, in many cases, are very small flat roof surfaces on dormer extensions and the like. As a result, it has been removed from future renewals and it should also apply retrospectively (BUT we don't have written confirmation of that yet).
New Policy Wording: The AVIVA policy document does however say-
12. Reasonable Precaution
1. (a) maintain the Residential Building in a satisfactory state of repair
2. (b) take all reasonable precautions to prevent
(i) loss, destruction or damage to Property Insured
(ii) accident or injury to any person or loss, destruction or damage to their property
(c) comply with all legal requirements and safety regulations and conduct The Business in a lawful manner.
1. Check the wording on your current schedule and policy and at renewal to ensure you don't have exclusion clauses relating to flat roof surfaces you are not happy with.
2. This does not mean you can just wait until a flat roof fails and then claim on the insurance, you need to have met the clauses above, so do think about what you need – whether that be photographs, surveyors reports, builders receipts or whatever – should the need arise in the future to confirm that you have been keeping up with essential maintenance.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.