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Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

Covering Market, Trends, and Practical (but see LEMON-AID for Building & DIY)
MyNameIsUrl
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Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313276

Postby MyNameIsUrl » May 29th, 2020, 10:44 am

I have a 3-bed semi which has an extension with a flat roof. My insurers have now asked that I have it surveyed every 2 years and keep a record of all inspections, to be made available to them.

Is this a standard condition, or is it a little onerous?

I have a couple of worries: that the insurer is setting me up to fail on a technicality should I need to claim, and that the person doing the survey will always find some work to do. On the plus side, the likelihood of leaks should be reduced. The roof is 8 years old.

bluedonkey
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Re: Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313312

Postby bluedonkey » May 29th, 2020, 11:25 am

MyNameIsUrl wrote:I have a 3-bed semi which has an extension with a flat roof. My insurers have now asked that I have it surveyed every 2 years and keep a record of all inspections, to be made available to them.

Is this a standard condition, or is it a little onerous?

I have a couple of worries: that the insurer is setting me up to fail on a technicality should I need to claim, and that the person doing the survey will always find some work to do. On the plus side, the likelihood of leaks should be reduced. The roof is 8 years old.

We have a flat roof on our dormer but have never had this from the insurer. However, flat roofs with felt are generally given a 10 year life so perhaps that's why the insurers have reacted to yours which is 8 years old. That said, the actual life of the felt roof could vary considerably +/-.

modellingman
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Re: Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313326

Postby modellingman » May 29th, 2020, 11:57 am

bluedonkey wrote:
MyNameIsUrl wrote:I have a 3-bed semi which has an extension with a flat roof. My insurers have now asked that I have it surveyed every 2 years and keep a record of all inspections, to be made available to them.

Is this a standard condition, or is it a little onerous?

I have a couple of worries: that the insurer is setting me up to fail on a technicality should I need to claim, and that the person doing the survey will always find some work to do. On the plus side, the likelihood of leaks should be reduced. The roof is 8 years old.

We have a flat roof on our dormer but have never had this from the insurer. However, flat roofs with felt are generally given a 10 year life so perhaps that's why the insurers have reacted to yours which is 8 years old. That said, the actual life of the felt roof could vary considerably +/-.


I have clauses about flat roofs (rooves?) in my block policy for my letting properties. The main terms are claims for damage caused by failure of the roof will only be allowed if the roof has been recovered within the last 10 years. My roofer tells me that these days roofing felt is little used - the last one I had done was in 2016 and involved "firestone rubber sheet" fastened with adhesive to new boards.

PinkDalek
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Re: Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313374

Postby PinkDalek » May 29th, 2020, 2:31 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:I have a 3-bed semi which has an extension with a flat roof. My insurers have now asked that I have it surveyed every 2 years and keep a record of all inspections, to be made available to them. ...


You don't mention the area of the flat roof compared with the total roof coverings (and as others have noted, how it is covered).

I mention area as we had a recent query on a small flat roof section. The Statement of Fact now includes 'The entire roof (excl the flat part) is made from slate or tile. The approx. percentage of the flat roof area is shown as 5%. It is slightly smaller but the 5% limit was relevant in that it apparently avoided additional requirements. It also states the covering is of lead and the standard all buildings are in a good state of repair.

There is a Flat Roof Clause in the policy (which isn't possible to copy and paste) but it broadly includes it is noted and agreed that a proportion is flat and subject to some terms & conditions:

a. A specified excess in respect of damage due to storm, flood, weight of snow
b. Loss or damage due to water leaking through is excluded (unless covered by an insured peril).
c. Loss or damage to any felt [ours is not felt] and flat roofed areas of the buildings is excluded unless the felt and flat roofs that are the subject of the claim have been fully recovered or renewed in the past 12 years.

As the property is not our main residence it also includes the requirement to inspect the entirety at least every 60 days [presently suspended] with records kept of each visit.

No mention of surveys that I can see but I suspect your flat roof is much larger than ours and, possibly, the nature of the coverings is relevant. In another place, the tenants had patched repaired with sub standard stuff and the entirety was covered with cheap shedding roof felt. Not good.

Do they specify who needs to undertake the surveys or their qualifications?

MyNameIsUrl
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Re: Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313384

Postby MyNameIsUrl » May 29th, 2020, 3:04 pm

PinkDalek wrote:Do they specify who needs to undertake the surveys or their qualifications?

They require 'qualified builder' or 'property surveyor'

The roof is about 20% of the total, and although it is felt it's a 3-layer torch-on Polyglass system, still within its 10-year guarantee and with a quoted expected life of 20 years.

My concern is not just the cost of the inspection (whoever inspects it will have to produce a report and could be on the hook for liability, so I expect this to be more than a fee for a few minutes work), but the fact that it's a blank cheque to identify remedial work.

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Re: Landlord Building Insurance - Flat Roof

#313392

Postby PinkDalek » May 29th, 2020, 3:30 pm

MyNameIsUrl wrote:My concern is not just the cost of the inspection (whoever inspects it will have to produce a report and could be on the hook for liability, so I expect this to be more than a fee for a few minutes work), but the fact that it's a blank cheque to identify remedial work.


Yes I got that and can't really help with your initial query about Is this a standard condition, or is it a little onerous? but was that out of the blue or was there anything beforehand that gave rise to that stipulation?

There are, of course, insurers that claim specialisms with flat or non-standard roofs whose conditions may not be as onerous but I have no experience on that front ..

A quick search, for example, finds that Hiscox may require a flat roof inspection by a competent person every two years, with any defects rectified within 14 days (direct link unavailable).


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