Insurance Premium Increase: What you need to know
We’ll be sending out your annual service charge estimates in February via your preferred communication methods which give a breakdown of the items and services that your service charge pays for.
When you receive your estimate you’ll see that there has been an increase in building insurance premiums. We wanted to alert you to this as soon as possible, explain why it’s happened and outline the support we can offer.
Buildings insurance explained
While you arrange your own contents insurance, it’s our responsibility to arrange building insurance for your home. This makes sure that our investment in your home is secure and that we have enough insurance cover to repair, or even rebuild, your home should something happen to it.
Legally we have to review our insurance provider. This is known as re-tendering and we wrote to you in December 2022 to let you know that we were going through this process.
In past years we’ve been able to secure a competitive rate, with individual leaseholders and shared owners paying relatively low buildings insurance premiums through their service charge.
However, the buildings insurance market for Housing Associations has changed recently and prices have increased. Even if we hadn’t re-tendered the contract, prices would still have risen this year. There are many reasons for this including:
- The impact of the Grenfell tragedy
- This has led to many insurers no longer offering insurance to Housing Associations, which means the market is less competitive
- The impact of inflation
- Buildings insurance premiums are based on how much it would cost to completely rebuild a property. This is known as the reinstatement cost. It includes every aspect – from demolishing a severely damaged building and clearing the site, to the material and labour costs of re-building it. All of these costs have increased as a result of high inflation rates and a shortage of materials.
As part of the re-tendering process a new reinstatement valuation was carried out on our properties, which was higher than previous years for the reasons outlined above.
We received a number of quotes and were able to select the cheapest offer, but this was still much higher than previous quotes.
Support from Town & Country Housing
We understand the impact that this increase may place on your finances but it is vital that our buildings are insured to the correct value to protect your home, and the homes of all our residents.
We know that things are hard in the current financial climate and want to make sure we can do all that we can to help you.
If you are worried about money and want some advice, please do get in touch with our Money Support service. They can provide budgeting advice and assistance with welfare benefits. You can contact them via email@example.com or by calling 01892 501480.