Buildings Insurance

As required under the terms of the London Borough of Hounslow's leases, we arrange comprehensive buildings insurance for all sold flats under a blanket policy with a reputable company, OCASO.

The insurance runs from 1 October to the 30 September of the following year and we send you details of your insurance and an invoice for the premium once a year. Leaseholders cannot 'opt out' or arrange cover with another company.

The premium is based on the cost of rebuilding your flat and an element for the common parts. It also includes Insurance Premium tax (IPT)

As a leaseholder you are obliged to pay to insure your flat and you cannot arrange your own insurance with another company. Under the terms of your lease you must not do or keep anything that could increase risks or allow the insurers to void the policy.

The policy will not cover the contents of your home, such as furniture, pictures, clothing and personal belongings and we strongly recommend that you arrange contents insurance.

To make a claim, you will need to contact Davies Managed Systems (Ocaso's claims department). See the frequently asked questions for further details.

For more information about buildings insurance see the Leaseholders Handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Why do I need building insurance?

The Council has an obligation under the lease to insure lessee’s flats against the usual risks and leaseholders cannot opt out or arrange cover with another company.

If you have a mortgage it is usually a requirement of the mortgage company to have insurance for the buildings. Insurance will provide you with ‘peace of mind’ knowing that your buildings are covered against events such as theft, fire and flood. Further information is contained in the Policy Summary and Policy Document that is supplied with the cover. If you need a copy of this document, please contact the Home Ownership Unit.

2. What is the difference between my buildings and my contents?

Buildings insurance covers the structure of the home together with its fixtures and fittings. Contents insurance covers the contents of the home, items that you would take with you if you moved home. We (the council) are responsible for insuring the buildings and you are responsible for insuring the contents.

As an approximate guide, if you were to turn your home upside down, everything that fell out would be your contents, and most of what remains would be buildings. For further information relating to the items covered under our buildings policy, please refer to your policy wording.

3. How do I go about making a claim?

In the first instance contact Davies Managed Systems (Ocaso’s Claims department) who will register your claim over the phone taking all details and completing your ‘Statement of fact’ which sets out what has occurred. Once the information has been collected we will check that cover is in place and then issue you a copy of the Statement of fact for you to sign and return to us, providing any additional information we may have requested to enable us to consider your claim further.

If your claim is an emergency which occurs out of standard working hours, we have a dedicated 24 hour, 365 days a year Claims Helpline. The telephone number is 0870 420 1168. All the details on making a claim are set out in your Policy Document.

4. How will I know if my claim is covered by my policy?

Davies Management Systems(DMS) claims advisors are fully trained and have an excellent knowledge of the policy cover you have arranged with us. Wherever possible, they will let you know during your first call to them whether your claim is covered by your policy.

It may help you to read through the policy document along with your schedule of cover before ringing us to report your claim. If you require further help then please call DMS on 0870 420 1168 or write to them at:-

Ocaso CHU

Po Box 2801

East Court




Any claim against the leaseholders building insurance policy pre October 1st 2007 should be referred to Zurich Municipal. Please contact the Home Ownership Unit for a Zurich claim form.

5. What do I do if I urgently need Emergency Assistance?

If you have an emergency and urgently require a tradesman you can call the 24 hour Assistance line on 0870 420 1168 and we will arrange for a local approved tradesman to be sent out.

You will be expected to pay for any work undertaken but if the damage is covered by your insurance policy you will be reimbursed for the costs less any policy excess.

6. I understand that my policy is subject to an excess what is this?

There is a £1000 excess on subsidence claims

7. Do I pay excess if I make a claim even though it is not my fault?

The previous Zurich policy had £50 excess for general claims and £1000 for subsidence. There is no £50 excess with the Ocaso policy.

8. What happens once I have made a claim?

It is important that you keep damaged items and not throw anything away, as we may wish to inspect them. Burnt or soaked items may be kept in a shed or garage.

You will be asked to obtain competitive estimates for replacement or repair of damaged/lost property. If you find it difficult to get estimates quickly for example if damage is widespread in your area as a result of flood, builders may be hard to track down, inform us as soon as possible.

Collect receipts and try to list what is missing or damaged beyond repair. If you haven't got receipts, then instruction manuals or even original boxes and containers can help prove that you actually had an item.

Once settlement has been agreed with you, we will forward payment within five working days. Alternatively, we may arrange for goods to be replaced or repaired. Where we instruct a contractor or supplier as part of the settlement of your claim, we will pay their invoice directly less any agreed policy excess, which they will collect separately.

9. Can I claim on behalf of my neighbour if I caused damage to their property?

The policy that you hold provides cover for damage to your property only. Occasionally, you may accidentally damage other people’s property; for example, water damage to a flat below. In this eventuality, the third party would need to approach their own insurers directly. If it was then proven that the damage was a result of your negligence their insurers might decide to contact you directly to pursue the relevant recovery in which instance, all correspondence should be forwarded to your insurers at the address shown above.

10. I understand that a Loss Adjuster may be appointed – what is his role?

A role of the loss adjuster is wide and varied, but principally is there to offer a claims management service both to you as the policyholder and also your insurer (Ocaso). The loss adjuster will investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss and will evaluate the extent of damage that has occurred to your property and will discuss with you the next steps to be taken to assist in the reinstatement of your property. The Loss Adjuster will report directly to your Insurers claims team with their findings to enable the claim to proceed.

11. What do I do if I am unhappy regarding the claim settlement?

If you are unhappy with your claim settlement please provide in writing your reasoning for your dissatisfaction and any evidence you may feel could aid your dispute, which we would then review internally. If the response is not to your satisfaction DMS would then duly refer you to the complaints procedure, which is located in the back of your policy wording.

Points to remember

  • Policy Cover – All insurance policies set out clearly the risks that they do or do not cover. Please ensure that you have read your policy carefully and make sure that the loss you have suffered is covered. If in doubt please contact our claims team.
  • Fraudulent Claims – Such claims are taken very seriously and action may be taken against claimants making fraudulent claims. A claim that is considered fraudulent is one that is inflated (the value falsely enhanced) or bogus and will result in the claim being denied. A database of claims made is maintained and this may be shared with other Insurers.
  • Reasonable Care – Insurance is not a maintenance contract and is no substitute for keeping the property in a reasonable state of repair. If damage is caused as a result of failing to take reasonable care of the property the loss may not be covered. Should the damage have been made worse because of poor maintenance, the claim may be reduced. For example, if you were aware that roof tiles were loose or missing and your roof suffered weather-related damage, your claim may not be valid.