This is your own responsibility, whether tenant or leaseholder. There is a range of home contents insurance schemes for you to explore and contact Westminster Housing who can advise you further. Be aware that some insurance companies may not cover you if the main doors to the block are not secure.
Westminster Housing organises this for the whole block. As a leaseholder it is re-charged to you on your Service Charges.
In principle, insurance only covers flats that are occupied. If an occupant knows that the flat is to be unoccupied for
more than 30 days, they should inform Westminster Housing in advance or before the 30 days is reached.
Westminster Housing will then make arrangements with Zurich for the cover to be extended. Cover continues, without needing
Occupancy means anyone who is authorised to live in the flat: renters, sub-letters, house sitters,
friends, family, tenants and leaseholders.
Should an incident occur, Zurich will initially deal with the leaseholder (which means Westminster Housing for Council tenants or the leaseholder for private tenants). The leaseholder may delegate authority to an agent or other person (i.e. the person actually living in the flat), but must notify Zurich and Westminster Housing directly with details of any such authorisation. Cover continues.
In cases where a flat has been unoccupied for more than 30 days (perhaps due to hospitalisation or vacation) and where Westminster Housing has not been informed in advance, each case will be considered by Zurich on its individual merits. Cover might/might not be granted. If the resident thinks that cover will not be granted, they should arrange for supplementary insurance cover.
If a leaseholder (covered by Westminster Housing buildings insurance) has a claim against Westminster Housing or an occupant, they should make their claim directly to Zurich: 08700 108 855. The current policy number is 10/006460/05500377. The buildings insurance policy is considered a Major Works item, and leaseholders are given relevant information when the insurance agreement comes up for renewal or revision.
It may happen that things on your balcony are not insured: the buildings insurance would not include them but the contents insurance might consider the balcony outside of its scope.
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