Residents anger as Matilda House buildings insurance doubles overnight

Residents of Matilda House in St Katharine’s Way have been told by Tower Hamlets Council that their buildings insurance premiums will almost double and are more than a little angry.

Matilda House, St Katharine's Way, E1W
Matilda House, St Katharine’s Way, E1W

One member of the Leaseholders Association sent LW a copy of their complaint to Tower Hamlets Council asking the Council to explain the reason why their insurance costs have doubled from £145.44 to £302.16 for a one-bedroom flat.

Insurance costs for a three bed flat have risen from £200.85 in 2017/18 with Ocaso to £372.54 in 2018/19 with Zurich.

To make matters worse the Matilda House resident obtained a quote of £110 from Direct Line.

Letter to Tower Hamlets Council

“To whom it may concern,

I am writing to express my astonishment and shock at the proposed increase to the buildings insurance premium from £145.44 to £302.16, as indicated in the letter dated 23 February (which by the way was received by many of the leaseholders here at Matilda House after 27 February).

Although there is a restriction regarding leaseholders proposing possible tenders from other providers, I asked Direct Line for a quote; their quote was £110.46 (including Insurance Premium Tax at the appropriate rate).

This premium reflects an existing customer discount of 20% from £149.32, which undiscounted sum appears to correspond with many of the alternative quotes other leaseholders have acquired from the insurance industry and have provided to you.

You advise that you asked 2 companies to tender. I would like your responses to the following:

  1. The previous provider, Ocaso, originally provided a 2 year contract with an option for a 3rd year, which was adopted (quite late) in the first half of 2017, after it seems the policy incepted for 2017/18 (we received notice of this in June 2017). When did LBTH first consider alternative providers/put together its tender process?
  2. When was the tender process commenced? Was this as late as September 2017 when the general notice of long term agreement was provided? And why were only 2 providers asked to tender?
  3. What is the term of the ‘long term agreement’? Will the premium increase for each year of the term?
  4. Have Ocaso, Sun Alliance or Lark and previous providers been considered/approached in the tender process?

It appears that consideration of building insurance provision started quite late.

These are my immediate thoughts as an individual. In my capacity as a member of the Leaseholders Association, the Management Council will be considering how best to respond to this affront from LBTH.

I look forward to hearing from you.”

Matilda House, St Katharine's Way, E1W
Matilda House, St Katharine’s Way, E1W

If this was not enough of a problem Matilda House residents have been trying to access £300,000 of their money since 2011.

You can read about that very odd story here.

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