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if so, PM me.
Essential for the purposes of a mortgage.
The landlord's responsibility if you're a tenant (99.9% of the time, I'd have thought).
Probably the factor's responsibility if you own a flat in Scotland.
Not sure if you own a flat in England/Wales/NI, but it'll be set out in the Title Deeds.
kind of. Csn't PM for some reason
Sorry that this is a bit long!
so this is the situation:
- toilet waste pipe cracked, spilling all kinds of grimness underneath our floorboards and lino flooring (but possibly over a gradual period of time). we only noticed a couple of months ago
- plumber thought it was just a damp problem when he first came out but having taken bathroom suite out, he discovered the root cause of the problem.
whilst this is going on, mrs c_c_b, Isobel and I have to live somewhere else.
When the insurance company loss adjuster man came round, he examined the damage and said that:
- “there is no evidence to indicate that the pipe has been damaged as a result of a single identifiable incident”… and that it was probably wear and tear
- “we can deal with the damage sustained by the escape of water”
So basically they’ll allow us to claim for damage caused by one definition but not the other.
So in terms of what they’ll pay for, this was their decision:
- dry everything out - YES
- take out existing floor – NO as we’d have to do that because of the replaced piping
- replace piping – NO because it was caused by wear and tear
- re-lay floor – NO as we’d have to do that because of the replaced piping
- re-lay floorboards – YES
- relay lino or tiles – KIND OF – but they won’t pay for the cost of tiles, only for the cost of lino. They said that we were intending to revamp the bathroom anyway.
- re-fit bathroom – NO as they’ve said that we were intending to revamp the bathroom anyway
- temporary accommodation – KIND OF – only enough for one week’s hotel costs.
My problems with their decision are thus:
- replace piping – okay, this is going to be the hardest one to prove – because it’s their word against ours. As far as I’m aware and in my plumber’s opinion, waste pipes don’t just crack. They’re supposed to last pretty much forever.
- Take out existing floor and re-lay it – the escape of water has caused the floor to be flooded and contaminated with sewage. Their argument is that we’d have to take it out anyway – but if they are willing to replace the floorboards, why not replace this?
- Re-fit bathroom – they’ve got this entirely wrong. We only got the plumbers round as we intended to fix the problem with the damp floorboards. If this leak hadn’t happened we wouldn’t have carried out the work. Besides, the bathroom suite has been sitting on top of raw sewage for I don’t know how long – do they seriously expect us to put it back in? that’s grim.
- Re-lay lino or tiles – my understanding is that we should be allowed to replace new for old. The lino floor would have been mid-range when it was laid; I think that cheap-ish tiles would be a reasonable mid-range replacement. If someone was to steal my old TV and I was to claim on insurance, I would be allowed to replace it with a modern equivalent, right? So why isn’t it the case with the flooring?
- Temporary accommodation – our policy document states that we are entitled to claim for similar short-term accommodation for the period of time that we could not use our house because of the damage. Firstly, the amount of money they’ve given us wouldn’t have even covered us for the week we’ve already been out of the house. Secondly, hotel accommodation isn’t similar accommodation. There’d be no kitchen and our daughter would have to sleep in the same room as us.
So basically I’m pretty pissed off about the whole thing. We’ve got savings to cover the cost of the work, and we’ve got a friend who’s lending us their whole house, but I am confused by their response. Any thoughts? Assuming you’ve managed to read this far?
I deal with commercial insurance rather than residential and not with the claims side so I can't really advise that well, I thought it might have been a question about getting new insurance or something.
They can talk their way out of anything, can't they!
I don't really want to advise and be wrong so I suggest you call the FSA...
i needed to get my argument into some kind of logical order, so that page of description will help me form a basis for a complaint letter... i think it's best that i just go through their complaints procedure. the problem i have is that their decision is totally devoid of logic!
i don't think i helped matters by shouting "YOU'RE MAKING MY FAMILY HOMELESS" several times at the claims consultant over the phone yesterday.
you then write to the FSA with your complaint. That should get it all resolved, us insurers..we are scared of the big bad FSA.
But I might be able to make some sense of it if I could read the policy docs online, so if you want me to then name and shame. They have so many caveats in policies these days and you can barely decipher the things.
here's the nearest equivalent I could find:
page 31 - uninsurable risks - wear and tear.
my argument is that if they're going to allow us to claim under "escape of water" then that should cover almost all of it. i just need to get a support letter from our plumber and then i'm putting in a complaint. i think it's FOS i need to go to though, isn't it? once it's gone up the line and not been satisfactorily dealt with?
also - all our income gets paid into their bank account. and we have a savings account with them too (well, we will have, until the cost of plumbing empties it out!). Is there any worth in threatening to move our accounts elsewhere? Or do they generally ignore such threats?
Throw in the threat to remove accounts etc and big up what a good customer you are and how let down you feel. Surely the escape of water should cover everything bar the pipes, threaten to go to the ombudsman if they fail to resolve to your satisfaction following your first letter. They should provide you with a guide relating to the complaint process and how to contact the ombudsman once they acknowledge your first letter of disatisfaction.
i can live with the cost of replacing the pipes but the escape of water covers everything else in my opinion.
yes - let down - that's exactly how we feel!
that's for large commercial accounts so we'd be losing a lot more so I'm not sure, but it's worth trying. Yep you go to the FOS.
It does state they cover accidental damage of sanitary ware, hence the reason they're saying it's wear and tear rather than damaged...so yes get a support letter so you can argue it's breakage. Though be careful he doesn't state it's a faulty item as they seem to exclude this too!!
In terms of both buildings and contents, in the definitions the only main exclusion is that they wont cover leakage if it was caused by failed sealant, as your pipe is broken then surely it should not matter if it's wear and tear or a crack in it because we know for sure it wasn't the sealant which is the one thing they exclude.
BUT in terms of accidental damage to contents they will not cover for ANY contents that are damaged as result of water entering the home, so presumably this is where they decide to cover the floorboards (buildings) and not lino (contents) etc.
The list of caveats on a policy are so great and unfair, insurance is a cunts game and this is why everyday a piece of my soul is eaten away. Please someone take me away from it all!
basically they worked out that it would cost £150 to replace the lino with lino, and the insurance excess is £150. So they've said that they'll waive the excess in lieu of replacing the lino.
and the reason they've given for not replacing the bathroom suite is that we were going to replace it anyway. We're not, we would have left the bathroom as it is, had it not been for the leak.
and anyway i'm not sure about that clause "water entering the home" - surely if someone was flooded they'd cover replacement of contents?
but thanks for looking through that. you must leave your job. and the building. and the city. and form a jazz band.
i spent six years working in group personal pensions. i am definitely less of a person as a result. that said, when you finally leave, you'll be surprised how quickly you forget everything you once knew. so there is hope for you yet.