How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I own a 2 bed maisonette (one of a little block of four) which

Resolved Question:

I own a 2 bed maisonette (one of a little block of four) which I rent out. My insurance broker wrote to me last June suggesting a change of insurer from Aviva to Axa as a better deal to which i agreed.

The maisonette below mine has come up for sale and I have had an offer excepted, except that the survey and a cctv drain survey has shown that there has been slight movement to the property at some stage altho a structural engineer's report has confirmed that there is no current movement.

So, not only is the new insurance company Axa reluctant to give new insurance on the property, they are saying they would never have agreed to insure had they known there were problems.

My question is this? Who's responsibility is it to ensure a property is worthy of insurance. The elderly lady(92) who died and left her flat to her nephew was in no fit state to query a change of insurer and had had no problems with her drains or cracks etc. I did not notice any cracking to the property and have had no problems with my drains etc.

We agreed to change insurer in good faith and trusted our broker to ensure continuous cover.

Moyra
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

It is down to the property owner.

Alex Watts :

Normally you make certain declarations as what you are telling the insurance company is true

Alex Watts :

If you did not know there were ever problems you would declare so

Alex Watts :

Then your insurance company would cover that risk

Alex Watts :

If you know it suffered from movement and failed to declare that - then that would be a ground to cancel the insuance

Alex Watts :

But if there have been problems and someone did not know, then the insurance company should pay out

Alex Watts :

But the declarations are down to the policy owner who is normally the owner

Alex Watts :

Does this answer your question and can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

It was all handled by the insurance brokers who we have been with for years. We didn't receive any paper work apart from the letter to say they suggested a switch to a better deal then confirmation that that had been done. When the insurance was swithced we had no idea of any problems. The first survey said there was subsidence, but the subsequent structural engineer said that there was no current movement it was historic.

Customer:

Should the broker have made more enquiries of us?

Alex Watts :

Yes - because if you knew and failed to declare your insurance could be void.

Alex Watts :

Does that assist you?

Customer:

One more question then? Should we be arguing with the broker that they were negligent? They would obviously have been given a commision for taking out this switch with AxA?

Alex Watts :

Potentially yes. They should have made sure there we no changes from previous years

Customer:

Thank you

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you