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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Is the basis for the insurance company's refusal of the claim that the flashing at the base of your chimney which is causing a leak is due to wear and tear as opposed to storm damage or something else please?
I PRESUME WEAR AND TEAR , BUT AS IT CAME OFF IN ONE PIECE IT MUST HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY STORM DAMAGE .WEAR AND TEAR IS A MORE GRADUAL PROCESS SURELY
thanks. to mention you are not sure why they have refused that part of the claim. Have they not given any written reason for their refusal?
have you been able to obtain any independent report such as a quote from an independent contractor or take photographic evidence that demonstrates that the damage was caused on the balance of probability by the storm as opposed to wear and tear as you say?
NO ,VERBAL ONLY , AS GIVEN BY THE INSPECTOR ,AND NO-ONE WILL ANSWER MY PHONE CALLS TO CLARIFY OR COMPLAIN
THE ORIGINAL INSPECTOR TOOK PHOTOS AND THAT IS ALL
thank you.on the basis that your policy covers storm damage which certainly most policies would and what you say yours does as the insurance company has agreed to your claim in respect of bricks that were damaged due to storm damage, the insurance company is bound to pay for damage caused to your flashing by the storm unless there is a specific exclusion in your policy in respect of damage to flashing or the insurance company can show on the balance of probability that the damage was not caused by the storm but is due to wear and tear for example
it is worth checking your policy to ensure there is no exclusion in respect of damage to flashing and on the basis that there is no such exclusion, on the basis that you consider you have evidence or can obtain evidence that shows that the damage was caused by the storm rather than due to wear and tear, you would appear to have the basis of a claim.
the first step is to lodge a formal complaint to the insurer in writing which must be dealt with by the insurer under the terms of the complaints policy. If you are not satisfied with a response then you have a right to refer your complaint to the financial ombudsman which is free dispute resolution service. the financial ombudsman's decision is binding upon the insurer but not upon you. The ombudsman will independently determine your complaint and where appropriate Award compensation or order the insurance company to take action
whilst you are correct that it would appear to make sense to carry out both repairs whilst the scaffolding is in place, ultimately this is an issue for the insurance company because either they are liable to pay for the claim or they're not and if they are, they may have to pay for a further set of scaffolding to be erected if the present scaffolding has been taken down
HAVING LIVED IN THIS HOUSE FOR 20 YEARS ,WEAR AND TEAR WOULD BE GRADUAL , IT HAS CERTAINLY BEEN RAINING OVER THAT TIME BUT THE LEAK ONLY OCCURED AFTER THE JANUARY STORMS . WHAT AM I TO DO ?
I would commend the above approach in terms of resolving your complaint with the insurer. The financial ombudsman is well versed in such disputes as they exclusively deal principally with insurance and financial services disputes. there is no customer service and they can compel the insurance company to comply with their determination
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
I CAN CHECK MY POLICY ,THEN IF I HAVE THE BASIS OF A CLAIM , WHAT CAN I DO ?
Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
I AM TEMPTED TO GET A BUILDER TO REPAIR THE FLASHING AS I DON'T THINK I WILL WIN OVER THEIR OPINION AS TO "WEAR AND TEAR" (THIS WILL I HOPE COST ME FAR LESS USING THEIR SCAFFOLDING) THIS SEEMS THE EASIEST OPTION , IT SEEMS UNFAIR BUT FIGHTING INSURANCE COMPANIES IS TOO DIFFICULT.
if you have the funds available to attend to the repair yourself, then consider obtaining at least two quotes and notifying the insurer of your intentions in this respect giving them a final opportunity to reconsider - say perhaps 7 days - failing which you will proceed with the repairs employing your own contractor and look to them for the costs.
Providing you give them notice as above, there is nothing in principle preventing you from pursuing a complaint against them in the same way and claiming back your repair costs from the insurer if necessary through the financial ombudsman
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
THANKYOU FOR YOUR HELP
A great pleasure. I wish you all the best with your claim