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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have just made a claim to our insurers for an escape of

Customer Question

We have just made a claim to our insurers for an escape of water which has been accepted. As part of the clear up process we have to have installed a dehumidifier and some cocooning where a pipe will be taped to the floor from our living room to a drainage point. We have been advised that we have to keep pets away from the dehumidifier and the three adults in the house all work during the day. The insurers are saying they will not cover or contribute to the cost of kennels. We cannot keep the dog shut in a bedroom or the bathroom (the only alternatives). Not only would she destroy the door and probably the carpet but the whole situation including the noise would cause her anxiety. Do you have any suggestions to help resolve this. We would be out of pocket in the region of approx £500 if we have to pay this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What reason have they given for keeping pets away from the dehumidifier?

Is there some kind of danger with it or are they concerned that your animals will wreck it was the noise of the dehumidifier and the effect on the dogs that concerns you?

Did the insurer know that you had dogs when you took the policy out
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo


The company that will install the dehumidifiers state on their website that all children and pets must be kept away from the equipment.


 


I don't think we were asked about any pets when we took out the policy.


Thanks


Sara

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.

The general idea of insurance is to put you back in the position that you would have been had the insured event not occurred.

In hindsight if you had told the insurance company that you had dogs and if ever you needed a dehumidifier you would have to put them in kennels and that would cost several hundred pounds they would not be able to escape liability.

However it is clearly unreasonable to expect you to think every single solitary kind of occurrence that is ever going to happen throughout the ownership of the house.

If there is an exclusion in the policy which says that they will not pay for housing pets either of the property is uninhabitable in total or in part, then they obviously have no liability to pay. If that is not mentioned however I think they do have a liability to pay.

If this has been decided by the loss adjusters this is typical of the action by a loss adjuster which tries to justify the loss adjusters fee to the insurance company and often gets the insurance company a bad name.

You can take the insurance company to court for the cost of kennelling the dogs and let the judge decide the issue. They are unlikely to defend because it is going to cost them more to defend the claim than they are arguing over.

Or you can make a formal complaint to the insurance company telling them that unless they pay up this money (based upon the receipts of course) you will refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman without further notice.

The financial ombudsman will look at the policy and the circumstances and then decide the issue. The insurance company is bound by the ombudsman decision.

Unfortunately, the ombudsman decision is likely to take some time and it will be months not weeks although you should get an acknowledgement back within 14 days.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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