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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have an ongoing buildings insurance claim with Aviva for

Resolved Question:

I have an ongoing buildings insurance claim with Aviva for flood related damage at a private property. Upon investigation, there are some areas of damage the insurers say do not correspond to the single flooding event and are therefore not committing to offer cover on those items. The claim was registered in February and as of today, we still have not quantified the level of damage to the property. I have argued that like subsidence or other similar covered events, it is not reasonable to suppose the policyholder can always be aware that damage is going on. A similar claim was made on this company (then Norwich Union) around 15 plus years ago and it was really not investigated. Today my mother of 92 has been removed from her home and is in my care. I would like to find out what can I reasonably expect to claim from the insurers, including distress and gross inconvenience to me (representing Executors of K. Stacey) and my Mother the property owner.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

What are the disputed sums please in total?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Customer:

Hi Alex, the sums involved for the total material claim will be between £50k - £100k, but they have yet to quantify what they won't recognize...hopefully within a week Perhaps initial guess in region of £10k? Apart from those elements, I do not know if claims against the insurer for delay and distress, given my 92-year-old Mother's forced 3-6 month absence from her house after living in for 6 months of work going on around her constantly, and the fact that this has kept me as my Mother's carer completely tied to the area, losing two holidays and other gross inconvenience. After 6 months they have not yet identified the level of damage....meanwhile in China, someone has erected a 24storey building using 3-D printers! Hugh.

Alex Watts :

Have you complained to the Ombudsman yet please?

Customer:

No, not yet. I am ahead of events as we speak, because the insurers may yet reply with discretionary solutions that help us avoid loss. I am trying to establish if I have any reasonable grounds for complaint should things not go as we need them to. There is no unpleasantness from either side, but I have refused to accept liability that they may deny because I do not feel qualified. I have already undertaken a property improvement to defend the property against future flood events and may get a Council/Govt grant for that work (RRG). Council has also failed to agree our claim in 6 months.

Alex Watts : Of course. You should consider getting your own surveyor to give you an independent report. The survey should be allow to set out what happened when and if it went to court you could use this report.
Alex Watts : Secondly complain to the ombudsman if the report is in your favour. They offer a free independent service and can investigate your complaint. Their website is www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Alex Watts : Finally you can consider taking them to court
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : If any claim is above £10,000 then you would need representation for trial.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please ?
Customer:

Thanks Alex, I guess the only thing you have not commented on is the issue of seeking compensation for the delay, inefficiency or protracted work schedule keeping my Mother out of her house and me in it for what seems to us an exaggerated amount of time. Hugh.

Alex Watts : That really depends. The works should be done within a reasonable time. What is reasonable is subjective of course. But if it was not done without a proper explanation then you would be entitled to compensation but in reality it is only a nominal amount.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

I think that all gives me a good picture of how to proceed and what levels of expectation are reasonable. Thanks...over & out!

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