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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A Loss Adjuster reports the damage to my bathroom/lobby

Resolved Question:

A Loss Adjuster reports the damage to my bathroom/lobby floor to be from Sewage escape He executed the job in April 2014 and the Surveyor costed the materials for completion by 1/7/2014. A ****** ******* Loss Adjuster who never visited the property cut-back the scope of works - removing the lobby floor which is the same floor through the bathroom. Contractors did not come out until 1/9/2014 and on that day with instructions to only dig up the bathroom part of the floor only. I queried this discrepancy on the scope of works and the Loss Adjusters claimed they did not know of it. However on 24/10/2014 ****** ******* Loss Adjuster was sent out to my property and told me that the lobby part of the floor damage was not linked to the Peril. The contractor with him told me that the bathroom part of floor had faulty workmanship so they could not do anything to stop the springiness that did not appear until after the huge sewage escape affected the whole road including raw surfacing at mine last January. With the 1st Loss Adjuster stating as it had almost 24 hours to seep into the property and this was the reason for the damage. Can the Loss Adjusters cut back the scope which I think is down to cost-cutting. What can I do?

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 :

For now please let me know whether you have had a surveyor give a second opinion?

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

No because l the first Surveyor who came out just after the first Loss Adjuster included the lobby area of the floor in the cost ing up of the claim. As did the First Loss Adjuster. It was a ****** ******* assistant to this first loss adjuster who by his own admission altered the scope of works having never visited the house. I think the contractor who dug up only the bathroom floor is also another surveyor who was working to the altered scope and he did not know of the previous larger one. That is the situation.

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

I cannot see your reply on screen

Alex Watts :

Yes that is because I have not replied yet. I am giving this some thought

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Hello Alex I have amessage alex has stepped out of this chat have I go a message if so where as I cannot see it

Alex Watts :

No I am here

Alex Watts :

Just so I am clear it is the assistant that has messed up?

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Well it looks like it and by his own admission 'I was helping out I altered the scope because I didn't agree with the Loss adjuster adjusters (1st one) decision'. He had not visited the site before he altered the scope, then a Robert ****** 3rd Loss Adjuster came on the scene and claimed he did know their was a shortfall in the scope of works. Though he had access to all paperwork.

Alex Watts :

Do you know the cost of these extra works?

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

As far as I am aware the work and this extra work was finally pre-costed beforehand on 6/9/2014 by Axa who stated so that the work will go ahead without delay, the costing includes any additional work which we expect to be the case. Here he meant the lobby floor. I do not know what that recent costing entails I only have the email.

Alex Watts :

Ok - can you clarify the position on that?

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

The problem for the GAB Robins is that if they take up the lobby floor they will also have to take down the wall with the door frame in it. It is this that will cost them more. Instead they are claiming the area is not now related to the claim. This is 10 months later now that the water escape has been artificially dried out and this is what ****** ******* turned up and saw. A dried out area.

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Well Axa Jason Farrer after I complained and told me that the contractors have to repair the whole floor and not just part of it. He emailed to say that in order to get the work started without further delays he had 'beforehand pre-costed' the job to include any additional work 'which they expect to be the case'. 'without any further inspections'. He said there were no issues of cover on the Insurance Policy and Adjusters did not get passed to PFG contractors who told me so on 24/11/2014. So they still thought they were only dealing with the bathroom area. I was also informed by GAB Robins that ****** ******* was coming to inspect the cracks that appeared in the external bathroom wall following the contractual work. In fact he did not and the only conversation with me was about the floor. GAB Robins are now claiming that the Axa 6.9.2014 was only about the costing and this information came to me via Axa today.

Alex Watts : On what basis are they reducing the works? How will that affect things?
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Well they say that the area is not linked to the Peril even this floor was also wringing wet. Chemdry had been out on 25/11/2014 and showed me on his camera type equipment where can visually determine wet or damp, where this was. They also reported to GAB Robins to take up the lobby floor see that they can the subfloor and a strip of floor the contractors left behind along the external bathroom wall. Chemdry did this because they said they needed to see under the floor, to clean and disinfect it and to establish what had gone on. The second Chemdry person came out 2 weeks after to check the wetness of the area and he reported to GAB Robins to remove the plywood for halfway up the bathroom external wall. In answer to your question GAB Robins claimed today that Chemdry are not qualified to make these reports and they did not include them on the day that ****** ******* and PFG contractor came on the 24th November. This was according to Axa to be a 3 way assessment for them to agree a way forward. ****** ******* also told me that I had compromised the lobby floor are as part of the claim, when it was Axa who told me at the outset 'to dig up the floor myself'. Which I did not until after sometime after the claim had been reported and then only removed a few tiles to see the floor. As it turned out I still couldn't see underneath the floor. I know that this account is unwieldly but there it a lot to explain. The upshot is that GAB Robins are instructing the contractor to replace a plywood decking over the joints in situ which will leave me a springy floor that arrived several weeks after the sewage escape involving Southern Water. Against Chemdry they intend to do nothing with the lobby floor which is also springy. Leaving me not being able to lay tiles over the floor, informed that no contractor will on a springy floor because the tiles will crack. To date I have been left for 39 days without any sanitary facilities. I have had to purchase a camping toilet.

Alex Watts : And the surveyor included it initially. I don't understand if the surveyor Included and now They have removed it?
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Neither do I. Meanwhile I have had another identical sewer backup incident approx. 3 weeks ago. Caught before it had chance to back to mine. GAB Robins have had photographs of the fat blockage in the main drain that connects out houses, and of the Southern Water operative who came to unblock it. The sewage problem I reported to Axa last March has become widespread even into the next village. The report of it is in the December village community magazine headed Southern Water with advice not to throw fat and wet wipes down the drains. Yet whatever I say they are only focused on finding ways that appear to backup the narrowed scope.

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Incidentally Axa insurance who uphold so few of property complaints, upheld my complaint about 4 weeks ago stating that 'scope had been altered', and compensated me with a £500 cheque. Stated also that there would be a 3 way meeting at the property to look at the cracks that had appeared. So they are acknowledging the blunder but GAB Robins is still trying to carry it out.

JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

have I lost you

Alex Watts : Ok. Does the original surveyor say why he changed his mind?
Alex Watts : Actually the surveyor is ok, it's the loss adjuster - right?
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

It wasn't the surveyor who changed his mind but the first Loss Adjusters assistant ****** *******. Mr ******* said that he did not agree with the first Loss Adjusters report and he had been helping out. I didn't know anything of his existence until I finally asked GAB Robins for some background paperwork relating to the claim and there was his name on it. Mr ******* works for GAB Robins. When Mr Almond GAB Robins was told of the shortfall in the scope he appeared not to be aware and said that he had contacted the first Loss Adjuser to find out what he had originally written.

Alex Watts : And you simply disagree with the decision?
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Well yes this has been going on for ten months now. The cut in the scope will leave me under to lay a floor over it as they do not intend to address the springiness in it. I will have to have it dug up all over again to address this before I can ever lay a floor on it. They have simply cut back the area which is only approx. 4' x 5' which area I will also have to dig up. Not only that but they will put me back in a situation of not being able to see under the floor at all. So that I can at least mitigate damage from water escape in the future if I have to. This was the problem at the outset when I could not explain in depth to Axa what the problem was because I could not see into the floor. Which was the problem at the outset of this Above all I feel entirely cheated, bulleyed and lied to. This is not about money but moral issues for me. I have been paying under a buildings policy since 1985 and this is the first claim ever.

Alex Watts : Ok, who pays the insurance, you or the landlord..
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Me I own the property

Alex Watts : What you need is write and make a formal complaint which they need to investigate.
Alex Watts : If that is not upheld then you can complain to the Ombudman. They offer a free independent service at www.financial-Omnudsman.org.uk
Alex Watts : Then if they do not uphold the complaint you can take it to court but you need a second opinion as to why the area has been removed.
Alex Watts : If the claim is under £10,000 it will be a small claim and you won't need representation
Alex Watts : You could even do that online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
Alex Watts : Can I clairfy anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Only if I allow GAB Robins to go ahead with what they have stated, will this compromise my argument?

Alex Watts : you can agree but say it is without prejudice to your agreement
JACUSTOMER-su1b37ln- :

Thankyou Alex

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