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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3655
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am a heating engineer with my own small Ltd. Company, but

Resolved Question:

I am a heating engineer with my own small Ltd. Company, but I sometimes works for a builder on a self employed basis.
Last year we had a leak on one of his jobs in a top floor flat. I didn't have any liability insurance at the time and assumed I was covered on the builders insurance.
However his Insurance company have told me this is not the case & they will be coming after me for substantial damages.
I am now unsure of my position & very worried?
Please help!
Chris Balzan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Were you responsible for the leak?
How much was the damage caused?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks AJ,

Yes it looks like I'm being blamed, but I not sure it was my fault!

A new connection to an existing radiator valve came loose at least a week after being filled and tested. (Probably moved due to expansion once the heating came on)

It was only a small weep at first, but because both this top floor flat & the one below were unoccupied, it was allowed to build up & get worse until it had gone through 2 ceilings!

I'm am unsure of the total cost of damage at this time, but as the property is in one of Bath's famous crescents, I wouldn't be surprised if we are talking 5 figures!

I have been informed by the builders insurers that costs of £875 are already paid, with "considerably higher costs anticipated".

I also know a rug was damaged at a loss of £2800

Thanks

Chris

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Ultimately whether you have insurance or not is not the issue.
You are only liable for the damage if you caused it. If you provided a service and they can show that the service was not carried out with "reasonable care and skill" then you may be liable for the loss.
Have they provided any proof that you caused the damage?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No proof has been given.

I have an extremely good relationship & reputation with the builder, but he's in Australia for another week. He is under the impression that his insurers would pay up as it was just "one of those things".

It was also him that was called to the leak first when the alarm was raised. I attended shortly after.

Regards,

Chris

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Have the insurers provided any evidence you were at fault? Or have they provided you with a demand for any monies?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not yet no.

I had an initial letter 8 months after the event recommending I notify my insurer.

I replied by letter stating I had none in place, assuming I was covered under their policy.

Then I received an email on New Years Eve claiming they would not provide any indemnity for any losses arising from my negligence.

I have not replied to this email!

Thanks

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
That really says it all no "indemnity for any losses arising from your negligence". One they have to prove you have been negligent and two they have to prove your negligence caused loss that was not too remote and reasonably forseeable.
If you do not believe you were negligent, I would only suggest you say to whoever is alleging the loss that you deny any negligence.
Kind regards
AJ
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