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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My neighbours insurers are asking me to pay a grossly inflated

Resolved Question:

My neighbours insurers are asking me to pay a grossly inflated assessment of the costs of property damage repairs - not a tradesmans bill or estimate. what can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are the repairs for - what is your liability in the circumstances?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
water damage to small area of ceiling below a flat roof. Spoke with neighbour recently. He received £1208.75 from his insurers.
He repainted the ceiling himself. Is worried that his name is ***** ***** small claim form. Work to repair ceiling would be less than £100 if out to competitive pricing by tradesmen. I have suspicions that the claim was inflated to cover the cost of a faulty doorway on the balcony which permitted water ingress for which I am held responsible. The insurers sent a copy of a quote from a local builder for the cost of repairs to the ceiling and the replacement of the existing door which has no external door threshold and weather bar.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You mentioned a court claim? Is the insurer trying to take you to court?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
water damage to small area of ceiling below a flat roof. Spoke with neighbour recently. He received £1208.75 from his insurers.
He repainted the ceiling himself. Is worried that his name is ***** ***** small claim form. Work to repair ceiling would be less than £100 if out to competitive pricing by tradesmen. I have suspicions that the claim was inflated to cover the cost of a faulty doorway on the balcony which permitted water ingress for which I am held responsible. The insurers sent a copy of a quote from a local builder for the cost of repairs to the ceiling and the replacement of the existing door which has no external door threshold and weather bar.
It is claimed my leaking gutter caused the damage on the basis of an insurance inspection which "assumes" that any water from my gutter "found it way internally" and caused the damage
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
water damage to small area of ceiling below a flat roof. Spoke with neighbour recently. He received £1208.75 from his insurers.
He repainted the ceiling himself. Is worried that his name is ***** ***** small claim form. Work to repair ceiling would be less than £100 if out to competitive pricing by tradesmen. I have suspicions that the claim was inflated to cover the cost of a faulty doorway on the balcony which permitted water ingress for which I am held responsible. The insurers sent a copy of a quote from a local builder for the cost of repairs to the ceiling and the replacement of the existing door which has no external door threshold and weather bar.
It is claimed my leaking gutter caused the damage on the basis of an insurance inspection which "assumes" that any water from my gutter "found it way internally" and caused the damageI have received a small court claim for the £1208.75 plus fees and interest totalling £1368.75
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Has the door actually been repaired?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No not yet. I have been in protracted correspondence with the insurers, but it a dialogue with the deaf. At the insureds request I visited him a few days ago to dicuss the matter. Now his solicitors have written to forbid contact with him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No not yet. I have been in protracted correspondence with the insurers, but it a dialogue with the deaf. At the insureds request I visited him a few days ago to discuss the matter. Now the insures solicitors have written to forbid contact with him.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The starting point is that you will be held responsible for the damage which occurred if you had been negligent in the maintenance or upkeep of the property, specifically the part where the flooding occurred. For example, if the door was not kept to a proper standard of maintenance so that leakage or flooding was a risk and did occur, you could be held liable on that basis. Your liability may not only stretch to repairing the damage caused but also to ensure any faults are fixed so that there is no repeat of this. Therefore, if there was a faulty doorway which caused the leak and it had to be fixed to prevent such issues from occurring again in the future, you may be held liable for such repairs in addition to the other work required to fix the damage caused.
When determining the costs of such work, the insurer may use any competent tradesman who is capable of undertaking such work. They may have a panel of tradesmen or could use a local reputable one.
If you wish to challenge this you will really have to do this on one of two grounds:
• That the estimate for the repairs is unreasonable and to do this you would be expected to get some quotes yourself, which you could compare against the one supplied by the insurer.
• That the works to the doorway are unnecessary and again you would be required to ask for the advice of a professional who would be able to comment on whether this was required in the circumstances or not.
If it comes to it you may have to defend this in court, however as it is the small claims court your liabilities will be limited and for example you would not have to pay for the other side’s legal costs, even if you lose. Of course, negotiating with them directly would be best but you cannot force them to do so or to agree anything with you so if they really want to continue to court they can do and that is when you just defend yourself using the above argument sand any evidence you have managed to gather.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The doorway in question is on my neighbour's property and is faulty because it is not a door designed to be installing externally.
Surely and work to repair a defect in my neighbour's property would amount to betterment which would not be allowed for under indemnity insurance?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorryt my typing is hopeless...The doorway in question is on my neighbour's property and is faulty because it is not a door designed to be installed externally.
Surely any work to repair a defect in my neighbour's property would amount to betterment which would not be allowed for under indemnity insurance?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
ok sorry I thought the doorway was your property, are you not responsible for that door in any way?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No at all.
My suspicion is that the claims services consultant has produced absurdly inflated claim give the insured sufficient from the claim to allow the insured to have the work done to replace the door, including raising the doorway by 4 inches to permit proper weather flashing. His cost assessment includes £70 to move a washing machine so that the wall can be painted
behind it and £70 to put it back! There is no way any tradesman in a competitive situation would have the nerve to charge £1200+ to repaint 2 square metres of water stained ceiling.It is not impossible in this small community that the assessor is knows the insured.Can I insist that anyone advising me has access to inspect the insureds property to report for me?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
I see, ok so you should only be responsible for repairing the damage caused or repairing things which jay have caused the damage to ensure it does not happen again. If they are fixing things which were not damaged by the issues you would be liable for or, as you have pointed out, made repairs which have resulted in betterment, then it should be the insured who pays a proportion to reflect this. You may indeed ask that someone who you have asked for a quote is given access to the property but you cannot force the owner to allow that. Of course if it goes to court they would have to explain why this was withheld when it would be unreasonable to do so in the circumstances
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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