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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 10091
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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A homeowners claim was denied, but then in a recorded statement

Customer Question

A homeowners claim was denied, but then in a recorded statement I was told that I was covered for Alternate Accommodation and the internal damage to my flat. The insurance company paid for the internal repairs and only two months for Alternate Accommodation. The policy limit which is included in the Building Insurance is £500,000 for building insurance and £25,000 of Accommodation. I am highly allergic to mould....sent them a doctors letter. We had to vacate our home. They have only paid for 2 months Alternate Accommodation. Since they have a recorded statement saying I am covered do they not by law have to continue paying as long as our home is not fit to live in until either it is treated and repaired or up to the policy limit? I say they do. I think because they have paid for two months by law they have demonstrated that I am covered.

Judith Lowe
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Apart from the financial limit what else does the policy say about Alternate Accommodation? Why have they said they aren't paying this any longer?

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The water ingress was from wear and tear on a communal roof. However saying that.... we are not under the roof. There is a flat two floors above ousr. Technically the water went into theirs first then at some time it migrated into ours. Since the water ingress was not from a storm and wear and tear on the roof the insurer said it was not covered there fore neither was anything else. I have a strong insurance background. When I enquired because of our policy limits etc. they said We were covered after they listened to their recorded statement to me. They have paid for everything and now have decided they would not pay more than two months which was only £1400. We rented from a Friend of a friend. My husband works down in England so they are doing us a huge favour. the rent is normally £1500. Our policy limit is £25,000


 


Hope that answers your question.


 


Jxo

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for that background. It appears that despite the wear and tear argument they have decided to accept the claim. That being the case and against that background my questions remain:

Apart from the financial limit what else does the policy say about Alternate Accommodation?

Why have they said they aren't paying this any longer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

http://www.churchill.co.uk/pdf/home-policy-document.pdf


 


Please see Building Coverage section 2 under Alternative Accommodation. It basically says if we cannot live in our home they will cover us per month what our home would rent for which actually in our case would be £1,700 up to the policy limit of £25,000. As I mentioned we are only asking for £700. They are not continuing because in the first instance we were not covered, but when I asked a Claims Advisor if we were covered for the internal and Alternative Accommodation she said YES you are. I told them to go back and listen to their recordings, they did and then agreed to cover the claim. They said they felt the have fulfilled their obligation by paying us £700. I told them yesterday I would argue this point... you are either covered or you are not. It is like being pregnant.....you aren't a little bit pregnant now are you? Thanks


 

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Yes, you are quit correct. If they have elected to cover the claim then the contract of insurance prevails and they are bound by it.

You have three options:

1. Sue the insurers under the contract of insurance. This is the most expensive route. You will need a lawyer. You would claim your costs back as part of the action but you would have to underwrite your legal fees in the first instance.

2. Put in a report to the financial services ombudsman. This won't cost you but will take time and quite a lot of paperwork.

3. Employ a private loss adjuster to act for you and deal with the insurance company. The loss adjuster's fee will be taken as a percentage of the recovery made by him on your behalf.

Happy to discuss further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Spoke to insurer and they agreed to pay for further accommodation! Of course I told them I had spoken to a solicitor. I do know Insurance law pretty well, thank you for your confirmation!


 


Judith Lowe

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
I am delighted to hear it and thank you for letting me know. Don't forget to leave positive feedback on the system so that I am credited by the site for my time.

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