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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there, I lent some household goods to a friend who lived

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Hi there,

I lent some household goods to a friend who lived in a mobile home. It caught fire and she lost everything. I am trying to claim on my insurance, which is with Direct Line. (My friend wasn't insured). Their section on Contents Away from home reads:

We will pay for loss of or damage to contents insured ... while they are as follows:

Within the British Isles and temporarily in:

(i) a bank safe deposit;

(ii) a private home or caravan that is lived in; or

(iii) any building where you or any member of your family work or live.

Direct Line repudiated the claim on the grounds that section (iii) doesn't apply. I say that section (ii) does. I'm having great difficulty convincing them - sometimes they say that they can repudiate if *any* condition applies, and I point out that this is nonsense ... they say that because condition (iii) doesn't apply then they can repudiate the claim. I say that (ii) still applies. They won't budge.

What do you think, please?

Cheers, XXXXX

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

On what basis are they saying that (ii) does not apply?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They seem to be saying that both (ii) and (iii) should apply. Crazy, isn't is?


I've asked whether (i) should apply as well, by extension - they say no. But they keep saying that both (ii) and (iii) have to apply.


I said 'If I ask whether you want bacon *or* sausages for breakfast, does that mean you can have both? They say No.


So I say ... I've made my point - and they go back to saying that (ii) and (iii) should apply. I think I'm losing my mind.


BTW, on an admin thing - your system won't accept my e-mail address because it says it belongs to another member. I can't find a way of sorting this out so I gave a friend's address, but could you please send to my own - which [email protected]





Is anybody there? It's all gone quiet.


Looking at each of the three criteria

i does not apply because obviously they were not in a safe deposit
ii the items were in a caravan that is lived in, so I cannot see how that cannot apply.
It then goes to say “or”
iii any building where you walk any member of your family work or live, which also does not apply.

The using their illogical logic, it would have to be a caravan and the building before you have a claim which would make a claim impossible

What helps you is the word “or” because clearly that means either ii or iii. not both.

You can either sue the insurance company for breach of contract and is the amount is under £10,000 that you are claiming, it will be small claim court and even if you lose, you will have to pay your own court costs.

The insurance company will not be able to recover solicitors costs in the small claim court.

What you can also do instead of going to court is to make a formal complaint to the insurance company and if that fails (which seems highly likely at this stage) make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

The beauty of going to the Ombudsman is that although it is not quick, there are no associated risks and no costs for you.

Here is the link to the fact Financial Ombudsman service

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I thank you. That's what I thought too - plain as a pikestaff. I kept trying to find a way of explaining what the word 'or' means .. really difficult!


Thanks for outlining my options. I'll wait until I hear from them again (they don't use e-mail) and then I'll bite them in the leg.




Valerie Stewart.

I agree with you. It is simply a case of interpreting this in plain English.
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