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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71140
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I had a claim for heave settled in September 2012. The reason

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I had a claim for heave settled in September 2012. The reason was a London plane tree 15ft from my bungalow was not maintained for 6 years. I won my case through the FOS against the insurance company. Now I cannot go to another insurance company for at least 5 years. The original insurance company can charge me what they like. Last year it was £501 for a 3 bedroom detached bungalow. This year they want to charge me £648. As I cannot go to another insurance company they can charge me what they like and apart from not insuring my bungalow is there anything I can do?
I have been in this property for 20 years with no problem when the council maintained the tree. The tree is now pollarded every year so the problem should not arise again.

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

Why can you not go to another insurance company for five years?

Where is that stipulated?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I spoke to SAGA this morning and they will never insure me because I have had a heave claim. Other insurance companies say I have to wait at least 5 years without another claim before they will consider me. This means that my insurance company can charge me what they like as I have no alternative but to insure with them which I think is grossly unfair.

Unfortunately any insurance company is free to insure you or not as they wish regardless of the reason provided it is not based upon any of the normal prejudices such as sex, race religion etc. They do not have to give a reason to refuse. So there is nothing you can do about your existing company refusing to ensure you.
There is also nothing you can do about getting a new insurance company to ensure you if they refuse to do so within five years.
What you can very often do is get a company to ensure you but to specifically exclude what you have already claim for that once again comes down to the individual company.
In view of the amount of the claim, arising premium from £500-£648 is not particularly excessive.
You may have a potential claim in negligence against whoever owns the tree because I note that you say that you lived in the property for 20 years before with no problem when the council maintain the tree. That claim in negligence would include the cost of insurance extra over and above the original price however it is not going to be an easy claim to bring because it has a lot of technical issues in it and it may be the cost of bringing the claim may be more than you are claiming.
I'm sorry that this is bad news for you.
Can i clarify anything for you?
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