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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I lived in a council flat within an estate up for demolition.

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I lived in a council flat within an estate up for demolition. So we all have to decant. I found a new place nearby. The council arranged the move by employing a removal company. On 9 May, the removal company boxed my stuff and dismanled the bed and other hardware and then moved them to my new flat. I was due to travel on 11 May for 2 weeks. As I am physically disabled and registered as such with the London Borough of Ealing, I was unable to unbox and check the whole things were in order. I have noticed on the 9th that the washing machine was leaking hot water into the drum for which I called a friend to help me turn it. I also sent an email to the removal company drawing their attention to the missing Screw/Drill driver. Soon after this, I went to my sister's house to stay as the flat was not ready. On 11 May, I flew abroad. I returned on 24 May. I stayed about 10 days in my sister's house waiting for their readiness to help me unbox about more than 25 boxes. I effectively and physically move to my new flat on 4 June. It was that day that I found out that my bed was broken. On 9 June, I wrote an email to the council saying that my washing machine machine and my bed were broken during the move. The council forwarded my email to the removal company which sent me an insurance claim form to fill in, which I did. The insurance company refused the claim on the basis of their Terms & Conditions which apparently stipulate that a claim must be made within 7 days from the date of the move to the removal company.

Below is what the insurance company said in an email to me, I quote:

"Dear Mr ...

I refer to the above and correspondence which rests with our email dated 12 June 2014 along with your email dated 16 June 2014.

I write now to introduce myself as the nominated claims handling agent dealing with your claim on this occasion.

Having reviewed the content of my claim file, I would advise that the removal of your effects was arranged between Central Moves and the London Borough Council, whereby Central Moves’ standard terms and conditions of trading have been incorporated into the contract. With this in mind, any settlement due for loss/damage will therefore be assessed in accordance with the liability terms and conditions forming the contract arranged.

In light of the above, I would advise that in the first instance, all claims for loss/damage must be reported to the removal company, in writing, within seven days following the final delivery of your goods.

In the above regard, I understand that delivery of your goods took place on 9 May 2014 although the first written notification received regarding your claim was via an email dated 9 June 2014, which regrettably exceeds the seven day time notification period stipulated under the terms of the contract and regrettably therefore, no settlement will be due from insurers on this occasion.

Should you have any queries or concerns regarding the position of your claim, then I must respectfully ***** ***** you contact the London Borough Council.

I trust you find the above to be in order and unfortunately therefore, I will be unable to progress matters further for you on this occasion.

Kind regards"

My questions are:

1) Is the Insurance company right to refuse my claim ? If so, why ? If not, what are my options ?

Thank you

Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : I assume they imstucted the removal company please?

Yes the council instructed the removal company to move all my stuff to the new property.

Alex Watts : Ok.
Alex Watts : in that case the contract is between the council and the removal company.
Alex Watts : You can't claim against the removal company as you have no contract.
Alex Watts : You must claim from the council who must I. Turn c
Alex Watts : You must claim from the council who must in turn claim from the removal comoany
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

But they submitted the claim to me to fill in, sign and send. The insurance company replied today to me.


I thought to explore as to whether the insurance decision was right in the first place. Relying solely on their T&C did not sound right to even though the contract was between the council and the removal company. There were circumstances which impeded my claim to be made within 7 days from the move.

Alex Watts : Yes I agree and this is why you can bring a claim against the council.
Alex Watts : You can't be bound by terms between the moving Company and council
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?

I kept the broken bed in case the insurance wanted to inspect. I am currently sleeping on the sofa. After the refusal, would be ok to buy a new bed where I can sleep on and throw the broken one out ?

Alex Watts : Yes of course.
Alex Watts : Does this help?

I guess I will have to chase this up with the council.


Is it ok if I'd get back to you should I need more advice on this ?

Alex Watts : Of course.
Alex Watts : if I could invite you to rate my answer before you go.
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply,
Alex Watts : if the system won't let you rate please do say
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