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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3857
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Help! Local well-known established builder has told me that

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Help! Local well-known established builder has told me that his firm cannot be held responsible for damage or loss to a glass roof panel 8ftx20in in my little leanto conservatory when his men are replacing the [rotting out in spots] left hand wooden batten that holds it in place as he claims that double glazing 12 years old is "brittle",and his liability insurance only covers unexpected events,not known,possible,maybe, events and he wants me to pay for any glass replacement.I think Iam being conned..Does this mean he has inadequate ins? Or that his large wealthy firm have no funds to pay a few pounds for a breakage? Help..Cant find answer on builders liabilty ins,only quotes for premiums,on websites..Thanks Marg.Garbutt
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
I am afraid there is no obligation on the builder to cover you for this circumstance. Effectively what the builder is doing, is limiting its liability by telling you a potential issue with carrying out the works. They are not obliged to cover the damage if they are telling you the caveat in advance of doing the work. They are also not obliged to cover this under their insurance.
That said what they are obliged to do is provide the service with "reasonable care and skill" under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. This means that they cannot just take no care what so ever, break the glass and then rely on the exclusion I have explained above. If they break the glass from not using care and skill you would have a claim against them. If they break the glass just because it is old and brittle and the job cannot be done without breaking it, then you wont have a claim against them.
I would not bother relying on the above, what I would recommend you do is just ask another builder for a second opinion. They will give you another quote and give you the piece of mind to confirm whether what this local builder says is accurate?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
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