How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jamie-Law Your Own Question
Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 14427
Experience:  Solicitor
96104960
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Jamie-Law is online now

The home owners warranty insurers received a claim for

This answer was rated:

The home owners warranty insurers received a claim for latent defects in our block of flats in April 2014. After investigation they acknowledged claim implying it was valid. After 2 year of investigations in March 2016, received confirmation estimate for work was awaiting approval. The work was to prevent water ingress into underground garage. After receiving notification of a further intensive survey in April 2016 suddenly received notification from insurers denying liability on the grounds of a policy exclusion clause which excludes basements, and the garage/parking is in the basement. Since then and until now we've been unable using professional loss adjusters to convince them to accept liability under the policy, which specifically cover includes integral garages, which has been our argument. The matter has been referred to the FOS for consideration. We need to also consider our legal options and what they potentially are plus if we need to protect our claim due limitations act. We have legal cover on our building insurance.
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: I live in UK, the solicitor who handled the purchase of the flat which is in the UKl advised me to seek legal advice.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: 1st we have an absentee landlord and in 2017 formed a rights to Manage Company as insurers instructed to become a bona fide claimant
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The Public Loss Adjuster Co Ltd were appointed in Dec 2017 to handle our claim but without success they referred it to the FOS in July 2018. In September 2019 they have withdrew their services after they failed to notify us of important communication from insurer. Since October I have notified both insurer and FOS that thr RTM CO is now handling the claim. Am currently in correspondence providing evidence to the FOS and insurer supporting our claim. How long can this go on before we need to legally protect our claim and what legal options against the insurer are open?

Hello my name is Jamie and I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. This is an email service so there may be delays when responding.

What is it you want to know about this today please?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I've already sent my questions and described the situation earlier, when I was requested by a solicitor to send details. Did you not receive it? It was quite lengthy.

Yes I have seen this. But what is your question regarding the background?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
What are the legal options given
1.i exchanged contracts 5/1/11 and received policy documents showing exclusion on 22/1/11. Effectively bought flat without knowing any exclusions.
2. Effective date of the 10 year warranty policy is 7/10/10. Insurer sent email to sellers confirming all common parts covered under policy cover note and all certificates
3.insurer transferred all existing building guarantee policies to another insurer in 2018.Both insurers denied liability under the policy

Ok. I assume you were represented? Did your Solicitor not check?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
My solicitor has since retired I've asked to see my file but no feedback. Is there a breach of faith by the insurer by taking 6 years to deny liability which is contentious due to ambiguity in I policy. How can you cover an integral garage and then claim exclusion because they classify it has a basement? The garage/basement is part of the substructure/superstructure of the building, which in therefore be covered by insurance and can't be excluded .

Have you been to the Ombudsman?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Yes initially by a company call Public Loss Adjusters who registered the claim in July 2018. They submitted to insurers a whole new claim when further latent defects were discovered in Feb 2019. They advised us that were waiting for the insurers response and deadlock letter up and till July before again logging our claim with the FOS. This turned out to be untrue the insurer had responded in March and when challenged they withdrew their services. I communicated details of the situation to the FOS and await their response. I've also contacted the insurers and provided them with more evidence that the policy was engaged due to the garage being part of the structure etc, but they still deny liability. Apart from any legal options that might open to us in future, the main concern is our claim becoming statute barred under the Limitations act. Is that possible?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Its not convenient to call at the moment

You have 6 years to bring a claim under the Limitation Act 1980 for breach of contract or 3 years from date of KNOWLEDGE for negligence

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
What date is the breach of contract from? Is it the date of original claim April 2014 or the date the insurer denied liability in June 2016. This is important because if it is the former then the clock is running down leaving only 4 months to extend through the courts if possible.

That date the insurer denied.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
It does thank you, because I'm sure they trying to run the clock down since I've been in contact with them with more info which they say they will investigate which could take up to 10 weeks. The FOS need a deadlock letter from the insurer before they can commence their investigation. They currently have a backlog of claims dekaying investigations To try and counter I've emailed them a week ago explaining our exceptional circumstances and await their reply. If the FOS decision even in our favour is unacceptable to the claimants (there are 14 flats) what other recourse in law do we have?

Sadly all you can do is take it to Court, if you are in time.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
In time is 6 years after they denied liabiltywhich will be June 2022, giving us just over 2 years to resolve before it becomes statute barred?

No, from the date the BREACH occurred

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
They denied liabilty - the breach in June 2016 the claim in April 2014, I thought you said it is 6 years after the breach in June 2016 therefore June 2022?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
can you please clarify?

6 years from the date the contract was breached, ie when the breach took place.

Not from date of denial.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Sorry No. The claim was made in 2014 as reported and in same year after investigation until May 2016 did they not deny liability, in fact indicated an estimate for repairs was with insurers. Out of the blue in June 2016 they denied liability for the garage and anything below ground only accepting liability for anything at ground level and above.

I think it likely breach was in 2014. But you could try and argue June 2016 is when it runs from.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thanks but who will legallg confirm a barrister? Not only is the clock potentially running down but for the courts to extend will be expensive £10k. If you need to extend the limitations of the claim through the courts how soon should I take that action if April 2020 is when claim is statute barred.?

You can take action now. The clock stops once you ISSUE a claim

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Issue a claim? Please clarify.

Start a claim in Court.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
How do I do that and when?

You can do that online www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

You should do it before Limitation runs out

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thanks I'll give it a go

All the best. If I could invite you to rate me 5 stars before you go today by clicking the button at the top of the screen, so the site credits me for the time spent. I am only paid when you rate. if you need further help please click reply. Thanks in advance.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Yes I certainly will. Thanks so much. Is there an opportunity to come back to you if I have further questions once I've accessed the website you recommend?

Sure that is fine.

Does that assist?

Jamie-Law and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thanks and good night

Night.