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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  solicitor
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In 2012 I had building insurance with an Insurance Company.

Customer Question

In 2012 I had building insurance with an Insurance Company. During 2012 I had various problems with a piece of adjacent derelict land as the owner a multi national company was not maintain the ground. The ground was covered in green vegetation which would grow to about 4 metres in height and I was having to ensure that it did not encroach on my land. In May 2012 this ground caught fire and Fire and Rescue had to attend. The owner of the land had his Landscape team attend and put up a Wooden fence around the site cut down the vegetation and continually did this. It turned out that it this plant was Japanese Knotweed. I took this up with the company and they put in a plan to deal with it.

I changed my insurers in October 2012 and decided to sell the property. After many viewings and no sale I then decided to part exchange for a new home. But this fell through today because of the Knotweed. Although people contacted all banks and mortgage lenders they have all refused to issue a mortgage on my house until the Knotweed is eradicated. My insurance company says that I should contact my previous company as the issue had been on going since May 2012. Is this correct or would I need to see if I can get Legal Aid as the house is classed as unsellable and make some attempt to have the land owner buy the house.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  cityguru replied 4 years ago.
Hi thanks for your question. I am sorry to hear about your problems. If I understand it correctly you identified the problem to be Japanese Knotweed whilst insured with one insurer but then changed insurer at a later date. The new insurer is denying you cover.
If my understanding is right then I am afraid they are correct. You are obliged under any insurance policy to notify potential claim when they arise. In addition you are obliged to tell a new insurer of any circumstances that could lead to a claim or are relevant to the insurance when you take it out. There is a general legal obligation to make full disclosure even if you are not asked the question on the proposal form.

So you should have claimed under the original policy. I am slightly surprised actually that the policy covers at all if the weed is on neighbouring land not yours but there it is.

It sounds like a very serious issue and I am sorry not to give you mode favourable advice but I think you need to go back to the original insurers as soon as possible - you may be too late if you did not notify them at the time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I will contact original insurer.

Expert:  cityguru replied 4 years ago.
Good luck getting this resolved