Building insurers obligations

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Fablonbiffchitthe1st, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. In a nutshell a friend has had flood damage to her house. Insurance chap assessor said that alternative accomodation couldnt be found for 2 adults 2 dogs and a cat. The houe is a bombsite. No access to upstairs ie facilities and beds. No water in fact no utilities at all. Now on the insurance policy its states that alternative accomodation is the the responsiblity of insurer. Are there grounds here for compensation for breach of contract so to speak? Can my friend find somewhere then bill costs to insurance company? Advice much appreciated.
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    First - make very, very sure that the wording says what you think it does.

    Is it their responsibility to find it, approve it or reimburse them for the cost of it?

    Once you have done that if you still believe that they should be providing accomodation, go back to them and restate your case, explaining that you expect them to meet their obligations under clause (x) of the policy. Do this in writing (letter or email, but not telephone call) as it will make it easier if it needs to go further.

    If they fail to provide it then, write to them explaining that you will be sourcing your own, but expecting the insurer to reimburse you for reasonable costs incurred. Here is the important bit - you must act as a "prudent uninsured". This means that you do not have a blank cheque and must proceed as if you were going to have to foot the bill yourself. If you had a small 2 bed before, don't go renting a 6 bed mansion with pool. Don't drag it out either.

    Keep the insurer informed at all stages - in writing. Once it is finalised, or sooner if you need interim payments, send the invoices (keep copies) to the insurer with a polite request for payment.

    If they don't pay, use the complaint procedure shown on the policy, escalating to the FOS if required. Don't go straight to the FOS thinking you will get a quicker response, they will just bat it back to the insurer to give them a chance to deal with it anyway.

    Don't expect compensation, but you have every right to being treated in accordance with the policy terms and conditions.
  3. When we were flooded in '07 the insurance company couldn't provide accommodation but they did provide a 5 berth caravan. After repairs we had the choice of a lump sum payment to cover what proper accommodation would have cost or we could keep the caravan.

    Larger families were provided with statics & were connected to the utilities.
  4. I'd imagine the cat may be a problem if rental properties in the area have a "no pets" rule. Find some sensibly priced accommodation, preferably three, and put it to the insurance company that you've succeeded where the assessor failed and give them the choice of which they're going to pay for.

    I wouldn't enter into a rental agreement without the say so of the insurance company, at worst I'd lodge in a B&B (cat in a cattery) so that there's no deposit or minumum tenure to argue about, advising the insurance company of these necessary interim costs.

    I'm not an expert but the insurance contract is with the insurance company, not the assessor.
  5. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    If the assessor is appointed by the insurer then law of agency puts the assessor as their agent, and thus any decisons they make can be deemed as if made by the insurer.