Storm Damage Liability

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Baghdad-Brit, Jan 19, 2007.

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  1. Interesting dilemma:

    During the bad weather yesterday, some tiles blew off my quarter onto my car causing a fair bit of damage. I phone MHS (the company with the maint contract) who inform me that despite the fact there are 6 tiles hanging off my roof with a couple being propped up solely by the guttering, they cannot do anything until 21 Feb.

    They also say that the damage to my car is nothing to do with them and I should claim from my car insurance. This to me is bollox as I think I should claim from the buildings insurance.

    Anyone know the reality?


    PS - Blood is boiling following chat to MHS non-Helpline :pissedoff:
  2. Sadly it's true. You have to claim off your car insurance and if you don't have fully comp it comes out of your own pockets.
  3. I do recall stories from people who have tried to claim on their insurance for things falling onto their car whilst parked on private land (trees/forklift trucks etc) only to be told to poke it. Check your car insurance carefully - you may not be able to claim.

    Your building insurance is generally to cover damage/loss to the building; it won't usually cover third party liabilities (your car being a third party). Your car is covered by your car insurance. If there was any liability attaching to MHS (faulty maintenance etc) then it would be for your car insurers to recover from MHS.

    So I think they may be right. Which doesn't cheer you up (esp if my first para turns out to be correct).

    Hopefully there will be some insurance whizzo on here who can prove me wrong.
  4. I would say that that is bollox. They are responsible for the maintenance of the quarter, and as such should be covered under some form of liability insurance. If one of those tiles flu off and hit a person, are you suggesting that the person has no form of recourse?

    I would chase this further.
  5. Been onto business news on bbc and the question was raised there. Answer was claim on car insurance, must be fully comp
  6. It would be interesting to see where the liability sat if someone was hit by a tile from a quarter though
  7. There are several courses of action. The easiest, but most painful (to you) is to claim from your car insurer. Behind the scenes your car insurer will then claim for the money from the insurer of your property. The bugger is that you loose any no-claims you have (unless it is protected).

    The harder way (effort, time,etc) is to obtain a quote for the damage to your car from a garage and then sue your landlord for the damages. No matter what your chain of command may tell you, you can sue DHE, MHS (or whatever they are calling themselves this week). Bear in mind that MHS will do everything they can to stop you from sueing them: especially if you have a valid case (but them I am a cynic).

    What you may want to do is have a chat with a solicitor (local CAB will be able to help you) about the legal position. Will the UK court assume that because the storm loosened the tiles that they were poorly maintained, thus making MHS liable? Or will they state that it would have been unreasonable to expect no damage from a severe storm and that MHS had done what they could?

    If there is any further damage caused by falling tiles then you have them over a barrel: you have told them of the damage and they are not taking immediate steps to rectify the problem (whether they are fulfilling their contract to DHE or not doesn't matter)
  8. Given the conditions yesterday ('strongest gales in 2 decades') I would have though that it would be fairly hard to prove that falling tiles were down to any faulty maintenance rather than an Act of God. And that goes for whether it was a car or a person hit by them.
  9. Having spoke to DE and amazing though it may be, there is a claims procedure and they have given me the details. All I need to do is pass on the details to an address in London (have left paperwork in office) and they will process it.

    Maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel (that is not a train coming the other way).

    I did have to laugh whe I was staing my concern to MHS who said that 21 Feb was the earliest thewy would do anything - as soon as I asked for the name of the manager who had decided over the phone that the state of the roof was no danger a bloke arrived at my door to assess within an hour. Health and Safety strikes again.