Insurance claim- Taking on the insurance companies
Last autumn an old family relative contacted me as her garden retaining wall had partially collapsed after a period of heavy rain.
The retaining wall was sizable and would cost many thousands to replace.
Agnes is 86 years old very handicapped and lives on her own with home help visiting throughout the day to look after her and very little money. She had been insured via the same broker for many years without ever making a claim.
Now she needed some help- post contacting the insurance company a firm of Builders arrived to look at the damage. A week later Agnes received a reply from the insurers stating the wall had collapsed due to a lack of maintenance and insufficient weep holes to allow excess water to drain quickly enough.
I studied the report together with photographs it was obvious to me the wall was in a reasonable state of repair, and the weep holes in my opinion were sufficient.
It would appear the insurance company just rejected the claim on no firm basis.
Bearing in mind the policy holders personal circumstances this made my blood boil. I decided to prepare a detailed report together with metrological data and water flow rates and sent it for adjudication by the financial ombudsman.
I must admit at the start I had little faith in this and was prepared to have to fight the case in the courts. How wrong was I, the adjudicator appointed to the case phoned me regularly and further documents and evidence were provided.
The whole process took approximately 16 weeks and finally the insurance claim was adjudicated in our favour.
The insurance company has been instructed to pay in full building a new retaining wall including foundations.+
Interest at 8% for the time elapsed – (Much better than bank rates) and a further £50.00.
If you are current with blogs on this subject you will be aware that insurance companies now more and more have a default rejection policy to lots of claims. I guess they hope most people will just give up. So if you feel you have a genuine claim and are getting the run around try using the financial Ombudsman service.
Its well worth considering getting some specialist help with the preparation of your claim. A well-prepared report with sourced data and good technical knowledge is essential to making a professional looking claim.