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Everything posted by GeoffW

  1. As I often say "pity there isn't an ombudsman ombudsman!!!" I find it entirely pathetic especially when the ABI recently denied that there were more complaints being made due to insurers continuing to deal with claims reasonably!!
  2. Bazzas is correct They will also wrote to you under different names such as Red Debt Collection and Hamptons Legal, the latter designed to make you think that they have passed the case to solicitors when it's just the guy on the next desk
  3. Hi Yes I think that you should forward copies of your previous letters to the CEO and demand a response. It is not the first time that this has happened. Please let us know what happens by this thread GeoffW
  4. Hi Uncle Bulgaria is entirely correct. If you received a television with a current value of £1200 and that is considerably better than the one you had, then the insurers don't have to pay for one which is better than you had. If you bought a carpet for £500 six years ago and it cost £700 now becuase carpet prices have gone up they have to get you a £700 carpet as long as your sum insured is enough to replace your contents - it works both ways. As Uncle Bulgaria says you must make sure that they are offering you a realistic replacement - make sure that the specification of the one offered is at least as high as the damaged one GeoffW
  5. Hi I deal with such matters on a regular basis and unfortunately do not share my fellow caggers' views concerning the FOS. They may very well tell you that they cannot do much without the insurers refusing to deal with your claim and confirming that their decision is a "final decision". Then you fill in a complaint form and send it to FOS who then take months to consider the complaint. In any event you need to formalise your complaint by writing to the Chief Executive Officer at the insurers Head Office in accordance, I guess, with the formal complaints procedure set down in your policy document. Alternatively seek out a loss assessor like myself to assist in the first instance. I guess I'm not allowed to openly seek work in this forum and I don't know how to write to you privately. GeoffW
  6. I suggest you get written confirmation from the place you were working that that was the case, and that they ran out of pelts amd then write to the parking peole with a copy of what you get and tell them you ate not paying. Keep copies obviously. Regarding the bailiff threat someone else will advise better but my understanding is that bailiffs are not entitled to enter private houses to take goods unless they are invited in. In any event I would think that they have to take you to court first which they will probably not do. They are just trying to frighten you Get everything recorded in writing!!
  7. I have been dealing with claims for 44years and very rarely speak to insurers. I get more sense talking to a wall. However I understand that you need cover for 2/3 days. As the FOS have a backlog of almost a year they will be no use to you. Suggest you ring the insurers, tell them you want the cover to continue until 21/6 and then confirm that in writing
  8. First bit of advice. Do everything in writing so that there is written evidence of what is stated on both sides. Your father should write and ask them to specifically state exactly why they do not wish to pay the claim If as seems to be the case there is no specific exclusion relating to unattended property they can't use the wording you used in your post to refuse the claim They are probably as another contributor suggested referring to the clause concerning lack of reasonable care and as also mentioned that is a matter of opinion. Incidentally the Ombudsman has previously commented that if a policyholder can see something it's probably not fair for an insurer to say it's unattended. I agree with others. The precise circumstances and how long the bag was left are relevant and business takings and other work related items such as the badge will not be covered
  9. Hi I have experience of these people. They will continue to write to you as Lowell, Red Debt Collectors and Hampton Legal, the last one toskd you think that they have passed the case to solicitors. Check the addresses. All PO Box numbers in Leeds unless they have PO boxes in different places!! Do everything in writing. Ask them for written proof of the contractual agreement allegedly entered into about the cancellation charge. They will probably not have that. The other response relating to the limitation period is valid. Good idea to eventually take legal advicebon that but my own tactic would be to keep the correspondence going as long as possible before you do that and don't be scared by their tactics. They will eventually go away!!
  10. Hi again Just seen your last posting and that the house is in West Yorkshire. If it all goes wrong I know a loss adjuster who lives in Baildon and who works for policyholders as opposed to working for insurers who could help but hopefully you will be able to sort it out yourself.
  11. Hi Uncle Bulgaria is entirely correct. If there is an argument about what you declared when you took out the policy the insurer will have to supply a copy of the recording of the telephone conversation. You may have somewhere amongst your papers something called a Declaration of Fact or similar name which could well record that you mentioned the situation. However it is not unknown for historic apparenty stable damage to start up again as in this casse if the trees taking the moisture out of the soil have eventually caused the movement. My experience of subsidence claims is that the insurers will appoint loss adjusters who will have a surveyors department but these surveyors don't unfortunately necessarily understand insurance!! Buildings yes - insurance no!! Please keep the thread updated as you progress along what Uncle Bulgaria correctly indicates is not a quick fix and if you run into problems we are here to offer advice. I don't know Uncle Bulgaria by the way but a while ago I used to look at this forum regularly and recall that he always gives good advice leading me to beleive that like myself he may well be a loss adjuster Good luck
  12. Hi Mwynci The insurers can't apply average if there is no appropriate clause in the policy. I doubt of there is as they arentrying to repudiate liability and not apply average. They cannot succeed with this argument if they can't demonstrate that the policyholder has deliberately underinsured as per the decision in Economides v Commercial Union. I understand what you say about the ombudsman. There are two problems there - the backlog and in my opinion lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of some adjudicators. There has been an hardening of attitude and they don't even always follow principals set down by themselves over the years. GeoffW
  13. Hi Kell A couple of things First of all you need to see the letter which they refer to and which you have never received so please ask them to let you have a copy asap and then let me know what they say in the letter. Secondly we need to find out how much cover you could have obtained for the premium which you have paid. The best way to achieve this is for a friend or relative who lives in the same area as you to get on to the same website you used and find out how much it would be for £40k worth of cover by pretending to apply for insurance. It is important that this person lives in the same area as you because premiums are based on postcodes. If they apply online and input the same cover details which you asked for except of course for putting in the correct figire of £40k, I will be able to calculate how much cover you have paid for as I believe that this will be the best argument despite what they have already said about that aspect. This can be done now whilst you are awaiting the missing letter. Please therefore let me see the missing letter and let me know how your friend/relative gets on with the quoptation stuff and I might then be in a position to let you have a wording for what I believe to be a good letter to write to the insurers. Please be patient - lets collect the ammunistion before firing it GeoffW
  14. Hi The key to this problem is what a reasonable person would reasonably retain. A ridiculous example to illustrate - an insurer is well withion its rights to refuse to accept that a claim for a £2000 television bought last week if the policyholder cannot prove the purchase but it would be ridiculous to refuse to deal with a claim for a 50p pair of socks bought 18 months ago should not be paid if the policyholder had not kept the receipt. You should be OK with the credit card receipt but if not post that fact on the forum and I will suggest a wording for a letter to the insurers
  15. Hi Insurers usually accept that they will pay a reasonable amount to policyholders who go to stay with friends/relatives in such circumstances. If they do not you should point out what the alternatives would have been - namely paying for you to stay in a hotel or paying for you to rent a flat/house which would probably been for a minimum 6 months lettiing period - both a great deal more expensive than what you have referred to Good luck
  16. Hi The assessor should have been regulated by the FSA and should have therefore been required to have specified that the fees were 10% plus VAT at the outset. Our terms of business state that our fees are plus VAT but we also generally send out a letter to our clients when we issue the terms of business making it quite clear that the fees are the agreed percentage (which varies with the size/complexity of the claim) plus VAT If we omitted to advise a client that our fee was indeed 10% plus VAT I feel that we would be limited to recovering 10% of the claim and we would have to amend our invoice to total 10% including VAT. If they did not specify the fact that the fee rate was plus VAT I suggest that you advise them of the above and pay them 10%, letting them do whatever they consider necessary re the VAT. Anyone reasonable would just deal with inhouse and get on with their other cases!! If they have got you to sign a mandate authorising your insurers to pay them so that they can deduct the fee before they send you your money and they keep the VAT just complain to the FSA about them. Hope its not our company that have made this mistake!!
  17. Hi I have 42 years experience of dealing with insurance claims as both a traditional loss adjuster acting at the instruction of insurers and for the last 15 years on behalf of policyholders. What you are experiencing is unfortunately typical of what happens these days with household claims as a result of reductions in experience and knowledge of how to deal with matters properly on the part of insurers. We recently had an article published in a magazine dealing with how insurers control the claim (inadequately) and how this can be dealt with by the good assessors referred to by another contributor. As a result of the article several policyholders who could see that we were telling the truth contacted us and we have helped them/are helping them regain control of their claim and indeed their lives. I would like to send you a copy of the article but this forum is not the correct forum for that and I guess I am not allowed to advertise the name of our company. We do actually take on difficult claims which other assessors would not get involved in and have a track record of success in this area. I will check the forum rules again and see how we might get in touch as I would like to help you. It is unfortunate that as a result of a number of practices currently being operated by your insurers that I usually prefix their name with "Il......." They are notorioulsy difficult to deal with sensibly. Unfortunately what you are experiencing and what I fear is still to come is impossible to deal with here. I genuinely feel that you need help from ourselves or other assessors.
  18. Hi I have 42 years experience of dealing with insurance claims. I do not waste time and effort in telephoning insurance companies - I might as well talk to the wall. I put everything in writing. This usually delays matters as first they have to find someone who can read and then, more difficult, someone who understands insurance law and proper practice. Not necessarily the fault of the employees - all part of reduced standards in all areas of the financial services industry. However thats a big subject so turning to your problem, first of all don't waste time ringing them - write to them. As someone else said, there will be a minimum premium. That premium must be considered sufficient for a certain level of cover which will exceed £2600 without any doubt whatsoever. You should write to them and point this out and say that notwithstanding what it says on the paperwork you had paid them premium for that minimum level of cover so that you are not underinsured or as underinsured as they say. They are not automatically entitiled to refuse to pay a claim due to underinsurance. If, as I expect, there is a clause in the policy saying that you are required to insure for the full value of the contents, they cannot refuse to deal with the claim unless they can prove that the underinsurance is deliberate. The relevant legal case is Economides v Commercial Union. Quite clearly from your comments they will be unable to do that. When you write to them you should say that you no longer wish to withdraw the claim. That was a mistake. If they do not co-operate you then have to write to the Chief Executive of the insurance company to commence the formal complaints procedure. You have to ask for their final decision so that you can complain to the Financial OMbudsman Service. Then do that. The very fact that you complain will cost the insurance company £600 which they have to pay to the FOS. However please be warned that patience is required. The FOS will take at least 6 months to deal with your complaint as they have a backlog - unfortunately there isn't an Ombudsmans Ombudsman to complain about the Ombudsman to!!
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