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  1. The story so far- Discovered we had a leak as could hear water moving through the stopcock in kitchen, rang insurance who informed me we were insured for the water damage but not for locating and fixing the leak. I discovered a leaking pipe under the concrete floor slab in the kitchen, i had to get up some tiles, take out kitchen units and dig up a section of floor to access pipes and temp fix it. We the noticed the walls behind the units were very damp and mouldy, the skirting on the wall opposite was also then noticed to be swollen (mdf) and the mdf wall paneling in lounge had bowed out. All walls were plaster board dabbed onto top of original plaster. An assessor from bvs came out, agreed was a genuine claim and were covered. Gave me an estimate for refitting units,plaster repair and to re-tile floor. I mentioned that the tiled floor seemed uneven, advice was to get tiles up so drying company could come out, if slab had moved it would be cracked and need replacing. Tiles were removed and large cracks were found,slab has raised due to swelling of the sub soil, was told to send in pics, drying company put on hold. It has taken 2 whole weeks to access the pics to decide it just needs drying and latex screed put on top! I have had a company in to quote for floor and they agreed it needs replacing, sent them an email with the quote and they are insisting the drying company still come out, are they on commission??? Last few days have taken some walls down to bare brick as the plaster board was very damp and had black mould on the back of it, original plaster just crumbled off. Have today discovered the laminate floor in the lounge near the party wall is also water damaged as it has swollen up, joists are wet along with the sub soil, nasty damp smell aswell. Advice im after is if after the drying company has been out and BVS still say floor only needs a screed over the top and do no nothing about the laminate flooring what is my nest move? Are loss adjusters like morgan clarke worth using??? Its now getting on for a month since the claim was put in. lots of stress, house in a mess and nowhere to cook properly. Hope the nightmare ends soon, next insurance company will be one that does not use BVS, as not impressed with them so far!
  2. Just over two months ago my wife and I got back from holiday to discover our kitchen was flooded as the result of a burst pipe situated behind the plasterboard located in the area of the sink unit. I notified the insurer, Esure, who promptly sent out a company called Building Validation Solutions (BVS) to assess my claim. The guy from BVS acknowledged the claim and agreed we were entitled to a settlement. During the site visit I was told that he would draw up a scope of works and then authorise a cheque by way of settlement, and that he'd phone through the amount of the payment that evening. The damage was quite extensive and required the installation of dehumidifiers, replacement chipboard flooring throughout the kitchen & utility, replacement base level kitchen units (for our bespoke kitchen) and new vinyl flooring that had been fitted less than one year ago. Also included in the scope of works were replacement architraves and skirting boards, and a contribution towards the cost of redecoration. The guy from BVS said that they leave the customer to find their own contractors, preferring to put the insured in a position to get the work done quickly by making a speedy settlement. I got a phone call from the BVS assessor at approximately 7.30 pm that same evening with an offer of £1700, minus the policy excess for water damage of £350, a net amount of £1350! The vinyl flooring we'd installed less than a year prior to the claim cost £500 alone. The BVS claims assessor further said that he'd instruct a cheque to be issued the very next day. I then remonstrated that the settlement figure seemed awfully low, but was assured that the figures were properly costed and a breakdown of the scope of works he'd drawn up would be available on BVS’s website for my inspection. Having spent a sleepless night wondering how on earth I’d get the work done on the payment I’d been offered, I phoned the BVS chap the following morning and told him to hold fire on a settlement; I was going to conduct my own research. To cut a very long story short, I decided to appoint a Chartered Loss Adjuster to work on my behalf and paid for a RICS survey, the cost of which would be reimbursed IF BVS’s scope of works was found wanting. Following several meetings between my loss adjuster and then another claims company appointed by the insurer, I had a telephone call today informing that Esure had agreed to settle the claim at a figure in excess of £10,000. My learning points from this experience: Do not take it for granted that the insurer will appoint an impartial loss assessor Do not accept a first offer of cash settlement Appoint your own Chartered Loss Adjustor if you think your claim will likely run into thousands of pounds
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