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Found 6 results

  1. Hello, My brother-in-law received a lengthy report, from assesors acting for insurers, staing that his trees in the back garden had caused subsidence to his neighbour extention. A complete nonsense as the trees are tiny. My brother in law commisioned his own report which stated that the complaint was utter rubbish - mentioning poor quality build of the extension = basically the claim was frivillous and vexatious. The assesors have now written back stating: I have been advised that, as the level of damage occurring to our insured property is slight, and, taking into account the lack of evidence to support the OCA Report recommendations, at this present time your vegetation removal is no longer required. However, you are placed On Notice of future risk. This means that although your vegetation is no longer requested for removal it has been implicated and therefore must be considered as a future risk. Whilst you have advised you will not be mitigating at this present time you may give consideration to taking some action in the future to prevent any further possible damage occurring to our insured property by your vegetation. My file on this matter is now closed and I thank you for your time in dealing. Tree Mitigation Specialist Oriel Services Limited Oakleigh House, 14-16 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3DQ, GB My brother-in-law clearly doesn't want the threat hanging over him, having to mention this to his own future insurers, but is not sure how he should respond to counter this - any ideas please? Perhaps respond that his neighbours are also on notice of their vexatious complaint, or something.. basically put up or shut up. Regards John
  2. I'm looking for some wise advice from those more experienced than I with insurance and subsidence claims. Our house (circa 1890 semi-detached) is on a small slope and had some evidence of small "historical" movements when we bought it 20 years ago. Very little has changed since, and a structural engineer didn't mention subsidence in an inspection 4 years ago. However, it seems the neighbour's house has developed cracks near the party wall in the last few years, and they seem to suspect OUR house is to blame as we are further down the (small) incline. They say they have inspection reports from the last 6 months, but we haven't seen anything yet. To complicate matters slightly, we are changing from our current landlord's insurance policy to a homeowner's policy in a couple weeks, as we will be moving into the house ourselves. We are worried about 1) raising the issue of subsidence on our current landlord's policy, as this might make our new (already agreed and paid for) homeowner's insurance invalid. 2) waiting until we move in to raise the topic, as our new insurance might balk at a subsidence claim if we make it shortly after the policy starts. 3) being stuck in a no-man's zone between the two policies, with neither willing to cover...if indeed there is subsidence. 4)the neighbours will take some sort of legal action and find a structural engineer that will pin all blame on us. Both our policies are with the same company, which will hopefully help. We don't even know if there is subsidence of course, but it does seem possible. Any advice from those who know more about how insurance companies would treat such things would be most appreciated. What is the best course of action? 1) Raise the issue immediately? 2) Raise it later? 3) Do our own inspection first and only then contact the company? (this will likely push us into the new policy period) Thanks in advance for any information or advice!
  3. Helping someone . I bought my house in a auction and knew the house was suffering from some sort of damp problem. I never had a survey done as there was no mortgage and there was a damp problem. I have managed to sort that out and will be having a damp course done in a few weeks time. However now some 16 months on cracks have started to appear on inside walls. These are vertical ones and are very thin. I have checked the wall above and because it has wall paper on cannot check if the cracks have gone up. I did however contact my insurance company who took down the claim an are in the middle of appointing a Surveyor to come out and inspect this. Do i have anything to worry about if i cannot produce a survey ?
  4. Hi, I'd be so grateful if anyone can advise me in relation to this. I will explain as briefly as possible the relevant details of the situation, and set out a few questions I have. In 2009 we bought our small semi-detached house. We almost were not able to, owing to the fact that we were only just able to find an insurer who would take us on when we declared the existence in the building of a tie bar (as our Buildings Surveyor instructed we must do). We phoned loads of insurers and all put us on hold while speaking to their underwriter, only to come back saying 'Sorry, we don't insure buildings with tie bars'. Finally, and close to giving up, we found an insurer. We've been with this one insurer for 6 years now. No problems ever, until last December I noticed that what had been a hairline crack ascending the side of our house (from the tie bar) when we bought it had grown somewhat, to be up to 3 mm wide in places. It has very gradually widened over the years as cracks do, but seemed to have widened more quickly just recently. This prompted me to remove the thick insulating wallpaper from the corresponding inside wall, which revealed a more worrying crack of about 5 mm. (The previous owner of the house was employed in the home energy efficiency business, so we didn't think it necessarily suspicious when buying that some of the walls had a covering that could easily hide cracks. Also in one room we did remove the covering when we moved in, and the walls had no cracks at all.) On discussion with my partner we thought we had better inform our insurance company of our discovery. First question: Was it not necessary to do this? I phoned them and explained this all to the person I initially spoke to, who said 'You need to be speaking to the Claims department'. I explained that I didn't know if we were wanting to make a claim, that I just thought we were required to inform them of the situation, and I did say that were concerned about it, as one would be. They repeated 'You need to speak to Claims', and put me through. I then explained the whole thing again and was told in a rather reassuring way that 'We will send someone out to look at it'. No one told me, and I didn't know, that I was 'making a claim', by agreeing to this. Perhaps this was simply my ignorance having never had to report anything to a Home insurance company before. A loss adjuster visit was arranged, and his subsequent technical report, entitled 'Subsidence Claim' stated his belief that the crack was owing to thermal movement, and, quote, "we do not consider that the damage is the result of subsidence of the site (or any other insured peril) and as such does not fall within the scope of policy cover." This was in January. Now we have just received our policy renewal documents to discover that our premium has gone up another £150, making it now over £700. For the average house the size of ours, inclusive of Contents cover, we would expect to pay about £200-250 per year, this house is now proving very expensive to insure and we can barely afford it. We are concerned that there are no other insurers who we can turn to, as this was our experience 6 years ago. Also, that there may be no benefit even if there were, since they all have access, I'm told, to a database that will show that we have made a 'Subsidence claim'. I presume this would be very off-putting to an insurer, even despite the fact that the loss adjuster found that there was no subsidence. I have recently tried contacting a couple of Brokers to see if they can find us insurance. So far neither have replied. I suppose I am after any kind of advice that might be useful, but specifically is it correct for us to be said to have 'made a claim' on the policy, when I only intended to inform the insurer of our situation? And can they justify putting up our premium (and do they even have to justify it?) given that the cause of the crack apparently "does not fall within the scope of the policy cover". It feels like - given our lack of alternatives - they can basically hold us to ransom. Many thanks for any help!
  5. Hi there, I've been in a quandary about what to do for some time. My detached single brick skin garage, currently housing what most garages do; crap, is showing signs of movement on the back corner, furthest from the actual house itself. In distance terms, the back corner of the garage is probably some 20ft away from the closest point of the house. Currently, and we've been here 4 years, the house is fine and is showing no signs of anything bad. The garage has always had cracks in it. I'm a panicky type of person and am becoming worried about what to do. I have a structural engineer in the family who has very vaguely said "The garage has been damaged due to movement, probably be cheaper to knock it down and rebuilt", whilst my Father-in-law has urged me to contact the insurance with the end game of getting a nice new garage as they'll probably demolish and rebuild also. The problem I have is that everyone - including structural engineer (although not an official report of any kind) - have told me not to worry about the house, but I am. Anyway, I digress, the problem being I think (hoping to have this confirmed) if I approach the insurance company who confirm that the garage has/is subsiding and needs remedial work this will flag up on the property forever more, meaning my insurers (although obliged to continue insuring me) have carte blanche to scale my future premiums infinitely and make future re-mortgaging and selling difficult, ultimately resulting in a hefty reduction on the asking price of the house when it comes to it just to get rid... all because of a garage. This is where another friend of mine, known for being pragmatic, has suggested fix it myself. Avoid the insurance provided it remains on just the garage and the house remains ostensibly fine. I have a good friend who's a bricklayer and builder who has had a look and suggested we dig out the foundation of the garage, check it all round and check for cracks, tree roots, poor drainage etc, shore up if necessary and rebuild the portion of the garage effected and blend in, approximately 100 bricks he tells me. Whilst it's not in my nature to bodge and patch things up, I do feel that at this stage I should give some consideration to this as it is "only" a garage, not attached to the house and, to a layman (and indeed a couple of "experts") the house appears completely unaffected. The ideal solution as far as I can see, we expose something obvious during foundation excavation, repair and no-one's any the wiser and no "black mark" on my houses record. Should the situation spiral and the house becomes affected then it's likely I'll have no choice to involve the insurance, but as the situation stands now, I'm tempted to keep them out of it. If anyone can advice or attempt to allay the fear, panic and sleepless nights I'm currently experiencing that would go a long way. For the psych's out there, I had a very poor credit history when I was younger and spent a long time being sub-prime, so whilst this isn't quite the same thing, I enjoy being "mainstream" without a stigma, and I fear a marker on the property's record for subsidence, even it is just the poxy garage, will remove this privilege and make me sub-prime once again for many years to come. That's why I'm apprehensive. Sorry for the long post!
  6. My mother claimed on her insurance for subsidence. They monitored for a year then redone her outside drains, filled in cracks in a few rooms redone a bit of brickwork outside and redecorated some rooms. (no underpinning done) About 4 yrs later my partner noticed cracks opening up. My mother rang ins company and they wouldn't send anyone out, just told her to get a builder to look at it and let them know. As she is in her 70's she got a builder neighbour/friend to look and he said it looked ok. The ins co sent her a letter saying 'as you haven't contacted us we believe you have no problems and are closing this matter' or words to that affect. She is trying to sell the house now and the survey pulled up a problem and the prospective buyers got a structural engineer out and they said it has subsidence again and should have been underpinned last time! Mother phoned ins co and they say she has to pay £1000 excess again. Surely the ins co are at fault here?
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