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Is Your Home Insurance Worth The Paper Its Wrote On?


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http://s406.photobucket.com/albums/pp148/jolygreengiant/?albumview=slideshow

PHOTO SLIDE SHOW TO ASSIST UNDERSTANDING OF MY PROBLEM.

To anyone that owns a home this may be worth the 5 minute reading time.

 

In 2000 I bought my first house. A quaint labours style cottage built we believe over 300 years ago, on the outskirts of a town. In needed of modernising, but it was perfect for us.

 

We insured our house with Abbey National. In January 2001 under a new arrangement, Norwich Union would underwrite and settle claims for Abbey National's home insurance.

 

Our intention was to extend into the unused portion of the attic. Stair access already being there. As a Structural Engineer I took levels of all rooms and the exterior of the house. Differences were minimal. If after 300 years, I look as good, I’ll be happy.

 

In 2002 we mortgaged our house with Abbey National, who sent a Building Surveyor to appraise our property. In his report he found a little damp and a little rot.

 

Repairs required as a condition of Mortgage – None

 

Factors effecting marketability of the property – None

 

Our valuation was very positive.

 

 

In early February 2005 a 30 tonne digger being used in a neighbouring development, hit our house, causing a hairline crack ground level to ridge, in the gable wall hence I took lots of photos of our house.

 

As a consequence of this to provide safer access later in Feb 2005 a surface stream beside me was culverted. Soil has since been tested by the insurance co. as very silty very sandy clay and SPT tests done!

 

I notified my Insurance company of what had happened. Lately according to the insurance company they filed this claim with the wrong department, hence it got lost, and nothing was done.

 

By December 2005 the house was unliveable. We moved out. We notified our insurance company. In access of 10 cracks were now visible around our house.

 

 

By 2008 the cracks number about 20. Varying in width from hairline to in access of 10mm.

One gable wall, sits 80mm lower than the other.

3 cracks run the entire height of our house.

Our front wall in the middle leans out similarly to the leaning tower of pizza, then leans back the other way again like the leaning tower of pizza where it attaches to the sinking gable wall.

 

I have monitored the house myself for 2¾ years and finally I get the insurance company to inspect the house in October 2008. Yes that’s over 2½ years later. In monitoring the house I have photographed how the cracks have grown in length, width and number.

 

Only it’s not the insurance company that come to inspect my house, it’s a loss adjustment company. Abbey National pass the insurance to Norwich Union. Norwich Union pass the claim to Cunningham Lindsey. Cunningham Lindsey’s representative cannot accept detailed photos as their servers/firewall won't let them. Alternative arrangements were made to supply my detailed photos to the Insurance Company and the loss adjusters.

 

The loss adjusters are impossibly hard to get the hold of and don’t expect a return phone call or email read receipt. I was initially asked by the loss adjuster if I had Extended accidental damage, no I don’t. If I had I’d be covered. The loss adjusters investigation found that the damage and problems within my home were historic distortions pre-dating the insurance inception date. Please don’t forget that Abbey National commissioned an investigation into the state of my property for mortgage purposes in March 2002. Their investigation found no structural defects.

 

 

The insurance company state that the Abbey National commissioned inspection of my property was for mortgage purposes, and have inquired if I obtained an independent Structural Engineer’s report. Hence I have asked if Norwich Union insurance policies are invalid if an independent Structural Engineer has not assessed the property in advance? I still await there reply.

 

 

Your greatest asset is your home. Mine is worth it’s land value and the insurance policy I have paid for 8 years, probably worthless.

 

 

Ask yourself, your insurance agent/broker and company should the worst happen to you, you and your family are forced out of your home, what proof do they require? But do it now before its to late.

 

What proof does your Insurance Company require that your home is liveable/habitable and structurally sound? As independent reports and photos are not enough.

 

Please advise your friends and family. It’s no joke to loose your home.

 

 

If you got this far, thanks for reading.

Edited by jolygreengiant
Photo slide show added
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Your insurance may not yet be worthless.They will try all angles not to pay - but if you answered all the questions on the policy application correctly and honestly and if the damage is not excluded within the clauses you may yet get paid out.

 

It may take time but when a definite reason for the damage is established you may yet be covered.

Please note I am not an expert - I am not offering opinions or legal help - Please use all the information provided on the site in FAQ- step by step instructions and library- thanks Jansus:)

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/images/icons/icon1.gif

offer from A&L 24/8/07 - after case stayed

 

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." - Antione de Saint Exupery

 

 

PROUD TO BE AN ORANGE

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Thankyou, for your replies.

I have sent the details of my monitoring to Beccus, including photos proving wall movement, the digger at the side of the house, subsidence etc etc etc.

The digger that hit the house was bigger than the house.

I didn’t mention previously that my wife, children and I were in the house when the digger hit us. Hence the instantly taken photos.

I’ve even sent the original Abbey National commissioned house survey completed in March 2002.

We have scrolled through our photographs, which I must say was very enjoyable, to find pictures that show our internal and external walls were undamaged, prior to 2005.

I find it offensive having to resort to ‘pimping’ photos of my children’s birthdays etc to prove the damage to my house was post 2005.

Who takes internal & external pictures of their house prior to purchase or inception of an insurance contract in the event an airplane lands on their house or a 30 tonne digger hits it?

With regard to an independent Structural survey:

Does a mechanic pay someone else to change the oil on his or her car?

Does a joiner pay another to hang a door or fix shelves?

Why am I so different?

Again I pled; please advise your friends and family. Your home is your greatest asset. You spend 25 years paying for it. It’s no joke to loose your home.

For three years while our insurance company has lost it’s claims etc we have had to pay our mortgage. We now have to instruct the sale of our home for land value.

We have lost our home never mind the cost of living elsewhere.

Insurance is purely business. They want your money.

Are they prepared to compensate for covered damage?

Vehicular impact and subsidence are included in my policy, under primary cover.

Only word of mouth changes the attitudes of conglomerates.

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  • 1 year later...

Dear All

 

Just brief update. AND IF YOU CAN SPARE THE TIME HELP PLEASE.

 

Abbey/NU/Aviva instructed an 'independant' Engineer to survey our house.

To our surprise, he found nothing wrong.

 

Contrary to the Engineers that surveyed before him.

 

 

We researched further & found that the insurance company's independant Engineer not only works for the Insurance company but ALSO for the Contractor that hit our house.

 

The insurance's company's 'independant' Engineer completed the TRAFFIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT for the builder that hit out house. THE IRONY.

 

Hence would this be deemed as having a vested interest in the outcome??

 

 

The Financial Ombudsman (FO) was involved, and threw out this engineers report.

 

The Insurance Company agreed to be bound be the findings of a last and final INDEPENDANT ENGINEERS report.

 

Hence and Engineer with no ties/links to any party was found.

 

A GPS survey was carried out.

Our house is 196mm lower on one side than another. THATS 3 BRICKS.

 

THIS INDEPENDANT ENGINEER CONCLUDED: Our house has suffered not only subsidence but land slip.

 

 

Although the insurance company has had these reports for months, they refuse to reply to the FO and myself.

 

Does anyone have any ideas, help suggestions?

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  • 9 months later...
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