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Urgent advice needed - Compensation for delay in insurance claim


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Hi can anyone give me some advice? We have got an insurance claim going on at the moment with Allianz insurance and they appointed Cunningham Lindsey as the loss adjuster. Our house flooded on the 5th September last year and a claim was put in the next day. Basically they came and took all the floors up downstairs and brought in all the dryers, which were in for about a month. we have two children aged 1 and 2 so there was no was we could stay there with no floors, the baby had just started crawling so obviously could not crawl about on the concrete. we therefore had to move into my parents house about 10 miles away, hoping that this would be a short term thing. Since then there have been a catalogue of errors on the loss adjusters part, for example they delayed by a month instructing some one to take up old floor tiles which were holding water, they first had to be tested for asbestos, this took another month to be done. To cut a long story short they have admitted there were unnecessary delays and I have now had to go direct to the insurance company to make a formal complaint. This has been an extremely stressful time for us all, I have been in tears on the phone to the loss adjuster because of their incompetence, we were unable to spend christmas in our home and we have had considerable expense having to pay 'board and lodge' to my parents towards heating costs etc and extra petrol to work due to having to travel approx ten miles further each way every day. Bearing in mind i have already had to pay a £200 excess on the policy.

Anyway they have rung this morning, asked what i am expecting and I have said financial compensation, which they are willing to pay. Trouble is they have put the ball in our court too give them a realistic figure and I haven't got a clue what to tell them! Can anyone advise what would be a realistic figure to ask for?? I need to get back to them by the end of the week. Thanks, Nadine

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I had a very similar thing a couple of years back. Flooded, found asbestos in the artexing etc etc. and had to move out whilst the asbestos was removed, from all the ceiling, walls etc. Have a look on your insurance document (I gather you are claiming on the buildings insurance?), you might some benefit whereby they have to pay for your board and lodgings etc. If this is the case then you can work out easily what it would cost to stay in a hotel for the duration you have been at your parents, then add things like, daily food allowances etc.

 

Fortunately, my insurance company, housed us in a hotel for the duration, paid all my dog kennel expenses, allowed me a daily food allowance and then had to pay for the contents of my freezer, after they turned the electricity off and ruined all the food and due to amounts of dust in the air my TV wouldn't work. I think all in all I got about £4,000 from the insurance company, thanks to them not being able to manage the job effectively.

 

Highly stressful time though!

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The first thing to do is to check your insurance policy. There will be a section that will list the cover (financial compensation) that you are entitled to if you have to be rehoused somewhere else. The sad news is that you almost certainly could have stayed at a hostel for a claim such of this instead of having to impose upon your parents.

 

 

Now assuming that you have the Homecover policy, then according to this link http://www.allianz.co.uk/personal/assets/pdf/new/ACPER0199-6.pdf (page 9, section 14) you are covered for rent you pay or receive, or for reasonable expenses up to 20% of the sum insured value. So if you were covered for, say £100,000 of Buildings damage then you could receive up to £20,000 compensation. So check this first to make sure what your cover is - but Allianz do sell pretty good products so I would assume that you would be more than covered for 6 months away.

 

Now the reason to check this is because if you do work out that you want to claim more than you are covered for then you will have to explain why you are entitled to this extra amount. Your argument will of course be that CL have admitted to unreasonable delays, but then Allianz will charge CL for this loss, and CL will get bitchy about it, so I would not mention this unless you absolutely have to.

 

 

 

So the next step is to work out what loss you have received from having to live at your parents. Unfortunately things like 'stress' and 'inconvenience' are very hard to prove, so you will need to go with the monetary figure that you are paying to your parents. So if for example you were paying £400pcm for the last 6 months your claim would be £2,400. Things like providing a rent book as evidence of payments, or a contract for settlement upon payment from the insurance company is a great way to help prove these figures are true.

 

After you have done this then work out anything else than may have been additional cost (extra parking permits, more petrol to get to work etc) and add them in to get to your offer. Don't take the **** but do add in everything you can think of that is reasonable, and make sure to break it down in the offer. If you have to spend an extra £5 a week on extra trips to the supermarket because there is not enough freezer space with your parents then add this in!!

 

Once you have done this then submit your offer to CL. Don't give your full breakdown at this stage: use it later to justify your cost. Just give rent and expenses and the total.

 

 

 

 

If you feel that your house will not be ready soon then it may be worth informing CL that you will be moving into a hotel / renting somewhere. Now depending on what your preferences are this can be more stressful than paying rent to a relative, so think carefully about this. Whatever you do talk to CL in advance - although this is not an uncommon thing to do you want to keep CL on your side with no nasty surprises, and obviously you are not entitled to rent a mansion ;)

 

 

Finally if you need the cash soon because you are running short (and it's amazing how a change in circumstance can really bite into any reserves you have, plus the last thing you need with all this stress is money worries) then ask for an interim payment. If your total claim was, say, £3000 then an interim payment of something like £500 is very unlikely to be refused.

 

 

Good luck, and if you have any more questions feel free to ask - there are many users here that are far more involved with the claims process than I am so they may be able to give you more specific advice.

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Hi all,

 

Many thanks for your replies this has been a big help. I have written the lady dealing with the complaint a lengthy e-mail detailing everything that has happened, and she is now apparently investigating things with the companies involved. When I wrote it all down I realised how bad things have actually been and feel very strongly that this claim has not been dealt with professionally by the loss adjusters. I have been on the phone to them in tears at times and have received absolutely no sympathy in fact at times they were downright rude! The worst thing is I did ring allianz early on and ask about alternative accomodation and they said as there was no loss of eating, sleeping or bathing facilities we would not be entitled!! I have heard fairly positive things about Allianz though so I am hoping that now they are involved the complaint will be dealt with properly. I will give you an update in due course!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Nina12... sounds like a very stressful time, the above comments from wulfyn and other are very correct. when it comes to AA ( alternative accomodation) there is a limit.

But if you parents where to kick you out the you would effectively be homeless as your home sounds uninhabitable... get the builders,adjusters, insurers to confirm that the property IS uninhabitable and then immediately request Like4Like accomodation.. ie it doesnt have to be a hotel/motel if the works are being held up request a short term lease on a similar property within the area..The adjuster and the Insurers have the resources and remember you are intitled to it.

As for the compensation - dont hear many insurers giving money away for nothing, you must remember that they are a business..but certainly wulfyn has given you some top advise about noting every expense that can been reclaimed.

Stay positive...hopefully things will be on the move.. :)

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