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Hi

Two weeks ago the water board contacted me and told me there was a leak at my property and advised me to get a plumber to locate where the leak is coming from which i did, basically vermin had attacked my water pipes and caused several leaks in the kitchen and lounge dining area.contacted the halifax and an assessor came out two days later to assess the damage he done a report and said the property is uninhabitable so the halifax put me and my children in a hotel .on the same day the assessor came out, halifax sent another assessor from independent inspections to also assess the damage to my karndean flooring.he done a valuation whilst he was there and got me two estimates from two independant flooring companys and the cheapest quote was £3250 .thats just for the flooring not the building works and he assured me we would be recieving around £3200 just to replace the flooring. I got two independant quotes from builders and the cheapest quote was six thousand four hundred inc vat for the damage the water has caused to my property.The next morning the assessor phoned me and made me an offer of £3900 including the flooring to fix my property and i asked him how an earth he had come up with that figure ,i also needed to pay my £350 excess fee out of that as well.i phoned the halifax straight away and said i was disgusted by that figure they said he should'nt have even contacted me as they hadnt even recieved his report yet.They contacted waylett and co and asked what was going on they denied that he contacted me and said that halifax would contact me on monday with a settlement figure.Ten miniutes later he phoned me again increasing the offer by £400 i said no and phoned the halifax again, halifax told me they would contact waylett and co and tell them to stop calling me.i stayed in the hotel for the weekend and waited to hear from the halifax on monday morning. monday came and by 11am no word from the halifax i phoned them as i was due to vacate the hotel at midday.they extended my stay for a further night and said they would contact me the next day.

halifax are now appointing another assessor to deal with my claim, as waylett and co have now said to halifax that this claim is now above their heads and they are not willing to deal with the claim anymore, halifax have said that a new assessor will contact me within 48 hours. thankfully they have extended my stay for a further seven days but i have have got no further on with my claim and my house is a building site.i have a 4 month old baby and a four year old little girl and i am at the end of my tether.please help!!!!

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KellyMike,

 

Horrendous tale. I work for a company contracted by insurance companies, so this isnt unusual. Forgive me, but I will give you some background to the "way it works" which may help.

 

Once you register a claim on your policy one of 2 things will happen - they will appoint a plumber (or drainage expert, locksmith etc) to stop the problem. This is called stabilisation. Or, as in your case, you find someone yourself.

 

Then, they appoint sometime to work out how much it will cost to "make good", called "Reinstatement" in the wonderful world of insurance. Now, this could be one of 2 sorts of people - loss adjusters or loss assessors. I have not come across the company you mention, which suggests to me they are loss assessors as I know the major loss adjusters. Strangely, the insurers are moving away for loss assessors as they know how to milk the system to get maximum money for their own company, whereas loss adjusters tend to work more on behalf of the insurer (their "titles" imply this).

 

First, the bad news - your insurer, Halifax, is doing its best to accommodate you, as I know of some who would not be putting you up in a hotel! However, there are a couple of things I find particularly worrying.

 

1) The quote is so far off your other quotes. Either your quotes are milking the system (possible), or the assessor is underestimating (also possible). I'm not much help on this front due to the vast difference in figures!

 

2) Contacting you to give the quote is something I have never heard of! The contract is between you and the Halifax, and the assessor who attended is contracted by the Halifax. Usually, assessors are contractually obliged to return reports to the insurer within 48-72 hours for their judgement. There is no reason for the assessor to contact you. Unless, and I must stress I am being highly cynical here, they have worked out a way of quoting less and charging the Halifax more. Trust me, Halifax will be considering this so well done you for reporting it to the Halifax rather than just accepting it!

 

My suggestions:

 

1) There is an increase in "cash settlement" in the industry. You get the quotes, submit it the insurer and they pay it (the cheaper one usually!) rather than appoint someone on your behalf. This is actually designed to knock the more "unscrupulous" assessors out of the market. Strange I know. But the assessor will say it costs £4000, knowing they can get the work done for £3000 by contracting it out to a tame network. Perhaps request this as a route. Postive: you get your way. Negative: you are at the whim of an unvetted builder and when he can do it, and time is of the essence here, clearly.

 

2) Begin collating all the information you have - the whos, the whens, the hows and get this down on paper. You will need this.

 

3) Allow the other assessor to conduct the report and insist that Halifax deliver you satisfaction.

 

4) Submit a formal complaint, in writing, with the all the info from point 2. Highlight the conduct of Waylett & Co. Essentially, state that you do not feel you "have been treated fairly". Your insurer is FSA regulated, and the guiding principle at the current moment is called "treating customers fairly" or TCF. If you feel you are not being treated fairly, note in the letter that if you do not receive satisfaction, you will be contacting the FSA to escalate your complaint.

 

In my view, you insurer is trying to act in your interests. However, they have appointed an assessor who is not working to usual industry standards and they do have some responsibility for that. From your comments, this will not be an instant fix which is incredibly tough to take, but they have a responsibility to make you as comfortable as possible during this time. Keep up the pressure to ensure you stay top of the pile - detail your conversations (remember FSA regulated companies have to record phone calls so timings are essential) and ensure you get the service you have been paying your premiums for.

 

Good luck, all the best

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hiya

 

it really is a terrible situation and unfortunatelty i see it about 4 times a week. i also work for insurance companies for the fire and flood works and have done so for about 2 years now. i agree with wellywonka that the "contractors" should not be passing any costs to you, unless of course you have called them in yourself. there does seem to be some unprofessional conduct here with the contractors sent out.

 

the way it should work is as follows as oon as you report a leak;

1) a plumber is called out to stop further damge and complete a survey

2) a flood speicalist is called out to conduct moisture readings and assess what water damage there is and what works are going to need to be done (ie removal of flooring, skirting, kitchen, settee, batroom, plaster etc etc etc)

3) all water damaged items (floors, skirting, architrave, plaster, doors etc etc) are to be removed.

4) dehumidifyers and air movers are installed and moisture levels are monitered every 10 days to check on drying.

5) once the property is dry and signed off then the reinstatement works can be started to get your property back to the standard it was before including replacing doors, plaster, painting, new units etc etc

6) your property is signed off and the insurer close the job off.

 

If this process is not followed there could be a problem and if the works are not dried out PROPERLY then the damp (which turns into harful spores within 72 hours) will come back through within 6 months.

 

Your lucky they put you in a hotel so quickly as some insurers dont even do this when its clean water damage.

 

with regard to the quotes, i have see all manner of quotes from companies either being desperate for works and putting in very low prices to putting in very high prices as they are friends with the loss assessors/adjusters. obvoiusly the insurer wants to pay out as little as possible.

 

i think you just need to keep on at the insurer.

 

Cheers

Lee

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LongRoad is spot on.

 

He mentions dehumidifiers. These are a must in big cases of escape of water, and what he talks about is completely right. I have seen shoddy de-humidfying attempts and they are shambolic to say the least.

 

If your insurer wont provided de-humidifying, the best one I am aware of is Munters. Not sure if LongRoad agrees, but these guys are certainly not half arsed.

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With regard to the value of repairs, I would agree that the firm is not a loss adjuster. After a quick search on Google, I think I found them:

 

Survey Services

 

As you can see above, they are surveyors.

 

I would recommend either Munters, Rainbow or Chemdry for the restoration works.

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thanks welly its nice to be able to comment on something i know about finally lol.

 

i personally have dealings with munters, rainbow and chemdry on a monthly basis and to be honest (and this is just my professional opinion) i wouldnt use any them on any of my sites for different reasons. the company i ALWAYS use is Active Hygiene Services no matter where in the country the job is. they always get it spot on and dealt with professionally without any come back with full reporting and they even deal with the loss adjusters/assessors, it make my life so much easier ............. its hard to find a trustworthy company as shown by the shambles kellymike have unfortunately had to deal with.

 

and yes i agree that survey services is not a professional loss adjuster but is just another company trying to make extra money.

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  • 2 months later...

We are sorry that 'kellymike' appears to have been distressed at our attempts to assist them in this matter. I can assure the forum that the intention was to try and resolve the issue as soon as possible.

 

In all of our dealings with clients, as in this case, our guiding principles are always that of treating customers fairly, as per principle 6 of the FSA's Principles of Business.

 

Regards,

Waylett & Co.

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I dont think the help given by the original company assesor appears to have resolved the situation asap for kellymike, does it? In fact I think the phonecalls of asking a claimant to accept ammounts less than that of the cost of a job is abhorent and very stressfull.

 

Is this the service the insurance company advertises? Maybe they shouldnt use you (assesor)in future.

 

It seems kellymike is getting fair advice on here with the caggers.

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