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I have a bathroom suite that is obsolete and we have lived here for 15 years. Our toilet has a hairline crack that was first noticed at Christmas when I knocked it with the hoover and then the other day I thought it was dog hair on the front face and infact the crack had grown all the way round and it seemed to be seeping a small amount of water. Was not too sure if it was actually condensation TBH but still only a small amount so I rang the insurance. I told them about it and THEY TOLD me that I would be called by their appointed obsolete bathroom people. I got a phone call from this man Philip Jordan and was told that he could find a toilet in my colour. I then asked if it was exactly the same being the fitting size at the bottom and he stated all he had to match was the colour. I then argued that if the fitting needed to be changed (as this was a s trap fitting) and we lived in a bungalow this would mean cutting into concrete (as we went into this 15 years ago) and also it would mean a new floor so I then said I would call Direct Line back as my bath also has a hole in it. My policy actually states that if an "exact" match cannot be found or repaired then in the case of a bathroom suite they would replace the lot.

 

I then called Direct Line and stated what Philip Jordan had said in that the toilet may not be the exact match of the bottom and if it mean't that we were having to dig into the concrete or alter the flooring (which we only did two years ago) then I would think that it would be better to replace the suite as our bath was damaged about a month ago where there is a hole in it but near the top end. She then said do you want to claim for your bath, I said I would have no need to claim for the bath as you cannot get an exact match toilet and this should warrent a complete suite according to your terms and conditions. She then said that exact meant a colour (the same as Philip Jordan had said) and that any flooring alterations would be consequential loss. I then said that I would now make a claim for the bath as they were leaving me no choice. She then said that would be TWO excess's and also two claims. I told her that if she went as per DL's policy there would be no need to for two seperate claims. Anyway I thought if this is what I have to do then I would have no choice. I was "then" told that I could ring around some obsolete places myself OR get a quote for a white toilet and bath but seperate ones and to get two for each. I rang a plumber who came the day after. He took some measurements and said that it would be OK but as our bath was on 650mm wide it was not standard so if we had a smaller sink and moved the toilet back (which he said would mean going into the floor concrete perhaps (would not know until they took the old toilet out) we would then fit a normal size (well as normal as can be as we can only fit a maximum 1600mm length in too!!) bath in which is 700mm width.

 

I also spend all afternoon emailing all the obsolete bathroom places with details of my replacement items and also prices and each one came back saying that no-one would be able to get a 650mm width bath. I also was told by philip Jordan (direct lines right hand man) that this bath would not be got from anywhere cause it did not exist. He said my measurements must be wrong. I then photographed the bath holding a tape measure from the middle of the taps (as he had stated) and it measured 32.5 and also across the full width which measures 650mm. Later that evening I got a reply from a lovely gentleman saying that it was unfair to say they were non existant and that he had come across these baths on an estate in Welling Kent and they were cast iron (like ours is) but had not been on merchanable for over 50 years. He said I would not get one but at least he put my mind at rest that they did exist as I thought I was going mad.

 

The next day I was getting annoyed about the insurance and kept reading the terms about saying if they cannot get an exact match (which does not state just colour) then they would replace a whole bathroom suite so I rang them again. After lots of arguing that I should not have two claims registered if they took the first claim as they could not replace exact and I could get ahead with getting the toilet replaced in white. She then said a loss adjuster would be appointed and be in touch within 24/48 hours. I was relieved to say the least.

 

Last night late we had the pleasure of syphoning all the water out of the loo and putting on mastic as the leak was getting worse and we had to all use the bucket. By morning it was OK again and we have flushed today and its not leaking now but I rang the insurance again and asked them if they could rush the loss adjuster as it was bank holiday weekend and we needed the toilet doing asap. The lady I spoke to this time then told me that my claim now had gone to be validated???? I said you had told me yesterday that a loss adjuster was coming out and would be in touch and she said that was a mistake and it had now gone to this validation department. I was told it would be there for about 5 days and that it was also bank holiday weekend and if it was validated then they would get a loss adjuster to get in touch. She then said she had spoken to Philip Jordan. I said that he had tried to make out my bath did not exist and I was quite happy for someone to come out to measure as it DID measure 650mm and I had it confirmed that these were in existance but no longer around even with obsolete bathroom places. My bath is cast iron too. I told this lady that yesterday when I spoke to the girl (LISA) who had sent the claim to this "validation" department I argued with her because she used the words "Like for Like" and my policy did not mention LIKe for LIke but it mentioned "exact". She then said the same, it actually means like for like. I then argued that my toilet was our only toilet and she said nothing she could do until the claim was released back to them. I then said I would get a subject access from them and also make a complaint to FOS and she said she would be back and to hold on. (Regardless now I am doing both the above).

 

She came back on the line and said she had now reopened the claim and that she would get a loss adjuster to be in touch by Tuesday next week.

 

What are my rights where exact match is concerned and what can I do that they have suspected fraud on our claim (as I googled this). I actually asked for someone to come out to assess this in the first place. I was so annoyed that they were leaving this up to me to sort TBH and also the fact that I was told yesterday a loss adjuster would be calling in 24/48 and then they never let me know anything. Also they say "exact" match means colour or like for like.

 

Is it me here and do I sound to you like I am committing fraud? I certainly am not and will making my complaint with FOS immediately regardless of the outcome of this. If they passed it to validation (although they now say its back open whatever that means) will this be on my records and also it looks like I have two claims when only ONE claim should have been sufficient for them to replace the whole suite. They did replace the cistern about 6 years ago and they did not get an exact match and where they smashed some tiles taking it off they actually just put lots of filler in. I feel like a criminal for making a claim that was and is genuine. I would never have claimed just for the bath as its cast iron and usuable but they left me no choice. The hole is very noticable too but that would not have made me think of changing the whole suite but if we are going to maybe have to dig the floor up anyway and change the trap then it seems daft to do it for another obsolete suite. They cannot get an exact bath (NO WAY AT ALL) and they cannot guarantee an exact toilet.

 

I have been in tears today and last night with frustration. They are lovely when you are buying the policy but come making a claim and you are treated like a criminal.

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I wondered if anyone would care to give any views on this, good or bad. I feel that I followed their claims procedure correctly and have been treated unfairly or is it me??

 

Just bumping.

 

Thanks for anyone that takes the time to read and give a view.

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I think DL were a little suspicious of the claims, hence referring it to their validation department. I think they thought you were trying on it, getting DL to pay for a new bathroom. There are people that put in dodgy claims. I recently read that DL are suffering at the moment, with a 92% reduction in profits, due to massive increase in claims.

 

Exact means what it says. Colour, appearance, size.

 

When the loss adjuster visits, they can see for themselves what the situation is and I cannot see a problem, if the LA agrees with your assessment of the situation.

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Hi, thanks for that. I would have liked for a loss adjuster to come out from the minute I submitted the claim. I have nothing to hide. I begged them to send someone out so that they could see what I mean about the concrete etc. It is not a matter of just going to b and q and replacing a toilet!! I am definately complaining about this and how I have been treated and left with our toilet like this now. We cannot replace cause we don't want to invalidate the claim. I would stay with friends first.

 

I am only asking for what my policy entitles me to.

Edited by marshallka
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update seen as though I have slated Direct Line so far. I had my loss adjuster out from UK assistance and how different they were. My claim is being honoured and its only one claim too and I was told to get a quote for the full suite. I have actually done this now and sent it in and although they are not paying for everything naturally they are paying a good wack of it. I have been told today a cheque is on the way to me for the amount we agreed and when the work is done they will send the VAT seperately. All in all, well done to UK Assistance so far. Just waiting for the cheque now but hopefully this will all go smoothly.

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