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delores01

delores Cunningham Lindsay more incompentence

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We are in the process of settling a subsidence case using Zurich Insurers who have appointed Cunningham Lindsey as the loss adjusters.

From the beginning, about 2 years ago, Cunningham Lindsey came and accepted that it was a case of subsidence and then produced a 1st schedule of works that ignored many of the damaged rooms (inc.kitchen) and really only focussed on the replastering and decorations.

 

We got an independent surveyor to look over the schedule which omitted so much damage and had to fight for them to include damage to other rooms, damage to doors, and most importantly damage to the floors (with very marked sloping). All the points we raised have been accepted but only after a lot of arguing our case. In the end we asked for the Insurance co to give us a cash settlement as we have lost faith in Cunningham Lindsey and any of their contractors because they have missed so much obvious damage that we had to argue to get included in the schedule of works.

 

The underwriters have come back and said that they will not agree to a cash settlement as they want to see the subsidence repairs carried out. The problem is that either we accept Cunningham Lindsey to project manage and use their own builders or if we use Cunningham Lindsey and our own builder we may not be covered should any problems arise in the future. Alternatively we could appoint our own project manager but at our own expense and again leave ourselves open to no recourse should any works not be done properly.

 

In effect we are being asked to put our faith in the very co.(CL) who have messed us around and tried to settle the claim by doing as little as possible. This was the same Co. that was used by Zurich in 2008 when we first saw cracks appearing and were told by their loss adjuster that the cracks were due to traffic vibrations, even though he looked in the garden and must have seen an ash tree growing in our small garden. At that time they dismissed a claim for subsidence.Cunningham Lidsey have shown ther incompentence in so many ways that we are not happy to deal with them.

 

Any suggestions as to how to proceed?

Edited by Conniff

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Delores I'm moving your post to a thread of it's own so any help will be directed at you and you can keep us up to date without your post getting lost.

 

I have changed the heading to delores Cunningham Lindsay. If you can suggest something that will catch a searchers eye when they google I will change it to that :)

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Sorry if this is a bit rambling, it's early.. some others should also give some advice soon.It's common place for insurers to use only one loss adjusting firm these days, so asking for another to deal may not be an option, and whilst you have little faith, what they have done is not on, but it's not gross negligence, enough to suggest they should not be involved anymore. Options I can think of, ..You could ask if you can appoint your own engineer/surveyor to oversee the repairs, pick a chartered engineer, then all parties can be safe in their knowledge, C/L can then be involved, but the technical and building issues can be resolved under an independent persons watch. Whilst the fallback may go to the chartered person, you have to realise (and this will also help if you choose your own builder)that if an insurer pays your contractor, regardless of who found them, appointed them, if a payment has gone from insurer direct, a contract is formed and the insurer has a responsibility to make amends. I can understand the underwriters reluctance to not want to offer a cash settlement when under the ABI agreement terms they will be reinsuring your property for future subsidence (and other) risks without knowing if it has been done. Potentially you could strike a deal with the underwriter, where you agree to remove subsidence cover, take a cash settlement, repair, provide a structural engineers report (make sure they state what they want to see in the report to save them asking for more and more once it's been done) and once the report is issued, they will reinstate cover.

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Thanks for your input.Much appreciated! The problem is that we have been told that the the underwriters final decision is that they won't pay a cash settlement. So I'm not sure how much room there is to negotiate about removing subsidence cover etc. This was something they were considering but I think that as the settlement would be quite large they have decided to save as much money as they can by having the work done 'in house'. My argument rests on the fact that CL have been incompetent in drawing up a schedule which would just restore us to where we were before the subsidence and were also negligent(I don't use this word in a legal sense) in that one of the ares flagged up was defective drainage which they came and repaired only for us to find that the works were partial and so we had to insist that they come back and do full repairs. We wouldn't have known about this but for the fact that we got an independent surveyor in again and he looked at what they said they'd done and realised it was partial.Therefore would have been none the wiser but for seeking professional advice.How can we now trust them to do all the repairs that will be neccessary? Especially if by appointing our own builder we will be taking the risk that should anything arise in the future we don't know where we stand. Can we go back to the underwriters and ask them to give us their reasoning in writing? We would be happy to do the repairs and provide any certificates that the underwriters require and/or also find another insurer (terminate our contract with Zurich on receipt of the cash settlement) if that is acceptable. But can we insist that the underwriters look at this option?

Thanks

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I would suggest that you just get your surveyor and CL's experts to discuss the works that need to be done and hopefully gain agreement on the way forward. You are always best to go through the Insurers and the loss adjusters plus contractors they use. This is for the reasons given, that you have comeback on your Insurers, if the works are not done properly or they fail a few years down the line.

 

There was a very similar thread on Moneysavingexpert and I think this is how they progressed matters, which I think worked out. Your surveyor and CL's may even be able to arrange to visit the house together, so they can discuss the works, while looking at the problems the house is suffering from. If you can get the CL surveyor to agree that more work is required, then Zurich will fund whatever is required.


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Thanks for your input. Whilst that could work, in our case the insurance won't pay for any surveyor, so that cost would have to be borne by us. Why should we have to pay in order to get the works done properly,surely part of any contract that we have with the insurance co ? We feel like they are trapping us into using their people , who have by their omissions shown how they are likely to cut corners and try to save as much money as possible by doing the bare minimum. But where to go from here?

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Thanks for your input. Whilst that could work, in our case the insurance won't pay for any surveyor, so that cost would have to be borne by us. Why should we have to pay in order to get the works done properly,surely part of any contract that we have with the insurance co ? We feel like they are trapping us into using their people , who have by their omissions shown how they are likely to cut corners and try to save as much money as possible by doing the bare minimum. But where to go from here?

 

Without you paying for an alternative structural engineers report and being able to prove additional works are required, you are unlikely to get anywhere. If you don't want to do that, then you are stuck with the options advised by the Insurers. But of course you are open to complaining and using the FOS if required. If you went to the FOS, they would want to see evidence from an independent structural engineer/surveyor, that proved your case and of course you would have to pay for such an independent report.


We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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