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I live in a block of flats and we all pay factors fees that include buildings insurance.

 

I have just discovered that water has been leaking out of my shower tray in the ensuite and escaping into cupboards and leaking into the property downstairs.

 

I have have had a builder come out and he has advised that they will need to replace the floor and replace the internal walls in the cupboards and he suspects that the joists may be damaged.

 

I have contacted the factors and they have said that the buildings insurance only cover the communal parts of the building ie. the stairs and external walls however I thought that buildings cover was the whole building structure including internal walls.

 

I have asked them I provide the policy details so that I can examine this however they are refusing to give me details.

 

Does anyone have any experience of this situation?

 

I think that the insurer is Oysters Insurance.

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Is there a flats management company or brokers that is used ? If so contact them. In Scotland is it more complicated with factors, as the communal Buildings Insurance can be limited to the shell of the block of the flats e.g walls (not internal flat walls), roof, foundations, communal stairwells. Each flatowner then has to have their own Buildings Insurance to cover that actual flats walls, ceilings, floors etc. When you bought the flat, your Solicitor should have really told you what Insurance you needed.

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Thanks for the reply, yes it is Scotland.

 

When I purchased the flat we had a different factors however the new factors took over last year. They did not advise that we needed any additional cover.

 

Are they legally bound to inform of any additional cover required?

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Thanks for the reply, yes it is Scotland.

 

When I purchased the flat we had a different factors however the new factors took over last year. They did not advise that we needed any additional cover.

 

Are they legally bound to inform of any additional cover required?

 

Whoever was changing it over, should have informed all flatowners, but whether this is a legal requirement not sure. Suggest that you contact whoever handled the change of factor and find out what they considered in regard to Insurance. Before you contact them, it may be worth speaking to neighbours to see if they have arranged Buildings Insurance for their own flats. If you have mortgages, it will be a requirement to ensure that you have adequate Buildings Insurance in place.

 

You may have to obtain legal advice if not covered by Insurance and in Scotland there are some very good free local legal advice centres. Check your local directory.

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Thanks for the advice.

 

I have spoken with neighbours and out of 7 flats 4 are rented.

Myself and 2 others have mortgages and none of us have buildings insurance and have never been told that we need any additional cover.

I have managed to get a copy of the policy schedule by contacting the insurer directly however it is pretty vague.

 

It says cover for Buildings, Contents and Contents of Common Parts.

 

Its with Towergate through Oyster Insurance

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I think you will have to try to get to the bottom of what is exactly covered by the policy arranged through Oyster. When the new factor arrangement was being made, the people who arranged this would have told Oyster exactly what cover was required. The policy would have been tailored to suit the particular risk. If you have any documents from the people who handled the factor change, it is worth giving them a phone call to ask them about it, before calling Oyster again.

 

My instinct, is that the flatowners should have been told to arrange cover for the interiors of their flats, as the new arrangement only covers certain parts of the block of flats.

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I think you will have to try to get to the bottom of what is exactly covered by the policy arranged through Oyster. When the new factor arrangement was being made, the people who arranged this would have told Oyster exactly what cover was required. The policy would have been tailored to suit the particular risk. If you have any documents from the people who handled the factor change, it is worth giving them a phone call to ask them about it, before calling Oyster again.

 

My instinct, is that the flatowners should have been told to arrange cover for the interiors of their flats, as the new arrangement only covers certain parts of the block of flats.

 

I have contacted the factors again and they have sent over the claim form, I have completed this and sent it to the insurers so hopefully the pay out.

 

Having read over the policy documents it would seem I am covered.

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I have contacted the Factor and they have send the claim to the insurer however I have another problem now!

 

The factor has advised the insurer that in his opinion the damage has cam from either a leak in the shower tray or poor maintenance on the sealant of the tiles!

 

Surely he is not allowed to give them his opinion based on the fact he has not seen the damage except in the pictures I sent.

 

He then advised that he believes that this has been a historic problem as part of the damaged floor is dry (even though the other areas are still wet)

 

Where do I go from here as I think that the claim will be rejected as he has basically told them to do this

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No they can't go by pictures. The cause of the damage needs to be found out. Either they send a loss assessor or you arrange to get a builder/plumber around to find out cause, quote for repairs.

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I have had a builder come out and he has given the following quote:

 

Removal of shower doors and tray

Removal of all the damaged wall areas around the shower

Removal of the chipboard flooring that is damaged

Treat the joist for wet rot

Replace the chip board flooring

Rebuild walls

Replaster walls

Re tile shower area

Refit shower tray and doors

 

On what basis do you think the insurer could reject the claim?

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I have had a builder come out and he has given the following quote:

 

Removal of shower doors and tray

Removal of all the damaged wall areas around the shower

Removal of the chipboard flooring that is damaged

Treat the joist for wet rot

Replace the chip board flooring

Rebuild walls

Replaster walls

Re tile shower area

Refit shower tray and doors

 

On what basis do you think the insurer could reject the claim?

 

Policies will exclude such claims where the policyholder has caused the problem. e.g lack of maintenance. If you knew the shower area was likely to leak water e.g cracked shower tray, sealant no longer working, but continued to use it, then you would have been responsible for the damage. On the other hand if there was a small un-noticeable crack in the tray or the plumbing underneath had failed, then you would have not known about it and a claim would he accepted for the damage.

 

When the builders information is sent to the Insurers, it would help your case if the builder confirms the likely cause of the problem and that it is not down to lack of maintenance.

 

In my shower, I visually check it every month and make sure there are no gaps in the sealant.

We could do with some help from you.

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Policies will exclude such claims where the policyholder has caused the problem. e.g lack of maintenance. If you knew the shower area was likely to leak water e.g cracked shower tray, sealant no longer working, but continued to use it, then you would have been responsible for the damage. On the other hand if there was a small un-noticeable crack in the tray or the plumbing underneath had failed, then you would have not known about it and a claim would he accepted for the damage.

 

When the builders information is sent to the Insurers, it would help your case if the builder confirms the likely cause of the problem and that it is not down to lack of maintenance.

 

In my shower, I visually check it every month and make sure there are no gaps in the sealant.

 

 

Can the factors refuse to send the claim to the insurance company?

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