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Home Contents now told im under insured?

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Need some advice and hopefully some clarity.



Our Rented (unfurnished) home was flooded due to a faulty water tank in the loft. The water had "tracked" all through the house (4 rooms) and pretty much 3/4 of the house had to be stripped to brick/timber. The hallway/bathroom/kitchen was not effected.



I have home basic contents insurance (via Lloyds TSB) and we have had this for over 10 years. The landlord also has insurance and we had a Loss Adjuster that we able to represent both insurance companies.



Personal items amount to approx. £3500

Hallway carpet £950



The rest was part of the Builders amount. A quantity surveyor was also involved and after meeting with the Loss adjuster and quantity Surveyor it was given an approx. 10 week contract and we needed to move into temporary accommodation. This was more difficult then I thought (holiday season) and we stayed at a hotel at first. I was concerned about how long things would be and the Loss adjuster told me that the insurance company would pay just under £8000 and after that we would have to sort ourselves out! So after securing self-catering accommodation I worked out that we would have until Dec 17th(flood was early September)



Early on things started getting difficult (a long story) and for some reason everyone became a lot "less helpful" and lets just say that I would not be recommending the building firm to anyone. Apart from being very unprofessional and not very good at managing his company he would also never give me a finish date even though i kept asking. I was checking the house on a daily basis and from my own and friends building knowledge things were VERY slow and for 2 weeks they were not on site! (this has some relevance)



Also at the end of November I received a form via the Loss adjusters (contents Check list) and that before the claim can continue I would need to fill this out. 80% of the items were in storage, so to not delay the claim I estimated what we had and sent the form back.



Finally (14 December) we were told we could move back in. First night back in our home was the 16th December.



received various letters saying that due to the contents check list amount we are under insured! Some kind of calculations meant that the insurance company had overpaid and that we would be liable for any outstanding amounts for our accommodation and that some fitted wardrobes that we were claiming for would not be given. HUH?



Any advice or even a shared HUH?

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You will need to make a complaint to the Insurers claims department. It is reasonable for you to have believed the loss adjuster, that you were covered up to £8k for alternative accommodation, as the loss adjuster would have had details of your policy, plus had visited the property. Normally under the policy, you are covered for x percentage of the sum insured for alternative accommodation.


The landlords Buildings policy may also be able to help, as that would have covered the landlord for having to provide some alternative accommodation when the home was uninhabitable.


I think if you work with the Lloyds TSB claims department and get them to work with the Loss Adjusters, you should be able to get this resolved.

We could do with some help from you.



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Do you have how they've phrased it in writing?


Does your policy number start with HDA (home options) or HIA (solutions)?


If HDA, then their policy documents have the following provisions:


11. Alternative accommodation whilst your home is uninhabitable as a result of any cause covered under section 1, points 1–8, or the accidental damage option if it is in force on your*policy.


We will pay for:


i) rent you are responsible for paying;

ii) the reasonable costs of agreed, similar temporary accommodation for you, your family and your domestic pets; while you cannot live in your home.


We will pay up to 20% of your contents sum insured at the time of the loss for any one event.


This is how they settle claims


You are responsible for ensuring that the sum insured on your schedule is adequate at all times.


A deduction for wear and tear will be made when the sum insured on the contents or high risk items at the time of loss or damage, is less than the cost of replacing the whole of the contents or

high risk items, to the same specification and condition as when new.


and finally, this is the definition of sum insured


Sum Insured – This is the total amount you are insured for and the maximum we can pay out if you make a claim.


So if you are underinsured, it wouldn't reduce any payments or limits, it would just mean they can apply wear and tear to your settlement (which you obviously can't do with alternative accommodation!)


I'm guessing they've made a payment to you for damaged contents items, realised your underinsured and are now trying to backtrack because they should have made a deduction from your contents claim for wear and tear. Technically, they can do this (make a deduction from a different payment due to their mistake) but if it puts you at a financial disadvantage, it is not treating you fairly.


Your best bet would be to speak to the insurers (I recommend speaking, others will say to write) and lodge a formal complaint - they will then investigate and issue you with a final response, after which you can take your complaint to the financial ombudsman. Try to emphasise that if you hadn't been told the £8,000 limit then you wouldn't have spent it - if you have this in writing it would be even better.


Good luck!

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Thank you all for the replies



I continued to pay rent each month to the landlord as we went under the contents insurance and not the landlords. I simply was guided by the Loss Adjuster and put trust in them!



I can understand that we have now discovered that we are under insured because the last time we reviewed it was when we took the original policy out (13+ years ago). I am 99% certain that we have had no contact from the bank to review things in that time.



But you are right, they are trying to recoup money from the rental payment due to and overspend previously. My problem is also that we had some fitted wardrobes in one of the rooms and I told the builder that I did not want them and asked the loss adjuster what would happen and he said we would "receive a cash amount". This has now been declined due to being under insured and I am out of pocket but kind of glad because they would have billed me for it?



I will start asking the questions and see what replies I get and keep you updated.




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As it was not your fault, your insurance company should be paying and claiming from the LL insurance company. We had similar happen to us last year and we had to claim over £5,000 damage to furniture alone. When ti came to renewal time they hiked up our premium until I pointed out that we were n to at fault and that our insurance company had claimed off the LL's insurance company. Premium was lowered and we retained our No Claims bonus.

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