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L V claim against defect under guarantee to initial reinstatement, they now want it classed as new subsidence claim


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Hi everyone we had a escape of water claim settled by L V insurance company.
 
All was well until about 6 months later we noticed cracks appeared in our lounge extension walls. We believed this was caused by the contractor using kango or pumatic equipment to raise the damaged wooden flooring. The contractor cited thermal movement, our surveyor reported the movement was caused due to the stress of the works.
 
The insurance co advise us to start a new subsidence claim, they said if the damage was proven to be related to our previous claim it would be dealt with under that. We had a video call with the loss adjusters surveyor who was of the opinion “that the damage may be attributable to the original escape of water which you have recently had resolved. Insofar as the water may have affected the soils underlying the foundations to the rear elevation wall. However, this will only be able to be confirmed upon receipt of the information from the site investigations”
 
The site investigation
(cutting out part of the flooring 60x60cm and digging down about 1m)
 
the loss adjustors surveyor confirmed his theory that the movement was caused by the escape of water not being fully dried out under the extension subfloor where it had seeped to causing the cracks to appear because of slight movement. The cracks have stayed the same since appearing (no further movement) According to the loss adjusters surveyor the area has apparently now dried out. The insurance want us to pay the excess and deal with this as a new subsidence claim,
 
we are not happy with this as they had previously dried out the floors before reinstatement. They also guaranteed the works for 2years.
We feel this damaged should come under the previous claim and guarantee and not be classed as subsidence, or indeed should we be liable to make a further claim and pay the excess. We only wanted the walls repaired under guarantee, but they chose to cut and lift our new floor.
 
There is no evidence whatsoever of subsidence, the escape of water cause the movement in the loss adjusters experts opinion, our surveyor disputes this.
 I hope this makes sense.
Any advice of how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated.
TIA
 
My comments are in Red
Loss adjusters first letter after video call..........
 
Further to my recent inspection, I am writing to summarise my view on the cause of damage and confirm the next step in dealing with your claim.
 
1. Assess We are now managing this phase
2. Mitigation We will manage this phase
3. Repair We, or you, will manage this phase
 
On the basis of our recent video survey,
I am of the opinion that the damage may be attributable to the original escape of water which you have recently had resolved. Insofar as the water may have affected the soils underlying the foundations to the rear elevation wall. However, this will only be able to be confirmed upon receipt of the information from the site investigations
 
What happens next?
The ground investigations will be carried out by **** who will make contact in the next few days to make the necessary arrangements.
Accepting the claim Once all of the investigations have been carried out and the results received, I will review the information and make a decision about the precise cause of damage. We will then send you a further report confirming this and outlining the future direction of your claim.
 
A claim accepted under the subsidence section of your policy will be subject to an excess payment of £1,000.00. 
 
Continuation /
2 Repairing the property
1. Assess We will manage this phase
2. Mitigation & Monitoring
We will manage this phase
 
3. Repair We, or you, will manage this phase If the claim is accepted and once we are satisfied that the repairs may proceed, we will instruct, a sister company, to administer the remedial works to your property.  will appoint a contractor approved by your insurer. Alternatively, you may wish to utilise your preferred contractor or consider a cash settlement, subject to your insurer’s agreement.
 
It is not anticipated that the damage or the repairs will make the property unsuitable for living in. Consequently you should not need to vacate the property during the claim. To clarify, we do not consider a valid claim for alternative accommodation should arise in the circumstances. However, please inform us immediately if the situation changes so we can provide you with guidance and assistance.
 
Payment of your policy excess Under the subsidence section of your policy you are required to pay an excess of £1,000.00 as part of an accepted claim.
This will be required prior to repairs commencing.
 
Here to help We trust that the information given to you during the visit along with this letter and the accompanying notes has provided a helpful overview of how the claim is now likely to progress..
 
Engineers report......
 
INSURANCE CLAIM CONCERNING SUSPECTED SUBSIDENCE ENGINEERING APPRAISAL REPORT
This report is prepared on behalf of ** for the purpose of investigating a claim for subsidence. It is not intended to cover any other aspect of structural inadequacy or building defect that may otherwise have been in existence at the time of inspection. Date:
 
Continuation / 2 Our Ref: @&&&
INTRODUCTION
The technical aspects of this claim are being overseen by our Building Consultant in accordance with our Project Managed Service.
1.1. Description of building
The main property is a Semi detached house constructed circa 1930 in a residential estate location on a plot
that is considered generally to be level.
 
The property also has a single storey rear extension to the kitchen which is the subject of the claim.
 
1.2. Discovery of damage
The policyholder and homeowner, first discovered the damage in September/october2021.approvimately 3 months after the completion of the renovation works for an escape of water claim cracks were noted to the walls and window reveals in the extension. As soon as the cracks were noticed a surveyor was engaged to determine the cause. Upon attending the surveyor suggested that insurers were contacted for potential subsidence. (Not correct no surveyor attended or advise to make a subsidence claim)
 
1.3. Nature and extent of damage
Description and Mechanism: The main area of damage is to the rear extension. This pattern of cracking indicates a mechanism of downward foundation movement towards the rear elevation of the extension and the original rear elevation of the property.
Significance: The BRE Digest 251 - Assessment of damage is Category 1 slight.
Onset and Progression: Mr [email protected] has advised that damage first commenced in September/october2021. We consider that the damage has occurred recently and will cease now that the cause has been rectified.
 
2. SITE INVESTIGATIONS
A site investigation was carried out by Auger Ltd on 26th July 2022 to confirm the cause of damage/extent of mitigation. The investigation comprised of two trial holes – one located at the rear elevation of the extension and the second at the opening of the original rear elevation of the property and a CCTV survey of any drainage in the area. (To the best of my knowledge only one hole was dug at the opening of the original rear elevation )
 
The results of the site investigation confirm that, the foundations of the original rear elevation consist of a 500mm thick concrete foundation founded on soils at a depth of 1.2m below ground level. The foundations to the extension consist of a 100mm thick concrete foundation bearing on soils at a depth of 650mm below ground level. The underlying soils are classified a moist orangy brown clayey sand with irregular stone inclusions.
 
The drain survey revealed that there was no underground drainage in the area but the rainwater downpipes located at the rear of the property dispelled directly to ground. (The rain water down pipe is over a drain hole not noted in this report there is underground drainage adjacent to the rear of the property)
 
Continuation / 3 Our Ref: .........
3. MONITORING
We do not consider monitoring to be required on this occasion
 
4. CONCLUSIONS
Cause of Subsidence
We can confirm that the cause of the subsidence is a washing away of the fines from the sandy soils underlying the foundations
 
Recommendations
We recommend that the rainwater downpipes are diverted either into the drainage system or to a soakaway located a minimum of 5m from the property.
 
Mitigation:
Mitigation has already been completed by repairing and replacing the faulty copper pipes which were discovered to be allowing an escape of water into the floor slab and beyond (previously)
Repair:
A schedule of works to encompass superstructure repairs and redecorations is to be prepared to reinstate the property.
 
 The accompanying letter from the loss adjustor.
 
Subsidence investigations completed Building Insurance claim accepted
Following the recent site investigations, I now know the foundation and subsoil details for your home. This has enabled me to make a final diagnosis on the cause of damage and confirm the next step in dealing with your claim.
 
On behalf of your insurers I can now confirm that your subsidence claim has been accepted and a policy excess of £1,000.00 is applicable. You will be asked to pay any policy excess balance before settlement of your claim.
 
As can be seen in the attached Engineering Appraisal Report, it is my view that the damage has been caused by settlement of the foundations due to the weakening of the underlying soils caused by the water washing away the fines of the sandy sub-soils. This conclusion is based on my knowledge of the ground conditions in the area and your comments concerning the timing of damage
 
I have prepared draft Repair Scope Sheet outlining the areas of damage caused by the subsidence.
 
It is not anticipated that the damage or the repairs will make the property unsuitable for living in. Consequently, you should not need to vacate the property during the claim. To clarify, I do not consider a valid claim for alternative accommodation should arise in the circumstances. However, please inform us immediately if the situation changes so we can provide you with guidance and assistance.
1. Assess
2. Mitigation
We will manage this phase We will manage this phase
3. Repair
We, or you, will manage this phase
Mitigation is not required as the cause of the subsidence has already been addressed
 
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  • dx100uk changed the title to L V claim against defect under guarantee to initial reinstatement, they now want it classed as new subsidence claim

Difficult to comment really based on your post, but having dealt with Insurance claims of this type, I would tend to agree with loss adjuster that it would be a new subsidence claim required. It is complicated and you could argue your case, get the Financial Ombudsman involved, but that would all take time.

 

Having a subsidence claim registered against the property could mean it has a lower market value. You could suffer a loss more than the cost of repairing the cracks.

 

Did you obtain your own structural engineers report ?

 

Have your Insurance company already noted a subsidence claim against the property ?

 

 

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Topic moved to the appropriate forum .....Insurance/Assurance Companies (Not Car Insurance)

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 The National Consumer Service

 

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