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Is this fair or legal?

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OK, some general background...


I have home building insurance with Swinton and home contents insurance with Legal and General (actually they are both through Colonade, a local agent who deals with both). I also took out extra plumbing and drainage cover with United Utilities Homeserve GB.


Anyway, the water board, United Utilitied (UU), discovered a leak on the main feed pipe to my property branching from their supply. I would have been upset but I had luckily forgotted to cancel the extra cover after a three month special offer from UU-Homeserve GB listed above.


I rang them and found that I was covered and that they would be out to check the fault.


The first engineer (the term used by the company, I call them a plumber) the agents sent out said there was no leak, we contacted the insurance and UU in turn, UU sent out their inspector and chose to disagree with the Insurance inspector's engineer.


We contacted the Insurance company once again, they agreed to send out another engineer who said there was a leak and it was beneath the floorboards and under the concrete below it.


This is where the problems started...


I have laminate fllooring...


The Engineer stated that they would not be liable for any damage to the floor that happened when they tried to repair the leak.


I contacted UU-Homeserve and they stated that according to the T&C of the agreement they are not liable for any damage to any item not foring part of the plumbing and drainage systems - all they were required to do was to repaire the fault and make the property safe afterwards.


I contacted my buildings agent, they said it was not their problem and that I should contact my contents agent.


I contacted my home contents agent, they said it was not their responsibility as it was not a removable item ie you do not normally take the laminate flooring when you move house.


I contacted my buildings agent again and they informed me, ah yeah, they made a mistake and it was covered on the policy, except for damage to investigate or access a fault not part of the building.


So, I ask if anyone can work out who is liable for the replacement/repair of my flooring to repair the damage that has to be repaired by me or my agent or United Utilities will repair the fault and pass me the bill.




Best Regards



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Hi Keith,


Hopefully I can shed some light on this.


Firstly, Homeserve are correct in what they say, Section B, part 9 of the wording excludes repair/replacement etc to fixtures & fittings.


Any such repair would fall within the Buildings Policy and not the Contents policy. However, you will need to check the wording of your Buildings policy carefully and any extensions you opted for.


Whether you are covered will depend upon if "tracing / repair" of leaks/bursts etc form part of the standard policy wording or must be included as an add on such as Accidental Dameage etc.


Swinton is a broker, can you therefore confirm who the actual insurer is & I'll look at the policy. Also confirm if you have standard cover only or enhanced covers and to what level.


The event you state is insurable but as is dependent upon the level of cover you bought when taking out the policy if it is not within the standard wording.

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As Trojan says you need to find out which insurer Swinton has placed your Buildings Policy through and then find out if the policy covers you for Trace & Access cover. Many policies automatically do these days although this is less likely for those using 'Direct' insurers.

Cahoot - Rejection of offer sent 14/06/07


Barclaycard - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent 22/03/07

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