Case Studies

Property Owner:

Buildings Insurance

Careful presentation of technical arguments ensured that a £19,000 claim initially declined by an insurer was paid in full

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Property Owner: Buildings Insurance

Background

Our client reported a claim when renovation works to a block of flats revealed severe rot in the timbers above one of the flats covered by the policy, caused by various leaks from the bathroom of the flat above over an unknown period of time.

Problem

The insurer declined the claim stating that their policy excluded “wet or dry rot”. The repairs required to rectify the problem were estimated at around £12,000, and to make matters worse, the property was uninhabitable and the lessee faced months of living in alternative accommodation at their own expense.

What we did

Centor’s claims team pointed out to the insurer the unfairness of their stance. In particular, it referred them to a 2001 ruling by the Financial Ombudsman, which stated that claims should be paid for rot when the proximate cause of the rot was something else which was insured by the policy.

In this case it was clear that the rot had been caused by several escapes of water from the flat above, and so they should be liable for the claim.

Outcome

After weighing up the evidence and our technical arguments, the insurer agreed to deal with the claim in full. The repairs cost over £12,000 and the £6000 cost of alternative accommodation was also paid. From rejecting the claim, a claim settlement of £19,000 was achieved for our client.