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16 November 2016

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Case study: Centor goes the extra mile on a property claim

A property developer client first reported a claim in 2014 for damage due to water ingress at one of their properties. Various attempts were made to identify where the water had got in through the roof, and a valley gutter was re-lined which the client thought had resolved the issue. Internal repairs were made and a small claim was paid by the insurer. In the spring of 2015, the client contacted us again to advise there had been further water ingress at the same flat. The claim was reopened by the insurer and they finally established the cause was an outdoor leisure structure erected by the penthouse owner, which incorporated large planters and other fixtures. This had compromised the roof covering due to its heavy load.

The loss adjusters acting for the insurer repudiated any further claim, arguing it was due to a gradually operating cause and faulty workmanship/design. We argued that their repudiation was not valid because although the damage had been caused over a period of time, the cause was hidden from sight and required exhaustive efforts to find. We also pointed out the faulty workmanship exclusion only applied when carried out by the insured or their employees. In this instance, the installation had been commissioned by the flat owner, rather than the client, so the exclusion couldn’t be applied.

The insurer agreed and instructed the loss adjuster to deal with the claim. The insurer intended to claim money back from the penthouse owner who had erected the offending structure, which would have put our client in conflict with their lessee, so instead they offered a Without Prejudice cash settlement offer of £18,000, with no recovery action to follow.

The client was delighted with the settlement after the claim had originally been repudiated, showing once more how Centor goes the extra mile for their clients. Click here for more case studies.

Our claims team works hard to offer the best technical advice, support and service. Meet them here.