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Claim Void as no forced entry
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# 1
mikebristow
Old 18-12-2008, 3:46 PM
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Question Claim Void as no forced entry

On the 1st of November, I came home to find my house had been burgled. Police were called and found the thieves came in through the back patio sliding door which was pushed in with a slight black mark on the floor. The Police said he can't find any sign of a forced entry and said the sliding doors are the earlier versions and can be a bit dogdy. I called the insurance company and gave them a list of items taken from my house. A loss adjuster visited and made a list of all contents to the loss adjuster who also took a picture of the door which the burglars came through said the claim will be progressed. He advised me to call the case handler re the door to be fixed and secured. Gave my case handler 2 quotations from a local upvc door company. Homeserve were appointed to inspect the door for cost comparison. The Engineer that attended said there's no sign of forced entry and decided to repudiate the claim and said it will affect my claim for contents. He wrote in his report there's a fault with the locking mechanism due to wear and tear. I employed an independent double glazing supplier who inspected the door and concluded only 2 of the 4 locks were operational and the occupant would not have been aware of the fault unless they push the door from the outside garden. I informed the engineer i've always locked my door same way since moving into the property 18 months ago and i'm satisfied my door is locked at all times as door cannot be opened from inside the property once the slide is put in place.

I've gone through my home insurance policy booklet and it states as follows:

WE WILL NOT PAY FOR THEFT OR ATTEMPTED THEFT OF:


Money
unless force is used to gain entry
to the
home


Any loss or damage if the home or any
part of it is let or lent unless force is used
to gain entry to the
home


Loss or damage occurring during a period
of unoccupancy


Loss or damage caused by you, your

domestic employees, lodgers, paying
guests or tenants
I'm not sure if they'll accept liability for the contents as i'm not claiming for money.
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# 2
lisyloo
Old 18-12-2008, 4:18 PM
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I think you have to wait until you get a decision on your contents claim.

Insurers are always looking for ways not to pay. It's their job.
They have a formal complaints procedure so you should use that and there will be redress to the indepedent ombudsman if that fails at no cost to you (although it may well take months).

Personally I think it's rather unfair if you had no way of knowing.
It's not as if you've been negligent.
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# 3
cogito
Old 18-12-2008, 4:32 PM
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AFAIK, there is no requirement that theft should be accompanied by forcible entry under household policies (unlike business policies). Unless you are in breach of a security condition on the policy, there appears to be no reason why your insurers shouldn't pay for the contents that were stolen.

OTOH, the door is part of the building and it could be that the engineer's repudiation relates purely to the door. On the face of it, it sounds as though the door was not actually damaged by the intruders but that the door is simply suffering from wear and tear which is excluded. It is not up to the engineer to express an opinion about your contents claim.
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# 4
markelock
Old 18-12-2008, 4:36 PM
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but they did force the door? they had to apply force to open it? and it wasn't left open.

could the fault not also have been caused by the thieves breaking in?
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# 5
cogito
Old 18-12-2008, 4:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markelock View Post
but they did force the door? they had to apply force to open it? and it wasn't left open.

could the fault not also have been caused by the thieves breaking in?
According to the OP, neither the police nor the engineer found any sign of forced entry (presumably visible sign).
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# 6
tinkerbell84
Old 18-12-2008, 4:52 PM
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I have patio doors at my property and when i renew my insurance (or take out a new policy) I'm asked about what kind of locks the doors have. My insurers require them to be locked at 3 points - top, middle and bottom. If I failed to lock with all 3 locks, and was burgled, they wouldn't cover me. i therefore check the locks regularly to ensure they're all operating correctly.

Sounds like your insurer has similar terms
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# 7
LadyIndecisive
Old 18-12-2008, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisyloo View Post
Insurers are always looking for ways not to pay. It's their job.

.
I've seen a similar statement on another post from lisyloo. I don't know if you work in insurance or claims handling (pity the customer if you do) but insurance is a very heavily regulated area, insurers don't seek out 'ways not to pay'. I have worked in the industry settling claims for 14 years. If a loss is covered and there is no breach of the policy terms and cons then a claim will be paid - simple.
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# 8
dunstonh
Old 18-12-2008, 5:31 PM
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The refusal to cover unless signs of a forced entry tends to be a clause imposed on people who:
1 - who have lodgers or non relatives living in the house
2 - who work from home or have business related stuff at home
3 - who have made claims in the past for theft.
4 - in a high risk area.
5 - discount has been claimed to reduce the premium for reduced cover.

For most people, there is no requirement for them to show signs of forced entry unless they fall into the above (or other things which are not mentioned here).
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 9
FlameCloud
Old 18-12-2008, 6:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cogito View Post
According to the OP, neither the police nor the engineer found any sign of forced entry (presumably visible sign).
You should however bear in mind that the FOS views Forcible and violent entry as-

Force- pushing down on an open door handle is classed as forcible entry
Violence- any method used to circumnavigate a door/window not normally used- i.e. picking a lock.

If it requires both force and violence then you might have an issue.
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# 10
olly300
Old 18-12-2008, 7:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
The refusal to cover unless signs of a forced entry tends to be a clause imposed on people who:
1 - who have lodgers or non relatives living in the house
2 - who work from home or have business related stuff at home
3 - who have made claims in the past for theft.
4 - in a high risk area.
5 - discount has been claimed to reduce the premium for reduced cover.

For most people, there is no requirement for them to show signs of forced entry unless they fall into the above (or other things which are not mentioned here).
What sort of discount?

I have had two policies that stated they wouldn't pay out if there were no sign of force entry, and I don't fit into any of the other categories.
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# 11
hippey
Old 18-12-2008, 7:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlameCloud View Post
You should however bear in mind that the FOS views Forcible and violent entry as-

Force- pushing down on an open door handle is classed as forcible entry
Violence- any method used to circumnavigate a door/window not normally used- i.e. picking a lock.

If it requires both force and violence then you might have an issue.
I think the Violence means an entry where violence is used, i'e. you open the door, and the suspects push past you / threaten you... (robbery)

to the OP - how has the burglary been classified by the police? Is it a Res Burglary or a Walk in Theft and / or Crim Dam?
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# 12
cogito
Old 18-12-2008, 7:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlameCloud View Post
You should however bear in mind that the FOS views Forcible and violent entry as-

Force- pushing down on an open door handle is classed as forcible entry
Violence- any method used to circumnavigate a door/window not normally used- i.e. picking a lock.

If it requires both force and violence then you might have an issue.
Are you sure? Can you provide a link? Not that it seems relevant to this particular issue.
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# 13
SandC
Old 19-12-2008, 10:11 AM
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It sounds to me as if they are calling into question the effectiveness of the locking mechanism. When you take out a policy there is always a question on the type of locks you have for any doors leading externally. If there is no sign of forced entry then the locks weren't working properly so they didn't need to force their way in.
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# 14
mikebristow
Old 19-12-2008, 10:50 AM
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It's been classified as a residential burglary with no visible sign of a forced entry.
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