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    • katejo
    • By katejo 16th Oct 16, 10:54 AM
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    katejo
    question re. recent Whirlpool tumble dryer fires & insurance
    • #1
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:54 AM
    question re. recent Whirlpool tumble dryer fires & insurance 16th Oct 16 at 10:54 AM
    Earlier this week I saw a feature about this in which a flat was badly burnt and the insurer didn't pay out because the owner/tenant had left the machine unattended while it was running?
    Would the lack of payout be because there was a known risk and Whirlpool had warned owners not to leave machines unattended until the necessary repair had been done?

    Or does this rule generally apply to all household appliances (ie. washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, oven, Slo cooker and perhaps also DVD recorder or TIVO and similar) if on while no one is at home or during the night? Plenty of machines have economy settings to run during the night when electricity charges can be lower. Similarly an oven can be set to come on before you get home from work though I haven't risked doing this.

    I don't have the Whirlpool machine involved here (or any tumbledryer) and generally don't leave a machine running but could set my oven to switch on/off at a specific time before I get home from work.
    Last edited by katejo; 16-10-2016 at 10:58 AM.
Page 1
    • FutureGirl
    • By FutureGirl 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
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    FutureGirl
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
    It's too hard to say.

    It could be because they knew there was an issue with the Whirlpool appliance and they left it unattended and on (why you'd do that with one of the known dodgy appliances I really don't know!).

    It would really depend on their policy. Who it is with, what the exclusions are etc. It's likely they had a cheap policy which comes with more exclusions.
    Capital One:£1,279.60/£1,300.00
    Aqua: £285.73/£300.00
    o2: £271.00
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
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    dacouch
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 10:58 AM
    Do you have a link to this?

    I suspect it's a tv program stretching the truth
    • katejo
    • By katejo 16th Oct 16, 11:09 AM
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    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 11:09 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 11:09 AM
    Do you have a link to this?

    I suspect it's a tv program stretching the truth
    Originally posted by dacouch
    No as it was a BBC tv programme. It simply stated that the insurer hadn't paid out because the owner/tenant had left the machine on and gone out. I was already aware of the Whirlpool problem because I had seen it reported elsewhere.

    Stretching the truth in which respect?
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 16th Oct 16, 11:21 AM
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    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 11:21 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 11:21 AM
    No as it was a BBC tv programme. It simply stated that the insurer hadn't paid out because the owner/tenant had left the machine on and gone out. I was already aware of the Whirlpool problem because I had seen it reported elsewhere.

    Stretching the truth in which respect?
    Originally posted by katejo
    Stretching the truth as in making it interesting for tv.

    If it's a case of just the dryer catching fire with no damage to anything else, it would be normal for most Insurers to not pay for the item that caught fire eg the dryer but they would have paid for any damage to the rest of the kitchen.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/insurance/home/is-your-tumble-dryer-invalidating-your-home-insurance/
    • thecoffeehouse204
    • By thecoffeehouse204 16th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
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    thecoffeehouse204
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:01 PM
    I assume this may be it.

    http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/dad-blames-faulty-dryer-for-blaze-that-killed-pet-dog-and-gutted-leigh-park-home-1-7170322
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 16th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
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    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:59 PM
    They need to complain to the Ombudsman
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 17th Oct 16, 1:22 PM
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    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 1:22 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Oct 16, 1:22 PM
    It's unlikely that a home insurance policy would have a clause that said that electrical devices had to be switched off while the house was unattended - I've certainly never had a policy that said that. And if there was such a clause then it would have to be very clearly highlighted to the customer at the time of purchase, as it would be an unusual and significant exclusion.

    Without such a specific clause the insurer would have to rely on the general clause which says (something like) "you must take reasonable care of your home and possessions at all times". However the courts and the ombudsman don't like insurers using such vaguely worded clauses to avoid paying claims, and so the level of stupidity that's required before they can be invoked is pretty high. IIRC the test applied is recklessness as opposed to mere carelessness - in other words the insurer would have to prove that you knew (or must have known) that what you were doing was dangerous, but that you went ahead and did it in spite of the obvious risks.

    Simply leaving an appliance on while you go out isn't reckless - loads of people do it every day with no ill effects. OTOH if the tumble drier was clearly smoking, or sparking, or it had caught fire the previous week, then leaving it going in the hope that the problem would just go away would be pretty reckless - and arguably the insurer would be justified in refusing to pay for the resulting fire.

    I suppose if there's a known issue with a specific type of tumble drier and the manufacturer has advised customers not to leave them unattended then an insurer *might* feel justified in rejecting a claim if you'd ignored the manufacturers advice. But I'm not sure I'm convinced - I imagine that most consumers would assume that if there was a serious risk of fire then the manufacturer would be recalling all the tumble driers immediately, and the fact that they're not acting with any great urgency would suggest that the risk is actually rather remote and theoretical. Certainly if my insurer refused a claim on those grounds I'd be complaining to the ombudsman - obviously I hope never to be in a situation to find out whether I'd win or not.
    • katejo
    • By katejo 17th Oct 16, 6:15 PM
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    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 6:15 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Oct 16, 6:15 PM
    Not the same one. The one which I saw on the BBC programme was in west London.
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