Contents insurance question

I am almost certain of the answer but thought I would at least ask for others opinions.

We live in a block of flats, top floor.
One year ago we noticed there was rainwater ingress that damaged the carpets and skirting board by a balcony door.
The management agent of our block, spent quite some time finding the issue and fixing it, and we had to wait ages for heavily rain.
We were also told by the management agents we could claim via their insurance for the woodwork and the carpets.

Because of this, comment we didn't claim on our own home contents insurance.

We finally got the leak fixed and put in a claim recently. But.. we have just been told by the insurers that the carpets are not covered by their insurance as it is building only, not contents.

In addition, although we have always had home contents insurance, we changed to a new company in June.

Am I correct in thinking that I can't contact my old insurer (who we were with when the damage happened) as we are no longer with them.
And.. I also can't contact my present insurer as the damage occurred before we were insured by them?

Thanks in advance, any info would be helpful before I have to spend ages on the phone on hold to the insurers.
--- Hitting the thanks button as often as is needed ---

Comments

  • Torry_Quine
    Torry_Quine Posts: 18,824
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    You would contact the company at the time the issue occured.  
    Lost my soulmate so life is empty.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
  • 492800 said:
    Am I correct in thinking that I can't contact my old insurer (who we were with when the damage happened) as we are no longer with them.
    And.. I also can't contact my present insurer as the damage occurred before we were insured by them?

    Thanks in advance, any info would be helpful before I have to spend ages on the phone on hold to the insurers.
    No you aren't correct, Home insurance is written on a date of loss basis and so you always claim from the insurer that was in force on the date the event that caused the loss happened.

    You also need to contact your current insurers, not to claim but to advise them you failed to declare the incident II am assuming) and that you've now decided to claim off your former insurers. They will then adjust the premiums for the changes in information from what you declared.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,155
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    edited 28 September 2023 at 11:52AM
    492800 said:

    One year ago we noticed there was rainwater ingress that damaged the carpets and skirting board by a balcony door.


    Before contacting your insurer, it's best to make sure that the policy is likely to cover the damage. Things to consider might include...
    • Was the leak caused by a "sudden, unexpected event", like perhaps a storm or falling tree?
    • If it was caused by a storm, your insurer will probably want to know the date, and they'll probably check met office records to see if there really was a storm that day, capable of causing damage to a building.
    • If the leak was simply due to gradual wear and tear; or lack of maintenance; or poor workmanship; or poor materials - most policies wouldn't cover that
    • Many policies cover damage caused by "escape of water" - but that means water escaping from things like a pipe, appliance, tank or heating system. Not rainwater leaking through a door, window or roof.
    • (And given the policy excess and increased future premiums, does it make sense to claim?)

    If you contact your insurer, then find that the policy doesn't cover the damage - the insurer won't pay your claim, but they will record it as an "incident".

    The result could be increased future premiums - even though you haven't received any pay-out from the insurers



    Out of interest - have the building insurers accepted the claim for the skirting board (as well as the building repairs to fix the leak)? If so, how have they categorised it? Was it storm related damage?


    And with a claim on the Managing Agents buildings insurance - who will pay the excess? Buildings insurance policies for blocks of flats sometimes have very high excesses.

  • 492800
    492800 Posts: 220
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    Wow, thanks for the replies. I really didn't know a lot of this stuff.
    Some great insights too and things to think over.

    I think the water damage was probably just where the sealant of the cladding was faulty (or wear and tear as building is only 7 years old). It had failed in similar area the previous year and caused damage to the neighbours, but this was before we moved in.
    So no storm damage that we were aware of, and it was a very very slow ingress over many weeks.
    (but potentially the fixing of the neighbours issue caused ours?)

    If I am to claim on my old insurance, the bill is likely to be around £1500 maximum.
    I had no no-claims discount on the old insurance, and cost around under £100.
    Any idea how much a claim like this would bump up future insurances?
    --- Hitting the thanks button as often as is needed ---
  • 492800 said:
    I think the water damage was probably just where the sealant of the cladding was faulty (or wear and tear as building is only 7 years old). It had failed in similar area the previous year and caused damage to the neighbours, but this was before we moved in.
    So no storm damage that we were aware of, and it was a very very slow ingress over many weeks.
    (but potentially the fixing of the neighbours issue caused ours?)
    Faulty products/workmanship are both typically excluded causes. Slow acting causes are also excluded other than for subsidence and escape of water (as explained above, this is water coming out of the plumbing system not water coming through windows or over the side of the bath etc)
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,155
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    edited 29 September 2023 at 1:45PM
    492800 said:

    If I am to claim on my old insurance, the bill is likely to be around £1500 maximum.

    As above, if you have a 'standard' contents insurance policy - the damage won't be covered, so the claim won't be paid.

    What's the status of the skirting board claim via the freeholder's (management company's)  buildings insurance?

    492800 said:

    (but potentially the fixing of the neighbours issue caused ours?)


    If the management company (or their contractor) was negligent, and caused a leak into your flat whilst repairing something else - you might have a claim against the freeholder (or management company) for the resulting damage.



    FWIW, your situation sounds a bit similar to another situation I was involved with - but it may just be coincidence.
    • In this case, the management company made some alterations, but made a complete botch, resulting in dampness in a flat
    • Rather than admitting their error - they tried to distract and bamboozle the flat owner by saying "we'll make a buildings insurance claim for the damage" (probably knowing that was a completely irrelevant thing to do).
    • Then they said "We're really sorry, but the insurance company has said the damage isn't covered. So there's nothing more we can do."

    So it took a long (and expensive) fight before the management company agreed re-do the alterations, and cover the cost of redecorating the affected room in the flat.


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