Unidentifiable accidental damage - Buildings

Looking for collective wisdom here, I had a roof tile fall from the middle of 30 yr old roof (in good repair according to the surveyor)  That smashed through the conservatory glass roof.
My insurers claims handlers are saying we will cover the conservatory as the tile accidentally damaged the glass, sofa etc.  we will not cover the roof repair as the cause is 'unidentifiable' and they don't cover 'unidentifiable accidental damage' their words in my policy.
I have two questions here:
1 - the professional roofer stated impact damage, likely ice from a plane.  Yes I could be that unlucky.  He inspected the roof and the damaged tile which I kept.
2 - The claims surveyor looked at the roof from the garden, so 15m away and the claims co. have based their assessment on that.  i.e the surveyor had no idea what caused the damage so it's 'unidentifiable'
Does anyone know what my options are as that's just not right.
Surely unidentifiable damage is when someone says, no idea what happened Guv and is trying it on?  This is a random roof tile that has made a break for freedom and smashed my conservatory at some point during a normal night, no storm or heavy rain etc.  So frustrated.

Comments

  • It could be that the tile was never fitted correctly. There was no storm or high winds so the insurance company are right to assess it as unknown cause. You'll have to pay for its replacement yourself......can't be that expensive as it'll take a roofer hardly any time to fit a new tile. 
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    It's up to you to prove, on the balance of probability, that the cause of damage is an insured peril. 

    What was the evidence it was ice from a plane? It sounds like a random guess on the surface 
  • Thanks both, yes you'd have thought be relatively cheap to do but with the access issues, so requiring scaffolding it's over a grand on both quotes.
    @DullGreyGuy the tile had two breaks, one from something hitting it, and one from it hitting the glass, combined with the roofers local knowledge.  He said he's two a year in this area.  I have no idea if that's true as I found it hard to believe I could be that unlucky, we back on to fields the chance of it hitting the house is so remote.
    Thanks anyway, looks like I'm in the chair even thought I don't think it's right.

  • I suggest you get some additional quotes from smaller roofers. I've had tiles replaced without scaffolding.
  • @subjecttocontract will do as I'm paying :)
  • wheldcj
    wheldcj Posts: 73
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    Looking for collective wisdom here, I had a roof tile fall from the middle of 30 yr old roof (in good repair according to the surveyor)  That smashed through the conservatory glass roof.
    My insurers claims handlers are saying we will cover the conservatory as the tile accidentally damaged the glass, sofa etc.  we will not cover the roof repair as the cause is 'unidentifiable' and they don't cover 'unidentifiable accidental damage' their words in my policy.
    I have two questions here:
    1 - the professional roofer stated impact damage, likely ice from a plane.  Yes I could be that unlucky.  He inspected the roof and the damaged tile which I kept.
    2 - The claims surveyor looked at the roof from the garden, so 15m away and the claims co. have based their assessment on that.  i.e the surveyor had no idea what caused the damage so it's 'unidentifiable'
    Does anyone know what my options are as that's just not right.
    Surely unidentifiable damage is when someone says, no idea what happened Guv and is trying it on?  This is a random roof tile that has made a break for freedom and smashed my conservatory at some point during a normal night, no storm or heavy rain etc.  So frustrated.
    I think you are fortunate they are covering the other damage personally.   Insurance operates through proximate cause i.e. an insured peril that starts an interrupted chain of events.   So if the roof tile falls of due to storm damage (for example, I know this isn't the case with you) which then damages the conservatory and furniture the insured peril (storm) starts the chain of events.   

    The fact they are ignoring what started the chain of events and putting the rest of the claim down to accidental unknown damage seems pretty generous.  It could potentially be repudiated as general wear and tear when you consider the roof is 30 years old and insurers arguably could turn down the whole claim.

    That said if you can get the professional roofer to put in writing that under the balance of probabilities the tile was damaged by impact.  Dependent on how your policy is written you may be able to fight it.  

     
  • Don't most policies exclude damage from aircraft ?
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,182
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    edited 20 October 2023 at 1:32PM
    Don't most policies exclude damage from aircraft ?
    Its normally just sonic bangs or from anything flying at or above the speed of sound
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