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  • FIRST POST
    • abc45678
    • By abc45678 18th Sep 19, 10:34 AM
    • 2Posts
    • 0Thanks
    abc45678
    Buildings insurance and retaining walls
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 19, 10:34 AM
    Buildings insurance and retaining walls 18th Sep 19 at 10:34 AM
    Hi there


    I would be grateful for some guidance on the wording I have in my buildings insurance policy and a problem with cracks in 2 retaining walls at my property.


    My property is built on a hillside and so there is a retaining wall as part of my garden to hold up the land above my property, and a retaining wall to hold up my garden from the land below it. Both walls are starting to show cracks which appear to be increasing in size.


    My buildings insurance states that cover does not include 'loss or damage to.......boundary and garden walls unless the main building which you live in is damaged at the same time.'


    There are no cracks in my residential building. Does this mean that I am unable to claim on my insurance for repairs to the retaining walls?


    Thanks for any help
Page 1
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 18th Sep 19, 10:56 AM
    • 1,381 Posts
    • 1,331 Thanks
    sal_III
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 19, 10:56 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 19, 10:56 AM
    Sounds like it, but the only way to be sure is to call your Insurance provider and ask.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 18th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    • 8,520 Posts
    • 8,799 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 19, 11:51 AM
    Calling your insurer to ask if you're covered for a specific incident can sometimes be a bad move.

    It may be recorded as a "loss incident", even if it's not covered by the policy, and could even impact future premiums.

    This news story gives an example:
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/sep/30/insurance-query-higher-premiums
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 18th Sep 19, 12:29 PM
    • 1,381 Posts
    • 1,331 Thanks
    sal_III
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 19, 12:29 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 19, 12:29 PM
    Calling your insurer to ask if you're covered for a specific incident can sometimes be a bad move.

    It may be recorded as a "loss incident", even if it's not covered by the policy, and could even impact future premiums.

    This news story gives an example:
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/sep/30/insurance-query-higher-premiums
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Good point, maybe you can call anonymously as a new customer and enquire if their insurance covers retention walls etc.
    • Dangermac
    • By Dangermac 18th Sep 19, 12:31 PM
    • 518 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    Dangermac
    • #5
    • 18th Sep 19, 12:31 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Sep 19, 12:31 PM
    Hi there


    I would be grateful for some guidance on the wording I have in my buildings insurance policy and a problem with cracks in 2 retaining walls at my property.


    My property is built on a hillside and so there is a retaining wall as part of my garden to hold up the land above my property, and a retaining wall to hold up my garden from the land below it. Both walls are starting to show cracks which appear to be increasing in size.


    My buildings insurance states that cover does not include 'loss or damage to.......boundary and garden walls unless the main building which you live in is damaged at the same time.'


    There are no cracks in my residential building. Does this mean that I am unable to claim on my insurance for repairs to the retaining walls?


    Thanks for any help
    Originally posted by abc45678
    I would suggest that you find out what's causing the damage before you involve your insurer. Even forgetting (for a second) the exclusion that you mention above, it's possible that the damage has not been caused by an insured event (i.e impact, subsidence etc).

    If it's simply a maintenance / workmanship issues, it's very likely/possible that no cover would apply, even if the exclusion which you mention above did not exist.

    DM
    • abc45678
    • By abc45678 18th Sep 19, 2:38 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    abc45678
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 19, 2:38 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Sep 19, 2:38 PM
    I would suggest that you find out what's causing the damage before you involve your insurer. Even forgetting (for a second) the exclusion that you mention above, it's possible that the damage has not been caused by an insured event (i.e impact, subsidence etc).

    If it's simply a maintenance / workmanship issues, it's very likely/possible that no cover would apply, even if the exclusion which you mention above did not exist.

    DM
    Originally posted by Dangermac

    Thanks for that. Would you think that a surveyor or structural engineer would be the best person to assess the cause of the damage?
    • Dangermac
    • By Dangermac 18th Sep 19, 3:43 PM
    • 518 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    Dangermac
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 19, 3:43 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 19, 3:43 PM
    Thanks for that. Would you think that a surveyor or structural engineer would be the best person to assess the cause of the damage?
    Originally posted by abc45678
    Probably a structural engineer. As it's a retaining wall, the survey may need to be more specialist than a surveyor's report.

    If it was me, and depending on how much load the wall is retaining, I would appoint a structural engineer.

    DM
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 18th Sep 19, 4:44 PM
    • 2,704 Posts
    • 72,605 Thanks
    D_M_E
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 19, 4:44 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 19, 4:44 PM
    If both retaing walls - the one above the property as well as the one below - are showing signs of cracking then, if it were me I would get a surveyor in to look at the property as well as the land the property is built on, and specifically ask that surveyor particularly look for signs of subsidence and/or heave - the land under/around the property could be sliding downhill.
    • Clifford_Pope
    • By Clifford_Pope 19th Sep 19, 7:13 AM
    • 4,312 Posts
    • 5,255 Thanks
    Clifford_Pope
    • #9
    • 19th Sep 19, 7:13 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Sep 19, 7:13 AM
    A quick Google search says that normally the uphill property is responsible for a retaining wall, because they benefit.
    But surely all three properties benefit - those whose land is sliding away, the one below threatened with inundation from above, and the one in the middle from both sides?
    • Alter ego
    • By Alter ego 19th Sep 19, 7:18 AM
    • 2,661 Posts
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    Alter ego
    But surely all three properties benefit
    Originally posted by Clifford_Pope
    I think you read a different OP than I did.
    Loose means not tight, Lose means something is lost, simples no?
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
    • Clifford_Pope
    • By Clifford_Pope 19th Sep 19, 6:47 PM
    • 4,312 Posts
    • 5,255 Thanks
    Clifford_Pope
    I think you read a different OP than I did.
    Originally posted by Alter ego

    The OP said:
    "My property is built on a hillside and so there is a retaining wall as part of my garden to hold up the land above my property, and a retaining wall to hold up my garden from the land below it. Both walls are starting to show cracks which appear to be increasing in size."


    There are therefore 3 properties involved - the one above, whose garden risks sliding into the OP's, the one below who risks the OP's sliding into his, and the OP himself.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 20th Sep 19, 3:55 PM
    • 8,520 Posts
    • 8,799 Thanks
    eddddy
    A quick Google search says that normally the uphill property is responsible for a retaining wall, because they benefit.
    Originally posted by Clifford_Pope
    Realistically, it can be either property that benefits. It depends who built the retaining walls, and why.

    If the "lower level" property owner dug out the earth (to level their land), they have a responsibility to stop their "higher level" neigbour's land from slipping downwards.

    But if the "higher level" property owner built up the level of their land (to make it level), they have a responsibility to stop the built-up earth falling on to their "lower level" neighbour's land.
    • Alter ego
    • By Alter ego 20th Sep 19, 7:58 PM
    • 2,661 Posts
    • 2,642 Thanks
    Alter ego
    The OP said:
    "My property is built on a hillside and so there is a retaining wall as part of my garden to hold up the land above my property, and a retaining wall to hold up my garden from the land below it. Both walls are starting to show cracks which appear to be increasing in size."


    There are therefore 3 properties involved - the one above, whose garden risks sliding into the OP's, the one below who risks the OP's sliding into his, and the OP himself.
    Originally posted by Clifford_Pope
    Perhaps the OP could come back and clarify whether other properties are involved. Post 1 simply refers to the land above and land below.
    Not all properties are in neat rows.
    Loose means not tight, Lose means something is lost, simples no?
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
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