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  • FIRST POST
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Aug 19, 4:35 PM
    • 1,676Posts
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    littlerock
    My insurers intend to recoup costs of my repair from neighbours
    • #1
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:35 PM
    My insurers intend to recoup costs of my repair from neighbours 13th Aug 19 at 4:35 PM
    There is a long thread here where I describe what happened to me and my house after my neighbours house (semi to mine) caught fire. My house suffered considerable smoke and water damage and roof damage. I now understand my insurers are going to seek "compensation" from next door.

    This raises some questions which interest me. Next door were hoarders and never did any maintenance. They had lived there for 50;years and latterly were embedded in rubbish and the place was falling down. Their estranged sons paid their buildings insurance for them and had for a while but never visited.The house went up due to combustible materials stored too close to the fire when one of them tried to light a fire. They were rescued just in time..

    Now there are fire inspectors crawling over it and a forensic fire investigator is coming round tomorrow to look at the damage it caused to mine.

    Could their insurers will refuse to pay out in full? The houses are in a section 4 conservation area and it seems highly likely whtever happens, the exterior will have to be rebuilt the same which obviously I want to happen. Anyone know what normally happens when a poorly maintained historic building which is insured, burns down arguably due to owners negligence?
Page 1
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 13th Aug 19, 4:40 PM
    • 40,452 Posts
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    Quentin
    • #2
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:40 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:40 PM
    All depends on whether there has been any negligence

    Your own insurance should be able to tell you the answers to your questions
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Aug 19, 4:45 PM
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    littlerock
    • #3
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:45 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:45 PM
    Currently playing their cards close to their chest. My insurers are different from next doors . My insurers regularly tell me they cannot comment on policies of next doors insurers. I am not sure how you would prove negligence on the part of two confused very old people. They cannot think or act rationally and should have been in a care home a long time ago.
    Last edited by littlerock; 13-08-2019 at 4:48 PM.
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 13th Aug 19, 4:52 PM
    • 12,577 Posts
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    POPPYOSCAR
    • #4
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:52 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Aug 19, 4:52 PM
    I would think that would depend on the t&cs in their policy.

    If you have an open fire some companies insist the chimney is swept every year for example.

    How many people bother reading the small print.
    • Begsey
    • By Begsey 13th Aug 19, 8:42 PM
    • 128 Posts
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    Begsey
    • #5
    • 13th Aug 19, 8:42 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Aug 19, 8:42 PM
    As mentioned, negligence.

    After we had a fire that damaged our neighbours property, they claimed on their insurance, we claimed on ours.

    Their insurer decided I hadn't been negligent, so didn't try to claim back from our insurer.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 13th Aug 19, 9:43 PM
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    littlerock
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 19, 9:43 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Aug 19, 9:43 PM
    What is interesting me is one glance at theiir house would have shown it was being allowed to fall down and had been for many years. Could the insurers refuse to cover full rebuilding cost due to pre fire condition/fire risk and what would happen then? This was a serious hoarders house, does that count as negligence?
    Would it then be sold for someone else to finish?
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 13th Aug 19, 11:38 PM
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    Aretnap
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 19, 11:38 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Aug 19, 11:38 PM
    I am not sure how you would prove negligence on the part of two confused very old people. They cannot think or act rationally and should have been in a care home a long time ago.
    Originally posted by littlerock
    Negligence means failing to take the level of care that would be expected of a reasonable person, and that a reasonable person would have foreseen or been able to foresee that the damage to your house was a potential consequence of that lack of care.

    From what I can gather, with the exception of children (where the child's age is taken into account in deciding what can be reasonably expected of them) the mental capacity of the defendant is NOT generally a factor in deciding the expected level of care. Only if mental impairment is so severe that it makes a person entirely incapable of controllling his actions (eg unconsciousness, sleepwalking) does it provide a defence to negligence. Here is a recent case which seems to have clarified the law.

    https://www.clydeco.com/blog/insurance-hub/article/duty-of-care-dunnage-v-randall-and-uk-insurance-ltd-2015-ewca-civ-673
    Last edited by Aretnap; 13-08-2019 at 11:48 PM.
    • pramsay13
    • By pramsay13 14th Aug 19, 12:31 AM
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    pramsay13
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 19, 12:31 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Aug 19, 12:31 AM
    Either way you are covered by your own insurance.

    If they choose to recoup costs from the insurance company next door or even from the couple themselves is neither here or there.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Aug 19, 8:03 AM
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    lisyloo
    • #9
    • 14th Aug 19, 8:03 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Aug 19, 8:03 AM
    What is interesting me is one glance at theiir house would have shown it was being allowed to fall down and had been for many years. Could the insurers refuse to cover full rebuilding cost due to pre fire condition/fire risk and what would happen then? This was a serious hoarders house, does that count as negligence?
    Would it then be sold for someone else to finish?
    Originally posted by littlerock

    Did you take any actions yourself?
    And did you keep any records?
    If it was me I would have been complaining about this for years and have records.

    You seem to be saying this is foreseeable so would a reasonable person living next door have taken action?

    Was the carer a professional? Private or local authority?
    If these people were unable to make safe decisions and lived in a hazardous environment then I would have thought the local authority (if involved) had some responsibility and I would have expected a private carer to report it also.

    I don’t think you are going to get a quick answer unfortunately.

    It’s a really rubbish situation for you and I really sympathise, but this is why we have insurance even though you’ve had to fill in a lot of gaps in cover (the lack of temp accomodation situation does not seem to be the insurers fault).
    Last edited by lisyloo; 14-08-2019 at 9:09 AM.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 14th Aug 19, 11:41 AM
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    littlerock
    It is a good point. I have attempted to get attention paid to the couple next door as their condition deteriorated. But I was told that I could not request contact from social services for them as I was not family. Their two sons lived nearby but never visited - I think they gave up as the hoarding took a hold - and no one can compel them to. There is no duty of care in law for children to look after their parents, not in the UK.

    The old people themselves insisted they were fine and the husband was coherent if forgetful. They did not have a private carer and were not on social security. Their autistic daughter did some caring but she was away when the house caught fire.

    The big problem really was the hoarding and apparently fire services in the past have asked to be able to take action where extreme hoarding poses a fire risk, as here, but this has been turned down by the government as to complex to enforce.
    Last edited by littlerock; 14-08-2019 at 11:43 AM.
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 14th Aug 19, 11:52 AM
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    Robin9
    Littlerock - I think you are bothering yourself with your neighbours and its not really your concern.

    Your property has been damaged and your insurers are picking up the bill. If your insurers can get the costs back from another insurer they will - if they can't then they can't but your are no worse off.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Aug 19, 12:00 PM
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    lisyloo
    Littlerock - I think you are bothering yourself with your neighbours and its not really your concern.

    Your property has been damaged and your insurers are picking up the bill. If your insurers can get the costs back from another insurer they will - if they can't then they can't but your are no worse off.
    Originally posted by Robin9
    Thatís not true though is it.

    A fault claim I.e. one that was not recovered is very different to a non-fault claim in terms of the OP claims record and future premiums.
    Unfortunately the important factor is not whether it was the OPs fault, but whether the money was recovered or not.

    I donít think the OP can do anything about it, but itís a genuine question as to what happens to 3rd parties when the policyholder didnít comply with the Terms and conditions which someone might know.

    There is particular legislation to protect third parties in the case of RTAs. In some RTA situations insurers are obliged to pay out to 3rd parties but can then pursue the policyholder.
    I donít know how it works for buildings.
    • pimento
    • By pimento 14th Aug 19, 12:11 PM
    • 5,728 Posts
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    pimento
    Isn't one of the standard questions 'is the property in a good state or repair?' when you ask for a quotation for buildings insurance?
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 14th Aug 19, 12:19 PM
    • 1,249 Posts
    • 738 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    Thatís not true though is it.

    A fault claim I.e. one that was not recovered is very different to a non-fault claim in terms of the OP claims record and future premiums.
    Unfortunately the important factor is not whether it was the OPs fault, but whether the money was recovered or not.

    I donít think the OP can do anything about it, but itís a genuine question as to what happens to 3rd parties when the policyholder didnít comply with the Terms and conditions which someone might know.

    There is particular legislation to protect third parties in the case of RTAs. In some RTA situations insurers are obliged to pay out to 3rd parties but can then pursue the policyholder.
    I donít know how it works for buildings.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    The concept of fault and non fault doesn't really exist in household insurance, as recoverable claims from third parties make up a fraction of claims received.

    There is definitely no legislation like RTA for home insurance.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 14th Aug 19, 12:21 PM
    • 3,375 Posts
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    Aretnap
    Thatís not true though is it.

    A fault claim I.e. one that was not recovered is very different to a non-fault claim in terms of the OP claims record and future premiums.
    Unfortunately the important factor is not whether it was the OPs fault, but whether the money was recovered or not.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    If my house had just burned down the exact amount of next year's insurance premium would rank somewhere about 350th on my list of things to worry about. Any difference it makes is likely to be fairly small, and tiny in the context of what the OP has lost. And in any event whether or not his insurer recovers its outlay from the neighbours is beyond his control - they'll pursue them if they think they have a good chance of success, and they won't if they don't. "Stop worrying about it, unless you're interested in it as an academic question" is probably good advice.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Aug 19, 12:24 PM
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    lisyloo
    Isn't one of the standard questions 'is the property in a good state or repair?' when you ask for a quotation for buildings insurance?
    Originally posted by pimento
    Yes it is.
    The question is does that affect a third party if answered incorrectly.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Aug 19, 12:27 PM
    • 25,100 Posts
    • 13,347 Thanks
    lisyloo
    If my house had just burned down the exact amount of next year's insurance premium would rank somewhere about 350th on my list of things to worry about. Any difference it makes is likely to be fairly small, and tiny in the context of what the OP has lost. And in any event whether or not his insurer recovers its outlay from the neighbours is beyond his control - they'll pursue them if they think they have a good chance of success, and they won't if they donít. "Stop worrying about it, unless you're interested in it as an academic question" is probably good advice.
    Originally posted by Aretnap
    Agree but Iím interested in the answer out of curiosity.
    • Begsey
    • By Begsey 14th Aug 19, 8:16 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 61 Thanks
    Begsey
    Agree but I’m interested in the answer out of curiosity.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    For us our claim was likely around 45-50k. The neighbours was around 8k, but not claimed back from our insurer. Can't comment on their premium.
    Next years premium for our buildings and contents was double, second year we were back to normal after we had shopped around.
    That was a fault claim, not sure a non fault claim would be too different.
    • littlerock
    • By littlerock 15th Aug 19, 3:48 PM
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    • 232 Thanks
    littlerock
    I am not concerned about next years premium at this stage, but whether or not my insurer will recoup their cost from my neighbours.

    From my POV I am much worse off all round. I have just been told for example that the wall is damp behind my kitchen tiles on the party wall and I shall have to have the tiles stripped off, including my lovely hand painted mural. Also it looks like my kitchen units will have to come off the party wall and be replaced and they are not a modern design.

    Lots of my stuff is damaged and I am having to deal with lots of tradesmen and stuff like that and we are struggling to find anywhere suitable to move to, for the time being as everyone wants a 12 month lease and the insurers only want to pay for 6 months.

    There is no way it seems to sue neighbour for stress, damage to valued possessions etc for causing fire in first place. My insurers might get some redress but I do not get anything for trauma and spoiling of my house and valued belongings and overhead of dealing with everything.
    • Quentin
    • By Quentin 15th Aug 19, 5:51 PM
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    Quentin
    Why are you so concerned about whether or not your insurer can get reimbursed?

    Your claim has been approved which was your original concern in your other "blog" thread.

    Surely you have other issues to deal with now than concern about who eventually foots the bill

    As has been explained in your other thread you need to prove negligence to be able to sue for compensation for your trauma (you own insurance should cover the other matters you want to sue for)!
    Last edited by Quentin; 15-08-2019 at 5:55 PM.
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