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  • FIRST POST
    • capital0ne
    • By capital0ne 5th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    • 536Posts
    • 261Thanks
    capital0ne
    When is a bedroom not a bedroom
    • #1
    • 5th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    When is a bedroom not a bedroom 5th Apr 18 at 7:24 PM
    You must have seen the news story, couples house burnt down and insurance refused, why?
    Okay, it was advertised as 7 bedroom, 2 of those rooms in the attic did not meet building regs as bedrooms, so the agent and seller agreed to sell house valued as a 5 bedroom house.

    Everyone is happy, house insured as a 5 bedroom house, all good so far.

    House burns down and insurance is refused, they now say it IS a seven bedroom house,.

    Who's right?
Page 1
    • paddyandstumpy
    • By paddyandstumpy 5th Apr 18, 7:27 PM
    • 1,145 Posts
    • 632 Thanks
    paddyandstumpy
    • #2
    • 5th Apr 18, 7:27 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Apr 18, 7:27 PM
    The FOS sided with the insurer, which suggests there is far more compelling evidence than has been fairly reported.

    If ever there is any ambiguity or unless it's clear cut, the FOS tends to find for the consumer.
    • newatc
    • By newatc 5th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    newatc
    • #3
    • 5th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    I have 2 rooms in the attic which do not meet current building regulations for bedrooms, I have always referred to them as bedrooms for insurance purposes (people do sleep there occasionally).
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 5th Apr 18, 9:49 PM
    • 8,524 Posts
    • 9,660 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    • #4
    • 5th Apr 18, 9:49 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Apr 18, 9:49 PM
    De jure 5 bedroom, de facto 7 bedroom.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 5th Apr 18, 9:53 PM
    • 94,525 Posts
    • 62,470 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 18, 9:53 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Apr 18, 9:53 PM
    You must have seen the news story, couples house burnt down and insurance refused, why?
    Because the policy they had was a bedroom rated policy and Aeges only covered up to 5 bedrooms. They refused to cover anyone with more than 5 bedrooms.

    The house in question had beds in place in the attic and were being treated as bedrooms. So, it technically had 7 bedrooms.

    The argument is that building regs didnt allow them to be built as bedrooms but the problem is that they were in use as bedrooms. Insurance covers the number of bedrooms.

    The counter-argument is that they intentionally bought an unsuitable policy and falsely disclosed the info to save money on premiums Mainly as, with 7 bedrooms, they would need more old fashioned style of policy that would have cost a fair bit more.

    The FOS sided with the insurer. The media, obviously, sided with the homeowner. I suspect if Aeges would have covered the house with the correct information, it would be treated as accidental non-disclosure. However, where the provider would not offer cover from the start, it doesnt matter if its classed as accidental as the insurer would never have taken the risk.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • k12479
    • By k12479 5th Apr 18, 10:30 PM
    • 400 Posts
    • 661 Thanks
    k12479
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 10:30 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 10:30 PM
    The decision can be found here:
    http://www.ombudsman-decisions.org.uk/viewPDF.aspx?FileID=164051

    The case seems pretty clear from that.
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 6th Apr 18, 4:23 AM
    • 20,579 Posts
    • 12,755 Thanks
    dacouch
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 18, 4:23 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Apr 18, 4:23 AM
    There is also likely to be a record of owner requesting quotes for 7 beds and then changing it to 5 when they did not like the considerably higher premium. This may explain why the 2 bedrooms were not declared under "other rooms"

    People forget Insurers are not stupid and have access to the other quoted customers obtain using differing info

    I have had customers similar to this covered correctly under a non bedroom rated policy which tend to be expensive as this type of house has a lot more contents than a bona fide 5 bed. They tell me at renewal they are going to a much cheaper insurer. When you pointed out the policy was not suitable as it has a max of 5 beds they just continue as they think they will not get caught out
    • ACG
    • By ACG 6th Apr 18, 8:29 AM
    • 17,504 Posts
    • 9,321 Thanks
    ACG
    • #8
    • 6th Apr 18, 8:29 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Apr 18, 8:29 AM
    When I used to sell a fair bit of insurance, we had this debate and we were basically told by the insurer "if you were to sell the house, how many bedrooms would you market it as?" that is the number you should put on the application.

    I have not seen the article you are talking about, but on the face of it you would say the insurers are in the wrong. However there could be more to it than meets the eye. What is the phrase? Never let facts get in the way of a good story? I have often seen articles which I know do not show the truth the whole truth and nothing but.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • FlameCloud
    • By FlameCloud 6th Apr 18, 8:40 AM
    • 1,836 Posts
    • 891 Thanks
    FlameCloud
    • #9
    • 6th Apr 18, 8:40 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Apr 18, 8:40 AM
    When I used to sell a fair bit of insurance, we had this debate and we were basically told by the insurer "if you were to sell the house, how many bedrooms would you market it as?" that is the number you should put on the application.

    I have not seen the article you are talking about, but on the face of it you would say the insurers are in the wrong. However there could be more to it than meets the eye. What is the phrase? Never let facts get in the way of a good story? I have often seen articles which I know do not show the truth the whole truth and nothing but.
    Originally posted by ACG
    House brought as a 7 bedroom house, surveyed and identified as a 7 bedroom house, advertised again for sale as 7 bedroom house. Owner had however disclosed as 5 bedroom (insurer in question does not insurer 6+ bedrooms). Fire claim, declined, FOS did not support at either level.

    I'd say they were justified.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 6th Apr 18, 9:02 AM
    • 17,504 Posts
    • 9,321 Thanks
    ACG
    House brought as a 7 bedroom house, surveyed and identified as a 7 bedroom house, advertised again for sale as 7 bedroom house. Owner had however disclosed as 5 bedroom (insurer in question does not insurer 6+ bedrooms). Fire claim, declined, FOS did not support at either level.

    I'd say they were justified.
    Originally posted by FlameCloud
    Okay, it was advertised as 7 bedroom, 2 of those rooms in the attic did not meet building regs as bedrooms, so the agent and seller agreed to sell house valued as a 5 bedroom house.
    You could be right. I was just going off this underlined sentence.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • capital0ne
    • By capital0ne 6th Apr 18, 6:36 PM
    • 536 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    capital0ne
    It looks cut and dried to me - they should have explained the attic rooms could be and had been used as bedrooms.

    This is why I use a local insurance broker - they find the best deals, they do all the paperwork if you have problem. They've always beaten any online comparison sites so not using a broket is just plain dumb.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 7th Apr 18, 2:18 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 828 Thanks
    Blibble
    It looks cut and dried to me - they should have explained the attic rooms could be and had been used as bedrooms.

    This is why I use a local insurance broker - they find the best deals, they do all the paperwork if you have problem. They've always beaten any online comparison sites so not using a broket is just plain dumb.
    Originally posted by capital0ne
    Not if you don't have the time, & a bit of common sense might have led them to check with the insurer how a bedroom is defined ...
    Wedding fund - 4025.92 (2127.07)
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    • radoslaff
    • By radoslaff 10th Apr 18, 3:17 PM
    • 121 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    radoslaff
    Reading the Ombudsman's decision:
    "I!!!8217;ve been provided with the details entered by Mr W onto the comparison website whilst


    purchasing the policy. The part in relation to numbers of rooms asks for the number of


    bedrooms, receptions, bathrooms and !!!8216;other rooms!!!8217;. Mr W answered !!!8216;zero!!!8217; for the !!!8216;other


    rooms!!!8217;. If Mr W didn!!!8217;t consider the attic rooms as bedrooms, I would have expected them to


    have been included as !!!8216;other rooms!!!8217;."


    This seems pretty straight forward to me. OK, the attic rooms were not bedrooms but were they rooms at all? This makes the clear cut according to my common sense.


    I have a similar problem right now actually. I'm buying a house that was advertised as a 5 bed. One of them is as little as a matchbox but there is enough space for a single bed and there is a window. The Mortgage details say that I'm buying a 4 bed house and yesterday I searched for 4 bed building insurances. After reading this thread, obviously I'll have to reconsider my trust in the bank's surveyors.
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 10th Apr 18, 3:41 PM
    • 94,525 Posts
    • 62,470 Thanks
    dunstonh
    I have a similar problem right now actually. I'm buying a house that was advertised as a 5 bed. One of them is as little as a matchbox but there is enough space for a single bed and there is a window. The Mortgage details say that I'm buying a 4 bed house and yesterday I searched for 4 bed building insurances. After reading this thread, obviously I'll have to reconsider my trust in the bank's surveyors.
    You can read the response and see where the person went wrong. A simple phone call to the insurer would have clarified the position and created a record for the file (if accepted).

    In that case, the fact it was more than 5 bedrooms was the key point. The policy covered all houses upto 5 bedrooms. If would not cover more than 5. With you being possibly 4 or possibly 5, an accidental non-disclosure on room count due to genuine confusion would still see the policy payout as the insurer would have covered it with 5 bedrooms instead of the 4 disclosed. (they would deduct the premium difference from the claim).

    However, a clarification with the insurer is the most obvious thing to do.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • elle may
    • By elle may 11th Apr 18, 5:25 PM
    • 214 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    elle may
    What if you have a 2 bedroom house that has one room halved,so in essence 2 small space's. Is this still a 2 bedroom or now 3 as i thought if it was not a certain size it could not be classed as this. The bedroom tax and what is classed as a bedroom is what i had in mind.
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