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  • FIRST POST
    • astoole18
    • By astoole18 14th Sep 18, 8:20 AM
    • 5Posts
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    astoole18
    MoreThan content insurance won't pay for a burglary
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:20 AM
    MoreThan content insurance won't pay for a burglary 14th Sep 18 at 8:20 AM
    We rent a 1st floor 2 bed flat. The 5 flat owners in the block have grouped together to freshen up the outside and in therefore scaffolding has been erected. We were burgled on Monday - the thief got up on un-secure scaffolding (as confirmed by the police) and broke a window. They took all my grandmothers jewellery, my jewellery, cash and even perfume! I contacted the insurance company yesterday who basically said as you didn't tell us there was building work you aren't covered. I'm devastated not only at the loss of my belongings but to the insurance company. They are contacting the underwriters but you just no what they will say. I can't see any mention of this in the terms - does this seem right?
Page 1
    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 14th Sep 18, 8:29 AM
    • 587 Posts
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    angrycrow
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:29 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:29 AM
    Sounds like they are talking nonsense. The policy terms will say something like theft from the property following forced entry ie broken window. If you had left a window open they would be entitled to reject. Issue a formal complaint and if no satisfactory response within 8 weeks escalate to the ombudsman.
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 14th Sep 18, 8:34 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    Zorillo
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:34 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 8:34 AM
    2. Changes in circumstances
    Using the address on the front of your schedule, you must
    tell us within 30 days as soon as you know about any of the
    following:
    • Of a permanent change of address
    • The number of bedrooms in your home has changed
    • If anyone other than your family lives in your home, if it is
    a weekend or holiday home or if it is left unoccupied for a
    total of more than 60 days in a year.
    • If your home is not in good condition, if it requires work
    other than routine maintenance
    or decorating or any
    structural alteration or extension to your home.
    • If you or any member of your family living with you has
    received a conviction for any offence except for driving
    offences.
    • If the value of your contents increases or if the rebuild cost
    of your home increases.
    My bold for emphasis. The decision looks harsh, "freshening up" could be routine maintenance? you should complain.
    • astoole18
    • By astoole18 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
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    astoole18
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
    Thank you both for your thoughts. Oh no!! This is hideous. Iíll definitely complain. Who knew this had to be done? Iíve never claimed before on contend throughout my life and now when I need it I feel massively let down ☹️
    • FlameCloud
    • By FlameCloud 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
    • 1,845 Posts
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    FlameCloud
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 18, 9:04 AM
    Sounds like they are talking nonsense. The policy terms will say something like theft from the property following forced entry ie broken window. If you had left a window open they would be entitled to reject. Issue a formal complaint and if no satisfactory response within 8 weeks escalate to the ombudsman.
    Originally posted by angrycrow
    Most domestic policies will not define theft like that, or only place the restriction on cover with lodgers in the house. If they want FVE, it would typically be part of an endorsement on a modern policy.

    They would only be entitled to reject the claim for an open window if this was the case (most aren't) and if not they would be onto a reasonable care clause, which will be an issue depending on the circumstances of the risk.

    They are not talking nonsense - scaffolding against a building will increase a theft risk as it will typically give access to entry points not normally considered and these can be less secure. It is a harsh decision and there is likely wiggle room in their thinking, but this would depend on how they interpret the scaffolding and its requirement for disclosure.
    • astoole18
    • By astoole18 14th Sep 18, 10:27 AM
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    astoole18
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 10:27 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 18, 10:27 AM
    Thanks for your input. I’m so frustrated, we rent the property, all the doors are always secure yet because they were freshening up the outside we get punished. Is there nothing that can be done do you think? Another route for insurance? The police have already stated its due to in-secure scaffolding
    • Carrot007
    • By Carrot007 14th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 1,446 Thanks
    Carrot007
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    Thanks for your input. I’m so frustrated, we rent the property, all the doors are always secure yet because they were freshening up the outside we get punished. Is there nothing that can be done do you think? Another route for insurance? The police have already stated its due to in-secure scaffolding
    Originally posted by astoole18

    The only 2 routes I can see are:


    a. Try to get the insurance to change their mind as already suggested.
    b. Hold the owners negligant for using cheap unsecured scaffolding and claim against them.
    • AstroTurtle
    • By AstroTurtle 14th Sep 18, 11:09 AM
    • 247 Posts
    • 678 Thanks
    AstroTurtle
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 18, 11:09 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Sep 18, 11:09 AM
    Seems like a thin ground for avoiding to pay the claim all together but definitely not unheard of.

    To void since the Insurance Act they would normally need to evidence that they wouldn't have insured the property at all in the state It was at the time of the theft.

    The other option is they say ok we would have underwritten it but at £XXX extra and you'll pay the extra premium.


    To what extent was the "freshening up" of the property as this is probably more relevant than your disclosing and if scaffolding was erected that suggest significant repairs or alteration to the property.


    Although it's not relevant to your contents as it's building work changes as such affect contents for various reasons like if there was a fire on the scaffolding or damage from the scaffolding or if the building collapsed etc that would all affect your contents and same with the theft. Without the scaffolding it may not of happened.

    As for the "routine maintanence" clause i dont think you could make scaffolding fall under that as routine would be classed as simple and small scale activites.


    (4) The disclosure required is as follows, except as provided in subsection (5)—

    (a) disclosure of every material circumstance which the insured knows or ought to know, or
    (b)failing that, disclosure which gives the insurer sufficient information to put a prudent insurer on notice that it needs to make further enquiries for the purpose of revealing those material circumstances.

    (5)
    In the absence of enquiry, subsection (4) does not require the insured to disclose a circumstance if—
    (a) it diminishes the risk,
    (b) the insurer knows it,
    (c) the insurer ought to know it,
    (d) the insurer is presumed to know it, or
    (e) it is something as to which the insurer waives information.
    Under the Insurance Act they could argue that it was a material fact and wasn't disclosed mid term. However they then have to prove that if they HAD known about it, they wouldn't of continued to insure the contents at all. That is what you should focus on because if they would have it will become a tricky battle for them as it comes down to a lot of factors such as would a reasonable person think it relevant, Was there any questions about the type of work on buildings needing to be disclosed on the schedule or SOF. They may then decide its not worth disputing and pay out. They may not.

    Again I think all this depends on how extensive the works work.
    Last edited by AstroTurtle; 14-09-2018 at 11:21 AM.
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 14th Sep 18, 11:21 AM
    • 22,708 Posts
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    lisyloo
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 18, 11:21 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Sep 18, 11:21 AM
    Hold the owners negligant for using cheap unsecured scaffolding
    Could somone explain the difference to me between secured and unsecured scaffolding?
    How do you stop scaffolding providing access 24/7?


    I guess you can take away ladders so it's not easy for a burgalar, but it can't be taken down every night.
    • astoole18
    • By astoole18 14th Sep 18, 11:27 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    astoole18
    Ok thanks. I appreciate all the comments and advice. Itís still so raw and Iím too emotional at present to use clear judgement. Thanks again everyone
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 14th Sep 18, 11:55 AM
    • 586 Posts
    • 697 Thanks
    maisie cat
    When I contacted our insurance company to check whether the our scaffolding would have any impact, we were told that a break in via the scaffolding wouldn't be covered, but that was 10 years ago. I think the idea is that the 2nd floor flat would not have been burgled but for the scaffolding. You might be able to take action against the management company though.
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 14th Sep 18, 9:45 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    Zorillo
    As for the "routine maintanence" clause i dont think you could make scaffolding fall under that as routine would be classed as simple and small scale activities.

    Again I think all this depends on how extensive the works work.
    Originally posted by AstroTurtle
    The reason I cited the routine maintenance clause is it's the only mention of 'works' anywhere in the Wording that I can find.

    Whether or not the scaffolding was up for routine maintenance, I have no idea, but it's not inconceivable that on a large block of flats you'd use scaffolding for gutters etc rather than a ladder.
    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 14th Sep 18, 9:51 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 280 Thanks
    Zorillo
    Could somone explain the difference to me between secured and unsecured scaffolding?
    How do you stop scaffolding providing access 24/7?


    I guess you can take away ladders so it's not easy for a burgalar, but it can't be taken down every night.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    You've more or less answered your own question there. You might also fence off the access from the ground, if space allows.
    • astoole18
    • By astoole18 16th Sep 18, 8:50 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    astoole18
    Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate your thoughts. The scaffolding is up for painting of the outside of the property. They are coming back to me within 3/5 working days which could be anytime up until Thursday. I just have to see what they say and use the information you have given me to try and appeal.
    • stator
    • By stator 16th Sep 18, 11:32 AM
    • 6,597 Posts
    • 4,437 Thanks
    stator
    You make a formal complaint to the insurer.
    If they reject your complaint, you appeal to the ombudsmen.
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 18th Sep 18, 9:11 AM
    • 6,786 Posts
    • 44,588 Thanks
    Gers
    My DM’s building had major works done last year which entailed wrap around scaffolding covering all four levels (Glasgow tenement). The project manager told each of the eight owners that they had to tell their contents insurers of the scaffolding and confirm it writing.

    The insurance companies all asked for the duration of the works and increased the excess for it. Once the scaffolding was removed the excess returned to the original amount.
    • Insco
    • By Insco 26th Sep 18, 6:05 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    Insco
    Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate your thoughts. The scaffolding is up for painting of the outside of the property. They are coming back to me within 3/5 working days which could be anytime up until Thursday. I just have to see what they say and use the information you have given me to try and appeal.
    Originally posted by astoole18
    Have they come back to you yet?

    If they are still rejecting, you should immediately invoke the formal complaint procedure with MoreThan
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