I made a claim on my home insurance policy after my house was damaged by last week’s heavy rainfall.
But my claim has been rejected as my insurer says it was not a ‘storm’.
Heather Graham, via email.
Dean Dunham replies: Most insurance firms say they may cover only weather damage attributable to a ‘storm’ and define what a storm means of their terms and conditions.
Many state the wind speed should be at the very least a certain strength (often cited as level ten on the Beaufort scale, the equivalent of 55-63mph) for the weather event to be classed as a storm, and reject claims where this minimum requirement just isn’t met.
Rejected claim: Most insurance firms say they may only cover weather damage attributable to a ‘storm’ and define what a storm means of their terms and conditions
Nevertheless, this rigid approach is improper and is usually rejected by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which is where you’re taking your grievance should you disagree with the final result of a claim.
The right approach is to think about the actual weather within the vicinity of the property on the time the damage occurred and if this was the true reason behind it.
Nevertheless, your insurer may even consider whether another aspects could have caused or significantly contributed to the damage, resembling wear and tear (i.e. the age of the property or a selected a part of the property) or a failure to keep up your property.
Your policy will normally stipulate that you could keep your property maintained to standard.
This loose requirement hands insurance providers a golden opportunity to pin the blame for damage or loss attributable to the likes of weather damage on to the homeowner — and due to this fact reject claims.
In case your claim is rejected, the subsequent step is to complain to the FOS.
When lodging your grievance, it’s best to provide evidence of the severity of the weather, ensuring this clearly shows the conditions present within the vicinity of your property on the time.
You need to also provide details about what you do to maintain your property maintained.
For instance, if water leaked through your roof or windows, say, when last the roof was inspected or gutters cleared.
Finally, it’s going to help your claim should you are in a position to get someone independent, resembling a builder, to substantiate in writing that the damage was attributable to the weather event versus wear and tear.
Wedding venue cancelled without giving a reason
I used to be as a result of get married this November however the venue has cancelled our booking without giving a reason. It says we’ll get our deposit back.
But after I said I also desired to be reimbursed for the cash we now have paid to caterers and entertainers, it said — as these weren’t arranged by the venue and fall outside of the contract between us — it doesn’t need to reimburse us. What can we do?
John Ashton, via email.
Dean Dunham replies: This amounts to a breach of contract by the venue because it is failing to offer the venue because it agreed.
Under English law, the treatment for a breach of contract is to place the innocent party (you on this case) back into the position they’d have been in had the breach not occurred.
In your case, this implies reimbursing all costs no matter whether or not they were part of the particular contract or not.
Should you find yourself paying more for the brand new venue, you would also claim this and possibly also damages for distress and inconvenience.
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