Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Covered by insurance ?

During a storm , ridge tiles fall from your neighbour's house , landing on your car , smashing the windscreen and doing damage to the body/paintwork . Who is to blame and who pays for repairs ?
Last Saturday morning I went out into the carport to load up my car for hedgelaying , to find the windscreen shattered and other damage . Parts of my neighbour's ridge tiles were still on the car , parts teetering on the smashed carport roof and the rest splattered across the carport floor having
skidded down the side and over the bonnet of the car . I didn't make it to hedgelaying .
I waited till a reasonable hour , then knocked on my neighbour's door and told her what had happened , showing her the damage to the car and the missing ridge tiles from her roof . She then went back in to ring her insurance company , whilst I started ringing for a replacement windscreen , without any joy and was told I would have to wait till Monday before they would get it in stock .
Later in the day my neighbour came out to tell me that her insurance company had told her that they were not liable for any damage to my car , but they would pay to have new ridge tiles put back up on her roof , and that I would have to claim on my car insurance , on which I opted for a £400 excess at renewal to keep the premium down , and also meaning higher premiums in the future for making the claim . After getting the new windscreen fitted on Monday morning , with a £60 excess , I went to my insurer's preferred bodyshop to get an estimate for the repairs . Verbally , I was told it would be in the region of £900 but it would be sent to my insurer . A chat with the claims dept. confirmed that my neighbour's insurers were not liable for the damage to my car , unless I , not them , could prove neglect/non maintenance on her roof . As it happens , the ridge on the other side of the roof came off in the winds about 6/8 weeks ago , but no repairs have been done , and in between times I advised her to have the rest of the ridge tiles checked over when the repairs were being done .
Overnight I started thinking about what level of damage would my insurer decide to write off my 12 year old vehicle with 133,000 miles on the clock , so this morning I got back to them and was told that the company policy was to write off all 10 year + vehicles involved in claims , and if that happened , I would get £400 less because of the excess . I look after my vehicle , a 4x4 which means I can drive over fields whilst hedgelaying , and do not want it written off , meaning that I would have to withdraw my claim and put the whole thing down to 'life' or 'an act of god', and my neighbour and her insurers get away scot free , don't you just love this insurance con , you are required by law to insure your car , but what has happened to third party cover ? and was it an 'act of god' that killed the lady taxi driver in London and who will compensate her family ?
I spent today stripping the car port roof and replacing the busted sheets , down to me as well as my Home insurance has a £100 excess , and I spent less than that buying the sheets .
An incident that opened my eyes , and might be worth remembering for the future , and the remaining ridge tiles still haven't been looked at , they were all put on at the same time .
On a brighter note , Spring was in the air in the garden in the sun this weekend , with a pair of
RRParakeets getting very up close , the male on the right with the collar , females and juvenile not so , and we have been getting regular visits from up to three House Sparrows , shot taken through
double glazing , wonder if they will use the communal boxes this year ?


Warren Baker said...

Welcome to the world of insurance Greenie, its all one big con you're right!

I pay £9 a month to British gas, that covers me if the boiler breaks down. Fine, if it breaks down after 3 years, thats £324 pounds in premiums I have paid, plus there is a £100 excess so thats £428. More than enough to fix most boiler faults! The longer the boiler works ok the more money they make!

Countryside Tales said...

Would your neighbour not consider paying half your excess as it was his/ her tiles that came down? Seems like the decent thing to do.

Phil said...

Insurance, banks and energy companies. They will all stitch us up without a second thought to maintain shareholder dividends and individual bonuses. I'm sorry to hear you've fallen foul of their underhanded dealings. Hopefully your neighbour will do the decent thing.....

Nannette Henriquez said...

It's truly unfortunate to experience such inconvenience. I hope you got your car fixed right away. It may take a while for papers to process your insurance, leaving you car-less for days or weeks. Going to trusted car repair shops would definitely be a good second choice.

Nannette Henriquez

Clifton Johnson said...

I can just imagine your frustration. It's hard to get the damages done on your car covered by insurance, although I do salute your insurance company for having covered half of it in such short notice. I do think it would've been fair of your neighbor to at least cover a bit of the cost, since you made it clear to her that her roof needed repairs done. After all, it was only a matter of time until it fell on your car port. Anyway, I hope that the issue has already been settled nicely by now. Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

Clifton Johnson @ Insuring theProduct

Joshua Duncan said...

Yikes! That was terrible. I guess the reliable thing would've been for your neighbor to cover at least a fourth of the costs, since the bricks falling on your windshield seemed inevitable due to her negligence towards the matter. At any rate, I do hope your windshield has been repaired, whether it was covered by your insurance or not. All the best!

Joshua Duncan @ Focus Insurance

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