Over the past few weeks, flash flooding has affected many parts of the UK – and there are warnings of more wet weather to come.
It is therefore no wonder that I’ve had a surge of messages from readers whose insurance claims have been rejected.
I say this nearly every week during my LBC radio show, Consumer Hour – if an insurer can wriggle out of a claim, it will.
Gillian from Raynes Park, South West London, lives in a basement flat. Her home was flooded after more than 44mm of rain – more than we usually see in the whole of July – fell within one hour.
All her furniture and many personal possessions were ruined and the flat is now uninhabitable.
Are you having trouble getting your home insurance provider to pay out? Let us know: [email protected]
Gillian’s only salvation was her insurance policy but, as she describes it, the remainder of her world came crashing down when the provider said it would not be paying out.
The reason she was given was that the assessor had found the guttering on the building was clogged and the drains outside of the property were also full of leaves and other debris.
They pointed to a clause in the policy stating that all gutters and drains had to be maintained and kept clear.
Gillian rents her flat so I have advised her that it is her landlord who is legally responsible for maintaining and repairing the gutters and drains.
Gillian therefore has a claim against her landlord.
Robert, from East London, also saw his home affected by the recent flash flooding. However, while his insurer accepted his claim, he was then landed with a £3,000 bill.
What Robert had not realised was that his usual £250 excess did not apply to flood claims, where the excess was increased to £3,000.
Robert and Gillian’s stories highlight how important it is to read the small print on insurance policies so you are fully aware what you are covered for.
You also need to know what is not covered and the events that will give the insurer the ability to wriggle out of a claim.