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Insurance help please

(15 Posts)
Tryingtobenice Fri 05-Oct-12 13:08:26

Not sure if this is the right place to post but...

My mum has been flooded out of her home. They estimate it will take 5-6 months to complete the work
The insurers are being arses already, which is a shame as my mum is ill and i have a 4 month old to look after so we don't have the time and energy to argue every point.

So a couple of questions and a request for general advice:

1) my mum lives in a block of flats and the management company are saying they have no cover for accommodation. Contents has a relatively low cap so we are a bit worried it will run out. is it normal for the buildings insurance not to have emergency accommodation?

2) what will we need to do for descriptions of items? What will they count as wear and tear? How much will she get? She has nice stuff and we don't want money back assuming cheap, on stuff like coats and bedding.

Thanks for any advice

Tryingtobenice Fri 05-Oct-12 13:41:02

Oh and do we have to pay council tax and the building management fee while we are not able to live there? My mum is a leaseholder.

Tryingtobenice Fri 05-Oct-12 13:42:18

Oh and do we have to pay council tax and the building management fee while we are not able to live there? My mum is a leaseholder.

Rockchick1984 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:34:33

Not an expert but used to sell home insurance. As far as I know buildings insurance generally will cover accommodation costs if property is deemed to be unsuitable to live in until repairs are completed. I've never heard of a policy which doesn't include that, but that's not to say they don't exist.

Some home insurance policies offer new for old cover so wear and tear wouldn't be a concern on the contents insurance. If she is in a flat, presumably she took the contents insurance out herself (it's generally only the buildings insurance which is arranged by the management company) so she should look on her policy and see what it says regarding claims.

Ginda Fri 05-Oct-12 22:51:16

You really need to check the policy and in particular, the exclusions, as they can vary a lot. Insurance co. will provide a copy if your mum has mislaid it.

Tryingtobenice Sat 06-Oct-12 04:44:52

Thanks, we have pored over the policy (one of the few documents to escape the water).
There is accommodation cover in her contents but as i said there is a cap. I'm just trying to understand why the maintenence company has arranged buildings cover that lacks it, since apparently it is normal for buildings to have the higher cover for this.
The policy is new for old, but then it says 'exceptfor clothes and bedlinen where we will discount for reasonable wear and tear'. Apparently this is assessed at 'what you could have sold it for' which equates to around 30% of what you would buy it for in the shops.

suburbandweller Mon 08-Oct-12 09:35:33

Is your mum a tenant or does she own the leasehold? I assume from what you have said so far that it's the latter, in which case she should ask for the a copy of the management company's buildings insurance policy immediately. I would be amazed if it does not include any cover for alternative accommodation in the event the property becomes uninhabitable.

She shouldn't have to pay council tax while not living in the property - there is an exemption for empty properties (although depending on the council it may be time-limited). She should contact the council and let them know her position.

CMOTDibbler Mon 08-Oct-12 09:41:03

Its actually very common for the buildings insurance held by the management company not to have alternative accomodation cover.

With the clothes/bedlinen, this is in the policy, but you could call the claims dept and double check on the amount of deduction.

Tryingtobenice Tue 09-Oct-12 17:13:42

I've requested the leasehold agreement to see what it says. My mum is a leaseholder paying £1500 a year in fees which cover insurance. I'm shocked that this insurance doesn't help my mum, only the freeholder.

Tryingtobenice Tue 09-Oct-12 17:47:58

Do you reckon she still has to pay the management fee while the property cannot be occupied?

Rockchick1984 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:03:55

Pretty sure she still has to pay the management fee, yes. That covers the maintenance etc of the building, and there will be an annual cost to do this which is split between the number of units in the block. We are hoping to rent our flat out, and have already been told we will still be liable for this even if the property is empty.

Tryingtobenice Wed 10-Oct-12 19:49:09

But the property isn't just empty, it's uninhabitable.

Sneezecakesmama Wed 10-Oct-12 19:58:24

When my sons house was empty he didnt pay council tax for that time. It may vary with councils so ring up their offices.

ILoveOnionRings Wed 10-Oct-12 20:13:15

Just asked DH about the managment fee as we are lease holders in a block of 4 flats but several blocks within the management company.

His comparison to paying the fee is (DH's explanation sorry if long winded) when our roof was damaged in the tornado we had to collect from all 4 residents in our block, even the 2 downstairs as we are all responsible for the block. If we had had to have movde out then we would still have had to pay the fee as it covers ground care eg grass being cut, painting of the garages (garages sperate block to flat), guttering, windows maintence etc.

Regarding insurance value of clothes, this is true, the replacement cost is a fraction of the price that you bought them for. Last year DB's house was destroyed in a house fire. They lost everything bar the pjs they escaped in. However the insurance did rehouse them on a like for like property. It took about 9 months for their home to be completly rebuilt. They had to pay in advance the deposit for the rental property but this was paid back by the insurance company. They also recieved interim payments, taken off the final payment, as they had to buy clothes, toilteries etc. They were also offered by the insurance company rentable furniture, white goods, crockery etc as they did not have anything for the rented property. They chose however to purchase thier own with the interim payment.

It is worth taking 1 week to fully assess what needs to be replaced eg DSIL's make up bag, case of nail varnishes, childrens toys (all of them) DVDs, electrical equipment - will it be safe to use if water damaged. The insurance company did send in their own people to clear the house and they made a record of EVERYTHING including makes and models of items like the kettle, iron, washing machine, hair dryer, straightners, amount of cuddly toys, what make DBs jeans were, contents of kitchen and bathroom cupboards etc.

When DB and DSIL made the list to claim, they did it in excel and did it by room eg kitchen, bathroom, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, then listed the goods, make and model if necessary, amount of each and then we looked up every item and the cost of each to replace. (if that helps on where to start).

A word of caution however if the value of the claim is in excess of the amout you are insured for then you could accrue a % of loss on the amount claimed. The reason for this is that the premium would have been too low. For example say DB contents insurance was for £30K but their claim was £35K then they would have suffered a 30% loss on their claim.

Sorry if long winded but hope it helps.

hermioneweasley Wed 10-Oct-12 20:18:04

As far as I am aware there is no standard insurance policy, so it will be a case of finding out what she is covered for. Contents is generally new for old so I'd be surprised if this isn't covered.

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