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Likely outcome of an insurance claim?

(16 Posts)
Fallulah Sat 15-Aug-15 16:32:27

I have had a slow leak in my kitchen (I've been here two years but who knows how much more than that it's been dripping - previous owners, I know now, were terrible at DIY). Leak now fixed but...

Cabinet under sink is completely damp, the wood has swelled and there is black mould. An entire side of the kitchen plinth (think that's what it's called - the bit between the cupboard and the floor) is soft with water and black and mouldy inside (had to take it off to check the leak).
I have concrete floor and stone tiles. The concrete under the affected cupboard is wet but it doesn't look to have extended too far under the rest of the units.

I'm drying it out at the moment with all Windows/doors open and a cold air fan, which I presume is going to take a while. It's occurred to me that, as the kitchen is from the 90s, I'm unlikely to be able to match the plinth or the cupboard.

Is this serious enough for an insurance claim? What would be the likely outcome? Surely not a whole new kitchen? I don't want a mismatched one if they would only replace the damaged bits.

ginmakesitallok Sat 15-Aug-15 16:34:48

I'm not sure your insurance would pay out for a long standing problem. They could argue that you contributed to the problem by not fixing it sooner, you haven't mitigated your loss.

Fallulah Sat 15-Aug-15 17:05:31

I didn't know it was there until yesterday.

caroldecker Sat 15-Aug-15 17:17:38

Did you not open the cupboard under the sink for 2 years?

Fallulah Sat 15-Aug-15 17:23:34

Obviously, yes I did, but I don't routinely take everything out, remove the plinth and look underneath it! Came back from a while away yesterday and tracked down the faint damp smell to this.

Previous owners have cut a hole in the bottom of the cupboard so the drip was going immediately down that and on to the floor beneath.

fredandme123 Sat 15-Aug-15 18:05:32

Insurance should cover single unintended or unexpected loss. Ime some budget insurers may try to wiggle out of paying due to two things, firstly it being a long standing issue to have caused mould and secondly that you have gone ahead and done work without contacting them all depends on insurer and their processes. Insurer is unlikely to buy you a whole new kitchen but they should pay for a contractor to make sure you are dry and for reinstatement of damaged cupboard.

jevoudrais Sat 15-Aug-15 21:23:54

I was under the impression they didn't usually pay out for damp related claims unless it was an unexpected single event likely to have caused it, like a storm damaging the roof and allowing water in..

wowfudge Sat 15-Aug-15 21:37:10

I agree with jevoudrais - we had a leak which flooded our cellar and it was covered by our insurance. We came back from holiday to it.

littleblackno Sat 15-Aug-15 21:45:59

I've recently had something similar, slow leak, goodness knows how long it had been there. caused loads of damage. insurance company came and sorted it no problem. I needed a floor replaced, walls replastered, new kitchen cupboard, needed professional drying company to come in 1st.
Give them a ring and see what they say.

PigletJohn Sat 15-Aug-15 22:16:18

one kitchen unit would cost a few hundred pounds.

Consider your insurance excess, and any no claim you may have.

Fallulah Sun 16-Aug-15 11:12:32

Thanks all. With the leak definitely stopped and some clearing up, things are not as bad as they appeared yesterday. I have fans going and Windows/doors open at the moment to dry things out. Looks like it will just be the plinths that need replacing along with the shell of the cupboard - the actual door will be ok.

My insurance excess is £250 plus an extra bit for a water escape, so as PigletJohn says, not worth claiming.

Someone has suggested looking on EBay for people getting rid of parts dated kitchens like mine so that sounds like a plan for the plinth!

specialsubject Sun 16-Aug-15 11:29:59

I was also going to suggest ebay. Really not worth the insurance excess/record, even if they do pay. And all insurers now charge that big water escape excess.

you can buy whole kitchens on ebay for not much!

calendula Sun 16-Aug-15 15:52:06

Plinths are cheap. I would just change the plinths in the whole kitchen if you can't get a decent match.

CointreauVersial Sun 16-Aug-15 23:09:30

We made a successful claim for a very similar thing - we had had a slow leak behind the sink for a long time, and the first we knew about it was when the floor started to subside - two of the floor joists had totally rotted away at the ends.

The insurance paid for the entire floor to be taken up and replaced. This necessitated removal of the base kitchen units so we took the opportunity to put a new kitchen in. The insurance didn't cover the new kitchen, but they asked our joiner to quote for what it would have cost to remove the units then put the old ones back in again, and they paid us that amount.

The insurance also paid for a hotel for us for four nights; the kitchen was in the middle of the house, and with no floor we couldn't have reached the only bathroom.

FlyingPirate Sun 16-Aug-15 23:28:18

I used to be a claim validator for buildings insurance. With slow leaks - or a gradually operating cause - it all comes down to whether it is likely that the policy holder knew about the leak. This can be from sight, a damp smell etc. From what you describe, it's not likely to be covered, but without seeing pictures I couldn't say for sure.

If it is covered then the matching issue with your cupboards all comes down to the insurance company. Some companies won't donate towards a matching issue at all, others will contribute 50% towards the cost of replacing the undamaged units.

Feel free to PM me for any more info

FlyingPirate Sun 16-Aug-15 23:30:58

Sorry should have rtft. Definitely just replace the plinths if you can - it will cost less than your excess!

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