The claims process unravelled
Why do I have to pay an excess?
The excess is an agreed amount which the policyholder is responsible for paying. Generally, the higher the excess the policyholder is willing to pay, the lower the premium. At Pen, it is not for us to decide which party pays the excess; this is simply deducted from the first claim payment made. We encourage residents to agree a process in advance via managing agents, residents associations etc. Sometimes the excess comes out of a service charge or is equally shared between the affected parties.
Why is the leak repair not covered?
The repair of the leak is a general exclusion, this is because the leak is often attributable to age, wear & tear or poor installation. This is an industry wide decision made by insurers. It is quite often the case that the repair of the leak itself is the cheapest aspect of the claim; however the costs involved with locating the source of the leak and exposing it can be high. This aspect will usually be covered providing there is subsequent damage to the premises and the cause is a fixed installation, tank, apparatus or pipe and not water ingress from a roof. When making a claim for water damage, a copy of the repair invoice will need to be presented as evidence that the leak has been stopped.
What is a recovery?
Recovery, or subrogation, is a process where we will try and recover the cost of your claim and excess from a negligent third party. In the case of a theft, malicious incident or impact damage claim we would ask for a crime reference number from the police, address of the police station reported to, and if there were any witnesses or third party details. We can also look to recover on water damage claims if the leak has been caused by poor installation/workmanship or recent works have been carried out. It is in the interest of the policyholder to help with these enquiries as a successful recovery could ensure their excess is returned and avoid a potential uplift in their premium at renewal.
Why has a Loss Adjuster been appointed?
When multiple properties have been affected, claim costs are over the £5,000 mark or there is a situation which requires someone on site to assist with the claim we will appoint a Loss Adjuster. We have a selected panel of qualified adjusters which is there to assist you with your claim and to liaise with insurers on your behalf as necessary.
Why do I need to provide two estimates and photos?
The reason insurers ask for two estimates is that costs from contractors can vary significantly and you need to ensure you are getting the most competitive quote for the necessary works. The lower the total claim cost, the lower the impact on the policyholder’s premiums at renewal.
Photos are required to ensure all aspects of the damage have been quoted for on the estimates supplied and it also confirms exactly what has been damaged in the incident.
What is the difference between malicious damage and wear & tear?
Malicious damage is the result of a one-off incident and is done with intent e.g. breaking a door or kitchen unit, smashing glazing etc. General wear and tear is deemed to be faded paintwork, scuffs on walls, not cleaning the property properly during the tenancy, tenants leaving rubbish behind when they leave and general neglect of a property. Insurers do not pay for damage caused by wear & tear.
Can I get the leak repaired?
Yes! We would not expect you to wait and risk further damage to your property so please stop the leak, however we do need to see estimates for the resultant damage that the leak may have caused so please don't start these repairs until estimates are available and your photos have been submitted and approved.
Pen does not have recommended plumbers, so you can use any local contractor who is able to assist you as soon as possible. Please note leak repair is not covered under any property insurance but we will need a copy of the leak repair invoice so we know the cause has been repaired.
The most commonly found asbestos is in artex ceilings and vinyl floor coverings installed before the year 2000. If you are concerned that you have been exposed we recommend a few immediate safety steps to take:
- If the area can be sealed off, close the door and do not re-enter
- Do not hoover or dust any areas as fibres could spread into the atmosphere
- Ring us immediately! We can arrange a test to be carried out which we will have the results for within 48 hours
Following an incident, if you have any concerns regarding the presence of asbestos please call our handlers who will be able to determine whether there is a risk or not
What do I do if my drains are overflowing?
If the property is unsanitary please call us as soon as possible as you may be entitled to alternative accommodation if you cannot stay in your property. We will ask you for the cause before we are able to confirm cover so we recommend getting a national drainage company out to assess the damage. A copy of their report is required by us.
Is alternative accommodation available?
If the property is structurally unsound or there are no cooking/washing facilities available as the result of an insured peril this is something that would be considered. Depending on your policy cover you could be entitled to either loss of rent OR alternative accommodation, but not both at the same time.
This content is for guidance only; please call one of our claims advisors or check your policy documentation for more information.