We received a call from a home owner who was worried about dampness in carpets and dampness rising up walls. The home owner had noticed that the carpets were damp to the touch, had a damp musty odour, the doors were sticking, skirting boards were peeling off and the wall plaster was discoloured. The home owner called his insurance company, explained the symptoms and was told that the policy would not cover the damage as it sounded like rising damp, wear and tear and deterioration. Naturally, the home owner was very worried and wanted to get an independent inspection.
The home owner contacted us, Insurance Claim solutions, to carry out an independent inspection and advise on the policy cover. We carried out a full damage assessment, and, from our experience, given the extent of damage, we knew immediately that this amount of damage could only be caused by an extensive leak, and that rising damp was not causing the problem.
The ground floor heating pipes were gun barrel, and as they were approximately 30 years old, are very susceptible to corrosion and leakage. We discovered that although the heating was constantly on, the radiators on the ground floor didn’t heat up at all and were cold to the touch. This is an indication of a substantial escape of water and the damage caused is covered under the standard household policy. We instructed the home owner to appoint a plumber to carry out a pressure test and diagnose the leak. The plumber found an extensive drop in pressure, and, when the concrete floor was dug up, there were pools of water under the concrete slab.
We immediately contacted the insurance company to advise of our findings and asked them for a loss adjuster to be appointed and to call out to inspect the damage. We also advised our client to appoint a water damage restoration specialist to establish the full extent of damage and the treatment plan, we assisted with the appointment of a competent specialist.
We met with loss adjuster and agreed a comprehensive damage treatment and drying programme and comprehensive scope of repairs.
Once the extent of the damage was agreed with the insurance assessor we needed to negotiate the costs.
We agreed a comprehensive settlement in respect of buildings, contents and as the damage was so extensive, we were able to negotiate alternative accommodation while some of the work was carried out. The claims management strategy employed ensured that the policyholder received their full entitlement.