Home Insurance Topics Of Interest
Document L – Document L
is part of the Building Regulations for England & Wales
that sets the standard of energy efficiency in buildings.
The equivalent section of Scottish Building Regulations is
known as Part J. Click Here for more information.
Drains – You should
expect your insurer to pay for blockages in drains where this
has been cause fortuitously, under the accidental damage to
underground services, provided there are no other untoward
features. Drain damage can also be linked to subsidence
Escape of Water/Burst
Pipes - You will need to check what your policy
says, but generally I would expect a good insurer to take a
wide interpretation of this insured event. For example, I would
expect water escaping from pipes, leaking radiators, fish tanks
and other water receptacles to be included. I would expect
gradual leakage to be covered where this was previously unknown
Excess – Where a value
exceeds the sum insured, I would expect an excess to be
deducted before the application of the policy limit.
Exclusions – Where ‘all
–risks’ or ‘accidental damage’ cover applies, remember that the
burden of proving that it is not covered rests with your
insurer. You do not have to show that the exclusion does not
Extra Cover – Sometimes
your loss could be covered by more than one section of your
policy. This usually arises with a contents and a personal
effects section. Your insurer should meet the claim under
whichever section gives you the best possible settlement.
Fire – What damage can
you claim for under the fire peril? Generally, there should be
actual ignition and damage occur outside the confines of a
heating appliance. But you should expect the following to be
included. Fortuitous cigarette burns Scorching caused by hot
irons and electric fires Refilling of fire extinguishers or pay
for metered water used to fight the fire Smoke damage caused by
a fire You should not expect your insurer to pay for melting,
such as putting a hot saucepan onto a worktop. If the melting
correlates to other fire damage where there has been an
ignition, then that is a different matter.
Flood – this can be
defined as a moving body of water that is usually caused by
burst water mains, overflowing rivers, seas and so on.
Fraud – Don’t try to
cheat your insurer! The chances are you will be caught out.
There are many instances where your insurer might consider you
are being fraudulent whereas you feel you are just trying to
reduce your premium or increase your claims settlement. I can
only say to you, be 100% honest with your insurer at all times.
They, in turn, must be 100% honest with you and I encourage
more transparency by the insurance industry.
Impact by Animals – This
one is interpreted by different insurers in different ways!
Some strange ideas have been promoted by media consumer
programs no doubt more intent on entertaining than a serious
attempt to clarify the cover. Similarly, the accidental damage
section might well exclude damage caused by vermin. What you
regard as vermin might be different to the claims handler! My
old dictionary defines it as ‘creatures injurious to game and
crops, noxious parasites and vile persons’ If there is
ambiguity, I suggest you quote one of those quasi -Latin legal
phrases at your insurer – the contra proferentem rule. If a
phrase in an insurance policy is not clear, the meaning more
favourable to the policyholder is taken. Damage by domestic
pets is usually excluded. It isn’t a risk – it’s a
"The accident occurred when I was attempting
to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into
the other vehicle."
|Extracts taken from actual claim
forms submitted to
a number of UK car insurance companies