Notify Contents Insurer?

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    Notify Contents Insurer?

    Next door to the block where I have a flat is a building site. This morning someone hit the water main with his digger, and flooded all the ground floor flats. The fire brigade & council have now pumped out all the water. (It was about 6" deep!) I helped my tenants move some items from their affected rooms, and I have paid for them to spend two nights in a hotel while the flat dries out.

    The site manager of the building firm came over, and has arranged cleaners to go in tomorrow. I have sent him copies of the hotel receipts. The block is insured collectively. Do I need to also notify my contents insurer? Only a few carpets are soaked, and I think they will dry out once cleaned.

    You should contact them to at least report the incident because if something happens further into the future and you suddenly need to make a claim they may query why you hadn't told them at the time which will make any claim more difficult for you.

    Just a quick phone call to their claims line number to tell them exactly what you have said above and that you do not wish to make a claim and just telling them for notification purposes. Make a note of who you spoke to and when and just keep that information safe in case you need to come back to it at a later date.
    Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 20+ years experience in the industry
    LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
    See my profile for contact details


      Thanks. That's a good plan.



        Cleaners arrived yesterday with dehumidifiers and fans, and ripped up all the carpets. In view of the extent of the damage, the builders seem to have had a change of heart regarding their liability, and have suggested we claim on our buildings and contents insurance. This does not pay for tenant's alternative accomodation, so I will be stuck with now five nights' hotel bills.

        Can I sue the builders for this?

        Pictures here:


          Yes you can sue them, tough as always the costs are potentially serious for small claimant like you- the builders will absorb costs easily. of course if you took the legal costs insurance on your landlords or contents policies this should be a breeze (unless the block is owed by "evil landlord BVI" block polices can include this as well)

          The block and contents insurers advised of the circumstances will immediately contact the site owners and or builders and their insurers and between them establish liability. Your block owner or agent should be helping with this.

          The change of heart is likely that expecting the damage to be small it was within their excess and now that costs are both higher and likely above their excess, they are effectively exchanging insurance information.

          Or use it as basis for a good deal on new flat on the site...
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


            Thanks LHA.


              My tenant has now been in the hotel for five nights, so today I was expecting him to go home.

              I just got a call from 'Housing Aid' at the council saying he has contacted them saying that the place is unfit to go back to. The woman suggested she was going to send environmental health round to view the place. I told her to go for it.


                Someone on MSE suggested that my tenant may be looking to get a council house, by saying that my flat is unfit. This would make sense, as I had great trouble persuading them to go to the hotel in the first place.


                  Builder's insurer's offer

                  In due course I sent my hotel bills and carpet bills onto the builder. They ignored these so I sent a letter before action. I now have an offer of the full sum I asked for providing I sign a 'Form of Discharge' as follows:

                  'I JK0, hereby agree to accept the sum of £1860 from *** in full and final settlement of all claims arising out of the ingress of water to ** ******** ***** on 4 December 2013.

                  It is agreed that in accepting the above payment the said *** will be absolved of all further liabilities arising out of the said occurence.'
                  I have replied as follows:

                  Thanks for the letter & form of discharge. I'm afraid that in view of the conditions it agrees to, I am not able to sign it. As you know, I am a lessee. Therefore the building, and ground it stands on don't belong to me. Also there may be future subsidence problems with the property caused by the flood. Finally, I understand your firm intends to reimburse my tenants for their electricity costs in due course.

                  If you would like to re-phrase your form of discharge, so that it specifically mentions my claim of hotel accomodation and replacement carpets, and does not try to exclude any future costs, I will be happy to sign it. Perhaps you could let me know if that is acceptable,
                  Does that sound reasonable?



                    In due course I received a form of discharge who's wording I was happy with.

                    Today I have a cheque for the full amount of the carpet & hotel costs. Thanks to all who contributed or took an interest.


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