I’d never heard of Loss Assessors before running into huge issues with my flat. Now, I’m extremely grateful they exist. Have you ever used one? Here’s what happened.
Less than a year after buying and moving into our lovely flat, we didn’t expect to be deciding which of our possessions needed to go into storage and what would go into our downsized rental apartment.
Our flat was to be gutted, stripped, dried and restored for the next 6-8 months.
It all started when we discovered a small leak in our flat. Several attempts were made to fix it, but it kept getting worse (it transpired that it was behind a tiled wall in the bathroom).
Many weeks later, you couldn’t enter our bathroom without getting wet socks as the water was flooding in through the cracks in the floor tiles. The damp was creeping up our walls in the office, the lounge and our spare bedroom.
We then noticed black mould growing in our pantry. A disaster recovery firm came in and advised that there was no damp-proofing in our basement flat and the materials used behind our walls were not fit for purpose.
The leaks kept coming
Once a builder had come in and removed all the bathroom floor tiles, stripped the wall back to brick and fitted a tiny, inconsequential dehumidifier, we were able to use our tiny wetroom.
But, due to more use over those few weeks, we discovered yet another leak behind the toilet leading to more damp issues on the outside wall.
As if things couldn’t get much worse, our upstairs neighbour’s dishwasher exploded an entire load of water onto their kitchen floor directly above our bedroom – the last remaining room not affected by the previous leaks.
We came home to find a puddle of water on the bedroom floor and substantial water damage to the ceiling.
We were now up to four individual leaks. Eventually, we’d annoyed the managing agent of our leasehold enough for them to give us the details of our insurance policy. Finally somebody started taking it seriously.
Claiming for losses
Our insurer’s Loss Adjuster came to discuss our claims in detail and decide what would and wouldn’t be covered by our extensive insurance policy.
He sat with us for two hours, walked around the flat and seemed to genuinely be on our side, wanting to get us the most our insurance policy could offer us.
His surveyor noticed that the tiling in the bathroom looked like it contained asbestos and should be sealed immediately.
After waiting for a negative result for four days we decided enough was enough. No real drying effort had commenced, the damp appeared to be spreading even though the leaks had been fixed, and nobody had given us information about what we were supposed to be doing to get our flat back to the way it was.
It was then that I discussed my situation with my Uncle, a solicitor, who gave us the advice of hiring a Loss Assessor, who would manage the claim on our behalf.
I’d never heard of one before, but decided it was worth a try. I explained our situation and they immediately made me feel like they were there to help.
They would mitigate the insurer, ensure that we got everything we were entitled to based on our insurance policy and project-manage all the subsequent engineers and contractors who would be coming in.
‘The stress and anxiety was lifted’
After two meetings, we knew that all the leaks would be covered on our insurance.
The flooring was to be ripped up throughout the flat, the wet room would be redone to make it actually water-tight, and the bathroom and pantry was to be restored.
We were to be moved and housed somewhere suitable for six to eight months so the damp-proofing work could take place.
If we’d left this to the original Loss Adjuster, we may only have received a small percentage of all of this.
We would have had to pay for a project manager, accommodation for our cats, a new wet room, the damp-proofing and a moving company to get us out.
We’re still a long way off getting our flat back to normal, but it’s a huge start. We don’t know exactly what the value of this claim will be, but it’s looking to be as much as £75,000.
Have you ever made a substantial insurance claim? Did you get what you wanted out of it or did you end up out of pocket?