Insurance claim has been disaster

Procedure has been a disaster and not of our making

4 January 2011

A FATAL motor accident six months ago caused serious damage to our French home in our absence. A whole wall had been demolished because of to the impact and the property was left in a very dangerous and vulnerable condition. Nothing was shored up or secured.

Days after the accident, we were contacted and asked to go to France and see the gendarmerie to prove ownership and give what details we could. We were shocked to find that the only security was a couple of yards of orange tape attached to metal bars put there by the police.

As the damaged area was used for storage, we were concerned at the visibility of the items and decided to move everything to an adjoining room. This was duly locked and we returned to the UK.
Some six weeks later, we returned to find the lock forced and items missing. A subsequent claim was submitted to cover these items.

We have now been told that the insurance company will not pay for the loss. This was a genuine second claim and one that would not have been made had the property been shored up and secured after the initial impact.

In mid-September, the stonework was eventually repaired; however, we still await the new door and window.

Typically this should also have been done at the same time, but the original estimate for the woodwork was deemed to be too expensive and a new revised estimate was requested. It now turns out that the assessor had forgotten to ask for this second estimate, so we still have major holes in the wall.

We were also told we could claim for “out-of-pocket expenses” for having to attend the gendarmerie. This amounted to about e300 and we are now informed they have lost not only the paperwork but also the window of opportunity to claim. Their file is now closed.

This whole episode has been a disaster and not of our making.


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