Can I claim for hail damage 12 months ago?

by Readers Question

10:55 AM, 10th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Can I claim for hail damage 12 months ago?

Make Text Bigger
Can I claim for hail damage 12 months ago?

May Bank Holiday 2018 there was a large hailstorm in our area which caused damage to a number of conservatory roofs including my sister-in-law and mother-in-law’s. They successfully claimed and have new roofs.

At the time I contacted my letting agent to ask them to contact the tenant in the property to have a look at the conservatory roof and report any holes. I have an email saying that they could not see any and that it was not leaking.

My tenant vacated the property on Friday gone and I went round yesterday to check it over to release the deposit. To my dismay I found that the hail had gone through the first layer of poly carb in at least a dozen places the size of a 10 pence piece. I’m not here to apportion blame as my lady tenant who has been trouble free and tidy may have been looking for a complete hole in the roof. I would also point out that my letting agents report in March 2019 also did not flag up the holes.

My question is how likely am I to be able to claim from my insurance with the fact that I only found out yesterday and the damaged being caused over 12 months ago.

Thank you

Darren



Comments

Jason McClean

11:51 AM, 10th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Hi Darren

You can try to claim for this with the insurer you had at the time but I think it will be very difficult to prove the damage in association with any insured event given the time that has gone by and both tenant and letting agent not reporting any damage. Your claim is at odds with what they have reported.

You could end up registering a claim that is refused and you will need to disclose the claim when asking for future insurance despite getting nothing out of it. That could put the cost of insurance up or reduce the number of providers you can use.

Alternatively, they may accept the claim and payout, it all depends on the quality and approach of the insurer.

Sorry I couldn't be more positive for you.

Best

Jason

Ian Narbeth

12:24 PM, 10th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Jason is right Darren
You may also find that the policy requires prompt notification of a claim. You spotted the damage immediately and so it is not as if it was hidden. You might have a claim against your tenant for not reporting damage (assuming the tenancy required that) but that will not be straightforward and you probably don't want to go down that avenue.

Darren

16:05 PM, 10th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Thanks Ian and Jason. Since raising the question I have contacted my Insurance company which is the same one I have been with since letting the property and after giving them the facts they have come back saying that they are unable to help due to the time it has taken to be notified. They have suggested I may have a claim against the letting agent for missing the damage and there lies a dilema. I own a personel search business and the letting agent gives reciprocal work to me and I have a very good relationship with them. Also looking from inside the conservatiory you could not see the holes as the hailstones only pentrated the first layer of polycarbonate and so no leaks at the moment. It was only looking out of a bedroom window that they could be seen and I ask myself if this is something that letting agents should have done. What's next climbing the roof to check the chimney is ok. Anyway I am awaiting a reply from my agents and have also asked the insurance company to point me to the section in the policy where they have decided to refuse a claim being submitted as I was unable to find one that mntioned any time constraints
Darren

Jason McClean

16:26 PM, 10th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Good luck, Darren, hope it works out one way or another!

Roy B

10:38 AM, 11th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Personally I think you have to take that one on the chin. I would say the letting agency let you down - they should have known how to check - you saw it straight away from the bedroom - so could/should they have.

Darren

11:15 AM, 11th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Roy B at 11/07/2019 - 10:38
Hi Roy
Yeah I think thats the way its going to go. thanks all for commenting and if your in the same situation dont rely on your letting agent or tenant make sure you check it out yoursleves
Darren

Dylan Morris

11:35 AM, 11th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Assuming the roof is double skinned plastic sheeting, this shouldn’t cost too much to fix. Contact your local double glazing repair service and they should be able to replace quite easily. Probably wasn’t worth claiming on your insurance policy anyway, as you may have an excess which exceeds the repair cost and of course a rise in future premiums.

Michael Barnes

11:44 AM, 12th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

"At the time I contacted my letting agent to ask them to contact the tenant in the property to have a look at the conservatory roof and report any holes."

As you did not instruct the agent to inspect for damage, then you do not have any basis for claim against the agent.

Darren

12:44 PM, 12th July 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 12/07/2019 - 11:44
Hi Michael
The agent has carried out two further inspections since this happened and nothing was reported. I even have a photo they sent me in the August 2018 report as the pull cord on the fan/light in the conservatory was broken and I can see the holes in the photo. I will say that you could mistake the holes as being dirt or moss from the main roof looking from the inside out which is probably what has happened. As said before it is a lesson learned and i shall not be taking any action against the agent. A comment the agent said to me which did not help was "you must have a keener eye than that of our inspector" Clearly
Darren


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

When a tenant dies his Utility Bills die with him?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More