Claiming back building insurance excess?

Claiming back building insurance excess?

10:29 AM, 9th January 2023, About 2 years ago 4

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Hello, I had someone break into my commercial property (let to a tenant). The Police were called as a passer-by was able to apprehend the guy and keep hold of him till they arrived (Well done that man!). The shop tenant was able to give full CCTV footage clearly showing it was the same person who was apprehended to the Police.

I made a claim for the damage to the door/glass/locks and frame. £350 excess was paid.

Despite the person now being formally charged by the Police for criminal damage and due in court shortly, my insurance company has come back to say that their agent has reviewed the situation and decided that they will not be progressing with pursuing for financial recovery. They state…

“Whilst understanding that the “criminal” should reimburse any losses incurred, resultant from their actions, from our experience of these type of incidents, a recovery is very rarely made, even if, the culprit is apprehended and convicted. This is because individuals who commit such crimes generally have very little in the way of financial assets, from which a recovery can be obtained, with the costs of pursuing a recovery far outweighing the prospects of a successful result.”

They go on to say..

“Our agents have been in contact with us following their initial review and have advised the following:

This is a felony. It doesn’t look a great background with regard to the felon – mention of drug addict.
Chance of therefore getting any money out of him I would say bordering on Nil.
I’m happy to keep pushing the Police because of their intended prosecution. However, whilst Courts do sometimes award “reparation” I don’t see them ordering the amount that you’ve paid out. In any event it could only then come from the felon.

Given the above we are inclined to agree with our agents that the prospects of making a recovery in this instance are nil. We have therefore instructed them to close their file with no further action and will proceed to do the same with our file.
Final outlay on this claim was £XXXX net of the £350 policy excess.
Whilst understanding that it is not fair that the culprit doesn’t reimburse insurer’s outlay and your policy excess, and the decision to abandon the claim “sticks in the throat” somewhat, regrettably I feel that the decision is correct given the very limited prospect of any tangible recovery being made. With the above in mind, I have now closed my file.”

I’m fuming.
Now while I get they feel the prospect of recovery is low, THEY have taken this decision – one completely out of my hands. They should and CAN progress with this (and this is what the insurance contract with me as the client is based upon) but have chosen not to.

By my reckoning therefore, the insurer should be reimbursing me the excess.

I, as the insured should not be out of pocket as a result of this claim and should certainly not be any worse off than I was before it.

Anyone else been in a similar situation?

Thank you,


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Chris Bradley

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11:33 AM, 9th January 2023, About 2 years ago

As you are the one who has made the loss-- you yourself can ask the police to ask for reimbursement of the insurance excess, but it might be at £1 a month and might never be paid. This would be independent of any insurance company decision. You would have to approach the police yourself, and as it involves extra paperwork youay get no joy.
Sadly insurance companies often so what you describe. We had insurance in relation to building work which was never completed, the insurance company legal assistant refused to assist us recover the funds which amounted in the thousands because the building firm was a limited company which had declared bankruptcy - they only take on a case if they can recover funds for the client and recover their costs of persuing the case.

Jack Craven

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13:58 PM, 9th January 2023, About 2 years ago

I would take him to court for the money, at the very least he will have a CCJ against him which lasts for 5 years and can make life awkward for him even if you don't get paid.

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16:44 PM, 9th January 2023, About 2 years ago

You are the aggrieved person and a complaint statement is normally taken from you. In that statement you can add a claim for compensation for the £300 excess. Of course the insurance company are not interested as they are not paying the £300. Contact the officer in the case asap and add the compensation claim before it is too late.

Loss Assessor

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10:53 AM, 10th January 2023, About 2 years ago

I am not sure why one would go through the expense of pursuing Excess. This is agreed to by Policyholder and Insurer at the time the policy is taken out. It is agreed that in the event of a peril, the insured will contribute by way of paying excess. One can reduce the excess amount by negotiation and paying a higher premium in some cases, either way the policyholder agrees the excess to be paid and has the option of finding an Insurer who will not request excess.

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