Should landlords have the right to refuse DSS tenants?10:43 AM, 20th May 2019
About 4 weeks ago 124
We’re having a dispute with our insurance company who recently informed us they are voiding our landlord insurance policy – their reasons being that it was due to material non-disclosure and misrepresentation.
My partner, who’s first language is not English answered the policy set up questions honestly to the best of their knowledge on the broker comparison website which seems to have led to an inaccurate type of insurance due to a wrong interpretation of the wording.
My partner recalls a phone conversation with the insurer shortly after policy set up when he’d discussed HMO status and number of tenancies – I also made notes of a phone conversation with them confirming to us their awareness of the correct details. They are now denying this as none of those details were included in the policy schedule.
Since this happened, I checked through our other insurance policies on different properties to ensure all details were correct and discovered that certain information we’d made them aware of and agreed over the phone wasn’t included in the schedules. I called one of the insurers who reassured us and insisted we need not be concerned as correct insurance was in place, although I insisted they confirm HMO status specifying number of individual lets in writing which they have now done.
Upon contacting a third insurance company, where similarly the schedule wording didn’t specify it’s HMO status or number of individual lets, they initially informed me that it was insured only as a single let and cancelled our policy when the situation regarding the insurance company voiding our insurance came to light during questions for policy amendment.
They gave us a 7 day grace period while informing us they would provide an alternative insurer before that time was up, however they somehow managed to get it wrong and informed us they were unable to find a replacement at the end of the 7 day period at the end of the 7th day leaving us without insurance.
We have emails and notes of phone calls made to that particular insurer detailing how we had made them aware of property being HMO + number of tenancies during policy set up – (this is something we’re challenging them on) they have admitted to their mistake regarding the 7 day grace period and are now offering a £60 compensation for inconvenience.
With regard to the Insurer Claiming against us, we followed the correct complaints procedure in accordance with their policy and after confirmation of policy cancellation, took the complaint to the Ombudsman.
While the Ombudsman investigation was in progress we received a court claim from the Insurance company’s solicitors requesting that we declare that the Insurance company was entitled to void the policy for the above reasons, they also seek court fee costs.
The Ombudsman investigator has informed us they’re now unable to continue with our investigation as court proceedings have begun.
We believe the insurance company are taking it this far due to an ex tenant who is making a fraudulent injury claim against us and is asking for an astronomical amount, so naturally they would want to avoid making any settlements.
Has anyone else had similar issues with insurers?
What are our rights with regard to the Ombudsman taking the decision not to continue with the investigation and the insurance company’s claim against us?
On advice of solicitors we’ve spoken to with regard to defending against the insurance company in court, the outlook for us is bleak as we don’t have the funds or the time to do so effectively.
How is it acceptable or fair treatment to take legal proceedings against someone when a complaint is made?
They should have included this in their complaints procedure as per their policy … i.e: ‘feel free to complain but we’ll take you to court if you do!’
Had we been given the opportunity to be aware of this possibility, we might not have bothered complaining in the first place.
Apologies for the length of the post, any thoughts or advice are much appreciated.
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