Don’t take no for an answer from home insurers

say no subsidenceKeeping your nerve when making a home insurance claim can pay off dividends as a homeowner whose home was collapsing around her found out.

Kim McCloskey’s Grade 2 listed property in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, badgered her home insurers into making repairs after they turned down her claim.

The saga started when cracks appeared in the plaster inside her £110,000 two-bedroomed cottage.

She ignored them at first, but as they started to spread, her concerns grew.

What she was unaware of were problems with a drain under the house which was triggering subsidence, with the house slowly shifting.

McCloskey made a claim against her home insurance cover, but insurer Aviva decided the problem was not structural and simply offered to replaster and redecorate.

A year later she had called in structural engineers and surveyors who found that the home had moved so much that the roof was unstable and could have fallen in at any time.

Presented with the irrefutable evidence showing the structural state of the property, the insurer was forced into action.

A four-month construction project led to demolishing the front of the house, repairing the drain and foundations and then rebuilding the front wall.

The work was so extensive; the entire house needed redecoration and recarpeting while safeguarding all the listed features of the property.

“The house looks better than it ever has. Looking back, it was hard to see how anything good could have come out of this awful situation,” she said.

“I would never have been able to afford to reconstruct and renovate my home to the standard that it is now without the insurer coming to the rescue, it was a stressful time, but now my home is back to normal with full certificates of conformity and structural adequacy, I can stop worrying and feel happy that the property is ready to be a home again.”

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