Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Abacus
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Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Abacus »

Hello forum
I have read many of the posts on here and the question of, "have you got insurance to cover this" has been stipulated many times. So, my question is, is it better to be the aggressor or the victim as to whether or not I could claim on my home insurance?
span
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by span »

Your insurance may not cover at all you being the aggressor.
stufe35
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by stufe35 »

It's not about aggressor and victim it's about who is right. Or perhaps more correctly who has the strongest case. Legal insurance will only cover you if THEY assess your case as having 51% chance of success. Now heres the bit they 'forget to tell you' (though of course it can be found deep in there website in very small print )...... If they don't cover you and you are convinced your case is stronger than 51% you can pay a barrister for an opinion...this is likely to cost a minimum of £1500. If the barristers opinion is above 51% the insurance company SHOULD now roll over and take on your case AND pay your barristers fee. But believe me they will try every trick in the book to avoid this. ( they won't tell you about this option for a start off)

We had an issue with our neighbour we knew we were in the right but the insurance just passed us from pillar to post. Eventually we took on our own solicitor..the case was very stressful, anyway to cut a 3 year long story short we ended up paying for solicitors and barristers to the tune of over 15k whilst in the back ground arguing with our insurance company. We went through both the legal and financial ombudsmen each a process which took in excess of 6 months.....

Eventually via mediation we reached a settlement with our neighbour....meditation was another 2k.

We continued to battle with our insurance (we are talking a period of over 2 years) who told lie after lie...the good news is.....they were eventually forced to pay out...but in the meantime my wife and I had to finance and organise our own battle with our neighbours and a battle with the insurance. The very reason we had taken out legal insurance was for just the eventuality that occurred.

You need to have taken the legal cover extension on your house insurance....most companies sub it out to a specialist....what you will find is they are specialists in avoiding pay outs.....to be fair it was our main provider that eventually kick the arse of our legal provider. It was the ombudsmen who told us about the process above that they should have given us the option of....we went back to them with our barrister opinion but they still tried to get out of the case for another 12 months....by which time we had sorted it through our own solicitor.

In summary only enter into battle in you are right and you have the evidence to support it.
Scrambler
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Scrambler »

The aggressor is always the one in the wrong, the victim is always the one in the right. You should seek never to be an aggressor .
arborlad
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by arborlad »

Abacus wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:55 pm Hello forum
I have read many of the posts on here and the question of, "have you got insurance to cover this" has been stipulated many times. So, my question is, is it better to be the aggressor or the victim as to whether or not I could claim on my home insurance?



I assume this is the context for your question: viewtopic.php?t=21889

Perhaps a better way to phrase the question is: should I be reactive or proactive?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
Abacus
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Abacus »

Hello arborlad
No, this is not related to my prior question.
However, it is related to this follow-on question:

I am fairly certain that my neighbour, who put up some fencing approx. 2 years ago, has acquired c. 3-4 metres of my land. The strip is approx. 60 metres long. When my neighbour was putting the fencing up they asked me if they could move the fence line around a tree. This was at the time of the fencing contractor being there and putting up the fence so I was somewhat 'on the spot'. I asked them where the boundary line was and they said, "just the other side of said tree". I had only lived in my property for a few months and, being neighbourly I said this was fine. However, I didn't realise until recently when I was looking at the deeds, that "just the other side" was in fact approx. 3-4 metres. I know I need to first speak with them about this so I have ordered the TP1 of their property (which was sold to them in 2012) to see if there any clues to the boundary line in it. My question relating to Insurance Cover was to assess if I would have cover should they become difficult about it as I feel it is best to know how the ducks are lined up before one goes into battle. Therefore, given the context, would I be seen from an insurance company perspective as being the aggressor or the victim, (or in another way proactive or reactive) given that I'd like to take back what is mine?
arborlad
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by arborlad »

Have a read of these two threads:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3149

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2247
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
despair
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by despair »

A lot of legal insurance policies actually wont cover boundary disputes unfortunately
Abacus
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Abacus »

arborlad wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:58 am Have a read of these two threads:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3149

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2247
Thanks for this arborlad - I have read these before and yes they are useful.
In order to provide some more context to this I have attached both a Title Plan + 2 pictures.
On the title plan the boundary feature I am using to contextualise is the wall (which I have annotated 'My Wall') which has been there for many years. I own the house to the right of that wall and also the land to the left of it. The shaded area is the neighbour's property. I have also drawn on the title plan the approx. position of the new fence the neighbour installed a couple of years ago.
The pictures show the wall and then a close picture nearer to the boundary. From this close picture you can see a fence post in line with the wall and upon close inspection you may also see another fence posts hiding behind the branch.
From looking at the Title Plan (yes I know boundaries shown on plan are general) there is no way their boundary should extend beyond the line of the wall. Indeed, it appears as if it should be the mirror opposite which at a rough guess is 3-4 metres that I believe they have fenced in.
So, with respect to the original question, I feel I am the 'victim' here but given I said they could go around the tree (which isn't shown as it is way further down the line) am I? I certainly didn't expect them to take the micky so just want to know which leg I stand on.
Many thanks
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Morgan Sweet
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Morgan Sweet »

You may try to discus this with your neighbour to try and resolve the situation in an amicable way. Failing that you need to write to your neighbour with a copy of the LR title plan and TP1 etc marking where the fence was erected and pointing out where the LR title shows the boundary to be. It would be prudent to suggest that you would agree to a 'joint declaration' of the boundary, where you both share the cost of an impartial Land Surveyor and agree to accept his findings of where the boundary fence should have been erected.

The chances are that he will do nothing or write back refusing to re-site the fence. You then need to contact your insurance company regarding their help. They most likely will ask you to provide a Surveyor's report at your cost to substantiate your claim of encroachment.

The sooner you act the better it will be, my advice is based on experience, it is empirical advice rather than the theoretical advice that many offer.
MacadamB53
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by MacadamB53 »

Morgan Sweet wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:00 pm You may try to discus this with your neighbour to try and resolve the situation in an amicable way. Failing that you need to write to your neighbour with a copy of the LR title plan and TP1 etc marking where the fence was erected and pointing out where the LR title shows the boundary to be. It would be prudent to suggest that you would agree to a 'joint declaration' of the boundary, where you both share the cost of an impartial Land Surveyor and agree to accept his findings of where the boundary fence should have been erected.

The chances are that he will do nothing or write back refusing to re-site the fence. You then need to contact your insurance company regarding their help. They most likely will ask you to provide a Surveyor's report at your cost to substantiate your claim of encroachment.

The sooner you act the better it will be, my advice is based on experience, it is empirical advice rather than the theoretical advice that many offer.
+1 this is good advice
Abacus
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Abacus »

Morgan Sweet wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:00 pm You may try to discus this with your neighbour to try and resolve the situation in an amicable way. Failing that you need to write to your neighbour with a copy of the LR title plan and TP1 etc marking where the fence was erected and pointing out where the LR title shows the boundary to be. It would be prudent to suggest that you would agree to a 'joint declaration' of the boundary, where you both share the cost of an impartial Land Surveyor and agree to accept his findings of where the boundary fence should have been erected.

The chances are that he will do nothing or write back refusing to re-site the fence. You then need to contact your insurance company regarding their help. They most likely will ask you to provide a Surveyor's report at your cost to substantiate your claim of encroachment.

The sooner you act the better it will be, my advice is based on experience, it is empirical advice rather than the theoretical advice that many offer.
Morgan Sweet - thank you for this advice. I do fully intend to try to sort this out amicably with the neighbour.
In further developments which occurred yesterday afternoon I have had a conversation with the former owners of my (now) property who owned it between 1989 - 2013 (the former owner was a Director at the County Council). It should be noted here that my neighbour bought their property in 2012 and have lived there consistently. The former owners have sent me photographs of the boundary from then. They confirm that they owned a boundary fence (stock fencing) which was sited tight up against the tree directly in line with the 3rd fence post (from left to right with the 3rd post being on the right). This appears to be consistent with the LR Title Plan and these former owners have also confirmed that they are more than willing to provide witness testimony should it end up in court as they put that fence up.
Furthermore, my wife has been able to find photographs (on facebook - my wife is friends with them) of the next owners who lived in the property for c.18 months afterwards (2013-2014). These photographs show that these owners placed a new 6ft trellis fence in approx. the same place.
Whether or not my neighbours took down this new fence at some point in time in unknown (albeit I do suspect they did which as far as I understand things is criminal damage?) at this stage.
So, when I have my conversation with my neighbour (which I do hope will be amicable) I now feel reasonably confident that, however long this will take, I have enough 'evidence' to back up my claim and should we not agree then at least provide the insurance company with a 51%+ chance.
Advice from the forum would be appreciated as to how people think I should position my argument?
For example, should I let them know of all of the 'evidence' I have in an effort to persuade them that we should draw up a Boundary Agreement or should I hold some back in case it moves away from being amicable (i.e. should I show all my cards at once)? As an alternative, should I instruct a solicitor to send them a strongly worded letter (perhaps intimating at criminal damage) about trespass?
All of your thoughts will be welcomed.
despair
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by despair »

Always have a card or 2 up your sleeve when dealing with any such matters
Morgan Sweet
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Morgan Sweet »

You are in a strong position, so approach your neighbour to mention that the boundary fence they erected is clearly in the wrong position with reference to the LR title plans. Mention that it will add difficulty if either of you wishes to sell their property in the future if the fence is not correctly sited and that you wish to prevent a dispute that would have to be resolved before either property could be sold. If they see reason then you could ask a Solicitor to oversee a simple boundary agreement that both of you would keep with your deeds.

Sadly if you are dealing with a land grabber who refuses to agree to move the fence then you will be in a dispute that will have to be resolved. I have no experience in dealing with legal insurance but I would have thought that you would need to act as soon as possible to notify them of all the evidence and await their advice. I have experience in using solicitors in these events and strongly advise using solicitors well experienced in property disputes; not cheap at £250 plus vat/hour at the time so having legal insurance should help you.

A solicitor's letter setting out the facts should bring the land grabber to his senses, you then can hopefully all meet with the solicitor at the site and agree the position of the boundary which will be recorded in writing by the solicitor, this would then resolve the dispute and after declaring a dispute if you sell your property it will provide evidence that it has been resolved amicably. If no agreement is forthcoming then your solicitor probably would escalate it to a tier one Land Registry Tribunal. The very best of luck and hopefully you will let the forum know how this was resolved so that others can benefit from your experience in these unfortunate circumstances.
Collaborate
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Re: Insurance Cover - Is it best to be the aggressor or the victim??

Post by Collaborate »

I'd err on the side of caution and put all your cards on the table at the outset. If it looks like ending up in court your solicitor would have to send a letter before action in which your evidence would have to be disclosed in any event.
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