Which insurers ... if any?

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Which insurers ... if any?

Post by jonahinoz » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:25 pm


Complicated! We booked a removal van, not realising we were dealing with a broker (?). Not the cheapest, but they promised the earth. Paid a deposit. Then had to cancel at short notice as the person we were buying from was unable to move when she said. Elderly lady (spinster we think), blind and deaf, buying a new-build sheltered appartment. We eventually learned on a Friday, that we would be vacating on the following Tuesday. The same "firm" were still available, but with a smaller van (like a stretched Transit). There was mention of them maybe doing a second trip

The van arrived, parked in the front garden, and one of the passengers borrowed a brick to chock the front wheel. The team of three strapping lads came into the house ... and started to renegotiate the price, as they knew nothing about all the boxes, and white goods. Wife phoned broker, reminded him that he knew about the boxes and two washing machines. He said he would send a second van.

First tean loaded loaded and departed, followed by wife and daughter in car. I remained to await the second van ... Transit box van with three lads. We were charged another £58 for the 30 mile move.

In the meantime, the first team had unloaded. Although reconnecting the washing machine was part of the service, my daughter had to insist that it was connected.

The dust settled and we went to bed.

Several days later, my daughter visited, went to use the washing machine. Zilch! Daughter remembered that her machine also didn't work, due to a trapped/kinked hose. The machine was dragged out about an inch, with difficuly, and decided to work. But several minutes later, a trickle of water appeared from underneath. That wash was aborted, the water mopped up, and did not re-appear. My daughter took our washing home with her, and has done so for about six weeks. We have been waiting for our builder to find time to come and do other jobs. So far, he has been unable to fit us in.

A week ago, we had the central heating boiler replaced. The heating engineer reported that he could hear water running continuously from behind the washing machine. There was no obvious sign of a leak on the floor. He turned off the valve on the hose. The machine is particularly heavy, and a very close fit in it's cubby hole. I am rising 80, in need of two new knees, and am reluctant to try to drag it out myself.

Although there is no sign of water, I have noticed that laminate flooring near to the washing machine is distorting, so I suspect that there may be water under it. I am concerned that the (presumably) chipboard floor may also be saturated. To my mind, replacing the chipboard will mean ripping out the fitted kitchen (probably the original kitchen when the bungalow was built in 1985).

As I said, it will be bit of a job to pull the washing machine out, to see what damage has been done. I would prefer to do this once only, with an assessor watching.

Question ... if this is an insurance job, who should we claim from ... the removal firm ... or our house insurers? I would expect to get more sense from the house insurers, but do they have the clout to pass it back to the removers?

John W

mr sheen
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Re: Which insurers ... if any?

Post by mr sheen » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:36 pm

What details are in your written contract?... I assume you have a written contract if you are considering an insurance claim. The written contract will detail who exactly you have a contract with and what the details of that contract includes. The sum total of the contract will be contained in that document, including limitations for damage claims (check the small print).

I see a number of issues for you ......There was clearly confusion about the details of the job from the moment the removal team arrived since they were not aware of the boxes and white goods....why not? Alarm bells! Reference to the contract would have addressed this immediately....why didn't you just refer them to the contract?

Next issue....R emoval assistants are not washing machine engineers/plumbers and hence you need to carefully check the contract about plumbing in a washing machine. In order to plumb in a washing machine someone would need to have the appropriate skills, training and experience over and above training in moving furniture from A to B. I would say that unless one of the team has training in washing machine connection, it is unlikely that this service would be included in a removal contract with a reputable firm. Removal contract usually includes moving the furniture from A to B and sometimes unpacking it for you (all at a cost of course). A reputable firm would not offer a service for which they have no appropriately trained staff and if they have a washing machine engineer then this will be in the contract and an appropriate fee will have been made for this service.

The next issue is that the removal team made it clear that plumbing in a washing machine was not part of the service/their expertise but despite their protestations your daughter decided to 'insist' that the 'strapping lads' connected a washing machine. You chose not to have a trained washing machine engineer to connect a washing machine and 'insisted' that one of the removal lads do the job and despite having done this, still decided not to have the plumbing checked by a relevant professional or even to check it yourself.

In addition, the limitation clauses for removal firms usually restricts the claims that can be made to direct damage to furniture and usually excludes any consequential damage after the move. (Check the small print on your documentation - the back of a removal contract usually contains masses of small print)

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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Which insurers ... if any?

Post by jonahinoz » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:29 am

Hi Mr Sheen,

Thankyou for that. Food for thought. SWMBO dealt with all the arrangements, so I'll pass it back to her, but it looks like we are onto a loser.

Our pain is slightly reduced by Zoopla saying our bungalow is worth £70,000 more than we paid. (Our next door neighbour paid £100,000 more for his house, only last year, but he did get two more bedooms)


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