Damage to laminate flooring not covered by Karim's contents insurance

Buildings insurance Contents insurance

Karim's claim for damage to his laminate flooring after a leak was turned down by his insurer. So he came to us to make sure this was right.

What happened

Karim's laminate wood flooring got damaged when there was a leak at his house. He put in a claim with his insurer to get the damage fixed. 

But his insurer turned down his claim. They said that the damage would only be covered under the buildings section of his policy, if he had taken out extended accidental damage cover. Karim only had accidental cover for the contents part of his policy. 

Karim argued that they should meet the claim under the contents part of the policy, but the insurer refused. So Karim came to us and asked us to take a look. 

What we said

After we examined what had happened, we agreed it was fair for the insurer to decline the claim under the contents section of the policy. We didn’t believe that the laminate flooring could be described as part of the building’s contents. The flooring was glued together and fixed under beading to the skirting board. This would make it difficult to remove without damaging it. We felt that because of this, the flooring had become part of the fabric of the building.

Unfortunately, Karim didn’t have accidental damage cover in the buildings section of the policy. So his insurer wouldn’t be liable to pay for an accidental damage claim.

But as we looked at the policy, we felt that there was another section that was likely to cover the claim – the section for damage caused by ‘escape of water’. We thought Karim’s insurer should have recognised this cover was in place when it looked into his claim. So we asked it to deal with the claim under this section of the policy and pay £200 for the distress and inconvenience caused by the avoidable delay in dealing with the claim.