Couple unaware of ‘preventable’ bedroom water damage

Contents insurance

Yolanda and Jay contacted us when their insurer rejected their claim for water damage in one of their bedrooms.

What happened

Yolanda and Jay made a claim for water damage in a bedroom. The insurer found a problem with the heating tank that had caused a leak in a pipe. They said that water leaks were covered by the policy, but they believed that the damage happened over a long period of time and caused significant damage.

The insurer decided to turn down Yolanda and Jay's claim. They said that the policy excluded gradual damage, and felt that Yolanda and Jay should have been aware of what was happening.

Although they accepted the leak had likely been going on for a long time, Yolanda and Jay said they didn’t know about it. The damage was in a spare bedroom that they rarely used so they didn’t spot it at first. But when they did notice it, they made their claim straight away.

They felt it was unfair for the insurer to decline their claim and made a complaint. Unhappy with the outcome, Yolanda and Jay approached our service and asked us to investigate their complaint. 

What we said

We listened to both sides of the story and looked at the evidence. Both sides agreed that the damage was caused by an insured event and it happened gradually. We saw evidence of significant water staining and mould on decorations in the bedroom.

We understood that Yolanda and Jay may not have used the room that often. But we felt that they could have been aware of the damage happening. There were clear signs of long-term water damage on the bedroom wall. And this wasn't obstructed by any large pieces of furniture.

Yolanda and Jay had also known of problems with the heating system for many months but hadn’t investigated it.

We thought the extensive water damage could have been prevented by Yolanda and Jay. So we decided it was fair for the insurer to decline the claim.