After a storm, Andrew and Glenda discovered their roof had been damaged. But their insurer turned down their claim, saying the damage was from wear and tear.

What happened

Andrew and Glenda discovered their roof had been damaged after a storm. So they contacted their insurer who refused to cover the full cost of the repairs. The insurer said the nails securing the roof slates had worn out and the couple's policy didn't cover wear and tear.

Andrew and Glenda didn't think this was right, so they brought the matter to us.

What we said

We asked for evidence about the state of wear and tear on the roof. The insurer gave us notes taken during a phone conversation with its representative.

This said that a contractor had gone to Andrew and Glenda's home to assess the damage and noticed the nails securing the roof slates were rusty. But the insurer couldn't provide a recording of the conversation or written confirmation from the contractor. They sent photos of the roof, but these weren't clear enough to show the nails.

Andrew and Glenda asked for a second contractor to assess the damage, which the insurer agreed to. This report showed the damage was because of the storm. It didn't mention wear and tear. It also wasn't reasonable to expect a customer to replace nails that were obscured from view.

After looking at both reports, we thought that the second report had more detail and authority, and was therefore more persuasive.

We decided that the insurer should reconsider the claim and pay any settlement due to Andrew and Glenda. We also noted that if tiles had come off before the storm due to the failing nails, then we may have reached a different outcome.