Large house insurance claim, are my expectations t


Is there anyone here with experience of large claims on house insurance?

We had a major house fire in January. We feel that our insurers have let us down during the process, but wanted to check what we should actually be expecting of them. We are considering making a complaint about the communication and amount of time everything has taken.

January Day 1, devastating house fire, 13 year old son was in the house at the time, rescued by fire brigade, fortunately ok. Claim reported about 10.30 that morning, told Loss Adjuster would make contact and someone would come and secure the house. Loss adjuster made contact about 2pm, house wasn’t secured until 6.30pm. We were sat outside of the house all of that time as some of our valuables were not damaged by the fire and the house could not be closed up (it was bloody freezing and if it hadn’t been for family several towns away coming to pick up our children, the would have been there too). Loss Adjuster could not attend, but arranged for us to be housed in a Travelodge. We were left with the clothes we were wearing and nothing more.

Day 2 loss adjuster attended, explained the process, agreed £15 per person per day for food (children too as both adult sized, 11 and 13, 11 year old is 5’5”) told us that forensics would be out soon to ensure that there was no liability to be passed on to a third party like in the case of tumble dryer fires and that there would be an interim payment for food and clothing, likely start of the following week as it was now Thursday.

Then communication pretty much stopped from them, the relocation company gave me details of 4 houses they would arrange for us to be housed in for the duration of the repairs (at least 6 months) on the Friday, but they were not suitable for varying reasons and the told me that they could no longer work with me. I had to call the loss adjuster who told me to send them details of houses and they would look to agree one of them. I sent them on the Monday, and chased them regularly about whether we could move on them, to be fobbed off at every call. Wednesday I called them and was told it was waiting on sign off from the insurers, the insurers said it was going to the major loss office. After several days of chasing, I finally got a date for forensics to attend, 2 weeks after the fire.

Initial forensics report received 2 days after the visit, but despite chasing, we had NO movement for a further week.

Day 22, after much chasing and upset from comments made by insurance staff, we finally got a payment to cover 6 months rent and £5k to furnish the house, to include the displacement allowance without prejudice as investigation still ongoing. We have had to find the deposit on the house ourselves, and between furniture, some basic clothing, kitchen goods etc, we have spend more than £5k, so are back in the position of having had no displacement allowance.

Week 5 they agreed to take on the claim and arranged for a surveyor to attend the house.

Week 6, surveyor attends, I had to take 3 house off work to be there with him, if I can’t make that up as TOIL soon, that will be unpaid.

Week 7, contents assessor makes contact says they will call back to arrange to attend the house, we are now at the end of the week and still have no date for that. We do not know what we should replace in case they say they are salvageable, and so we only have very limited clothing etc, we very much feel in limbo at the end of week 7.

In the meantime we are struggling as a family, I am trying to get CAMHS involvement for my children to support them, my husband and I are mentally and physically exhausted, not sleeping well etc

I just wondered about the timings. I appreciate that the investigation had to be completed, but there just seem to have been a lot of unnecessary delays and so much seems to have been reliant on me calling and chasing everything, no mean feat when working full time and supporting 2 children who are struggling. Had it not been for family and friends , we wouldn’t have been able to feed our children in the early days as it took so long for any payment. This is just half of the notes we have made regarding phone calls I made to try and get any sort of news or movement from the insurers/loss adjusters.

Is this unusual, or is it the norm of a claim this sort of size (could be heading towards £100k by the time all the building works are completed and contents assessed)


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