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SALLY SORTS IT: Home insurer cut storm payout over tile price

During a major storm on February 18th, roof tiles on the back of the house flew off and landed on our annex causing further damage and leaving dangerous debris on the roof.

I contacted our insurer Ageas who finally said a surveyor would come on April 14th and inspect our home. When I said I couldn’t wait that long, it was agreed that I could organize the repairs.

I hired a local contractor who had previously worked for my brother-in-law. The total cost, including £1,800 for scaffolding, was £4,700.

Hit the roof: A reader got £1,756 out of pocket after her insurance company said the tiles used to repair her house after it was damaged in a storm were too expensive

The Claims Consortium, which processed the claim for Ageas, said the contractor should have sourced the tiles from a cheaper location and was only willing to pay £2,944 minus our £100 deductible.

Had they been able to proceed sooner, I would have willingly opted for the insurer’s builder choice. I think this is a bad show and I’ve got £1,756 out of pocket now.

LR, Chittlehampton, North Devon.

Sally Hamilton answers: The weather event that devastated your roof was Storm Eunice.

It was one of three storms (the others being Dudley and Franklin) that swept across the British Isles in February, resulting in about 177,000 insurance claims costing £500million, according to the Association of British Insurers. Insurance companies were certainly under pressure to meet repair needs.

But they are capable of handling the unexpected, and while some delays can be tolerated, I would agree that asking you to wait almost two months in the dead of winter for the company’s own damage assessment was overkill.

Luckily, the Claims Consortium and Ageas have agreed that you can handle the repair yourself. You have chosen a construction company recommended to you by a relative, which has given you peace of mind that the job will be done properly.

Upon completion, they sent the clerks an itemized invoice totaling £4,700.

To your dismay, they sent you a check for just £2,844, saying your tiles were too expensive.

They told me these were the only ones the builders could get that came close to your existing tiles, although even then they weren’t perfect.

watch cheating

Beware of scammers posing as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Motorists are being attacked with texts claiming their road tax payments haven’t been received – and could face a £1,000 fine if they don’t update their bank details.

According to Select Car Leasing, scammers can then use this information to charge victims’ bank accounts.

Drivers are urgently reminded that the DVLA will never ask for their personal or bank details via SMS.

But you were just happy to have your roof intact. I don’t know if your builders could have gotten cheaper tiles.

But what I do know is that there is an acute shortage of building materials due to supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, and rising energy and labor costs, all of which are driving up prices for many construction and repair projects.

I asked Ageas if it could reconsider its decision. A spokesperson came back to me with the following explanation: “Due to the magnitude of Storm Eunice in February 2022, we had a significant increase in claims, which impacted our suppliers’ availability and repair times.

“Unfortunately, LR was affected by this delay, for which we apologize.” The spokesman said that as part of validating a claim, the insurer requests a detailed breakdown of repairs, which is then fed into an industry database to “provide an accurate repair cost.”

This happened with your estimate, which came up with a different total than the bill you paid.

However, the spokesman added: “While we still believe that the amount charged for the work by their own supplier was overstated, we recognize that it was our delays that led them to appoint their own workshop.

In this case, as a gesture of goodwill, we will refund the difference between our expert’s estimate and the amount she paid to repair her roof.’

You tell me you are delighted with the outcome and have agreed to pay the difference of £1,756 between the original balance and the balance offered by Ageas to North Devon Hospice who you believe is taking exceptional care of your father in his final days Has.

The university does not refund fees after the daughter had to cancel the course due to health reasons

I borrowed £16,000 from my bank HSBC to fund my daughter’s 12 month legal training at BPP University in London.

Unfortunately, after booking the course, my daughter, who lives in Bangladesh with her mother, was unable to travel to the UK to complete the course due to developing mental health issues. She is still being treated and cannot study. It is very unfortunate that both her dreams and mine were shattered due to her severe mental illness.

My daughter submitted the course cancellation form with medical certificate and requested a refund of fees. However, the university refused, citing its terms and conditions, which state that fees are non-refundable. Could you please help us?

NI, London.

Sally Hamilton answers: I felt sorry for you and your daughter when I read of your plight. You work hard as a housekeeper in a big London hospital, send money to your family in Bangladesh and take care of yourself in the capital.

But you happily saved and saved and took out a loan to pay for your daughter’s college as it was an investment in her future and her dream of becoming a lawyer.

It was bad enough when those dreams tragically collapsed due to her poor health, but knowing then that you would have to pay off the debt without anything in return, I was determined to step in and ask BPP to reconsider their position.

It took me some time to locate the right person at the private university, but eventually my intervention meant that the dean contacted you directly to find out more.

She called a meeting with management to discuss your daughter’s case.

A few weeks later, BPP offered to pay back £8,000, 50 per cent of the fees. His defense was that your daughter had started the course and attended online sessions from home.

I felt this offer fell far short, especially since you described how your daughter spent most of those few sessions just sitting in front of her laptop screen in a state of distress, not understanding what was being taught . I asked BPP again to reconsider.

Within two days it came back with an offer to return £12,800 – 80 per cent of charges.

You were full of relief and gratitude for this result and thanked me for my commitment, without which you would not have received a cent, in your opinion.

You told me you informed your colleagues and friends and your relatives back in Bangladesh about the Sally Sorts It column.

I wish you and your daughter all the best for the future.

Straight to the point

I accidentally ordered a ticket for a 6:30am train when I was going to book the 7:30am train.

Transport for Wales insists I pay a £10 change fee even though I called the hotline after realizing my mistake.

TL, Stockport.

Transport for Wales typically charges customers £10 to make changes to pre-sale tickets. However, as the Book with Confidence program (launched during the pandemic) is still in effect, the fee has now been waived.

***

Our energy supplier Eon keeps sending us thousands of pounds of bills – the last one was £1,538. How can this be possible?

MH via email.

Since I forwarded your letter to Eon, Eon has made several attempts to reach you. You must provide accurate meter readings before the issue can be resolved.

***

I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had to cancel a holiday to Malta on April 28th.

I was told by easyJet that if I completed the Critical Illness form I would receive a voucher for the canceled flights within 7 days.

I have inquired but received no response and am upset that I have to continue talking about my diagnosis.

LC, West Sussex.

An easyJet spokesman said the airline apologizes for the delay in processing your application. You have now received the promised voucher.

***

Barclaycard has written to my husband saying he is entitled to a refund totaling £2,994 because the bank overcharged him.

He has vascular dementia and I have permanent power of attorney, but she refuses to accept the validity of the documents.

LS, Kent.

The forms you sent were missing pages, but Barclaycard has now gone to the Office of the Public Guardian to have the documents checked.

You have now received a refund and an additional £100 as an apology for the delay.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email sally@dailymail.co.uk – include phone number, address and a note to the defaulting organisation , giving her permission to speak to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send any original documents as we cannot accept any responsibility for them. The Daily Mail cannot accept legal responsibility for any replies given.

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SALLY SORTS IT: Home insurer cut storm payout over tile price

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