The latest email from the NFU Mutual states that they won’t give us the sum insured nor talk about their errors.
We were expecting a third offer of settlement, but the only compromise they’ve made is moving costs, which they ‘forgot’ to add to the original offer.
Their Previous Cash Settlement Offer
If you remember, their first offer was £97,500 + VAT and their second offer was £163,500 including VAT. Although this looks like a big increase, their little trick to minus the VAT makes it look better than it actually is.
Last week we found out that they needed to address the issue of indemnity (where they have to put us back to where we were before the flood). This meant that issues missed by their contractors needed to be added. The loss adjuster previously told us they were using the full sum insured. So we asked for our full sum insured.
In a nutshell – we asked for £250,000 and they’ve only offered £164,500. Their sum also includes accomodation and expenses for six months.
The email starts with the usual greeting, then the first issue they address is:
The claims department cannot continue to discuss the errors made by the contractor and/or others involved in your claim. We have acknowledged that mistakes have been made and accept responsibility for these. This is one of the key considerations in agreeing to your request to cash settle your claim.
What? Our whole problem is that their builders damaged our home and failed to repair it. This is the crux of the matter. Why have we never had any explanation of how this happened. Why should we stop asking just because they don’t want to answer our questions? They’ve obviously got a lot to hide!
Well NFU, we do want to talk about this! We want an explanation and to know that this won’t happen again to someone else!
Have you noticed how ‘your request to cash settle the claim’ keeps coming up? Well, I noticed this too, and it’s a much bigger issue than they’re making it out to be! I’m on to you, NFU Mutual!
Another Request for Evidence
We note your comments regarding new information, and we are keen to know what this information is. Please confirm what incorrect information you were given by the loss adjuster.
The Loss adjuster told us we were up to our sum insured and couldn’t do the work properly. And we have it on video! We’re just not quite sure what to do with it yet…
Our Cash Settlement Represents an Indemnity
Your position on indemnity provided by your policy is noted, however, had ****** & ******* been given the opportunity to rectify any substandard works, indemnity would have been provided under the policy. In place of this, our cash settlement offer represents an indemnity under the policy.
Their cash settlement offer is nowhere near enough to indemnify us!
Oooh! Another thing they keep repeating over and over again: ‘Our refusal to have the builders back’. Can you see how they’re turning this situation round on its head?
No, You Can’t Have a New Scope of Works
We do not believe the original scope of works were insufficient, nor was there any agreement to deliberately cut costs or use cheaper materials than on the specification. The specification was drawn up to reinstate the property to its pre-incident condition, whilst keeping the claim within the limits of the sum insured. All decisions made in preparing the scope of works were made with the information available at the time.
We believe that a new schedule of works is not required and that any new works required can be added to the existing schedule, if required. An entirely new schedule would be duplication of costs. We are willing to consider any additional works that you feel have resulted from the claim, but these will need to be evidenced as per the previous works.
These two paragraphs are the usual response we get: We don’t agree and we don’t believe you – so prove it! Why can’t they tell us why and prove it? So, what’s the point of sending any more evidence? They’ll just reject it.
Two legitimate quotes, one from a builder and one from an architect have been deemed by them as too expensive. We’ve been providing evidence for three years! And what good has it done? Look at where we are now – in a worse state than when we lodged our complaint in 2017.
The Sum Insured
The sum insured is the limit of indemnity under the policy. This is the most we will pay in the event of a claim, which is written in the policy wording. If a sum insured is not enough to cover the costs of a claim, any costs of repairs to the property over the sum insured would need to be paid by the insured person(s). All parties involved in your claim were mindful of this and made every effort to ensure this did not happen. If, however, the costs of repairing your property do not go over the sum insured, we will pay the reasonable costs of repairing or replacing the property, whichever is less. Our cash settlement offer reflects the value of the works required.
So, they did follow my advice and read the policy! But they seem to be using my argument to give us the sum insured as their argument NOT to give us the sum insured!
We argued that we now require the whole sum insured to put us back to where we were before the damage (taking into consideration that, as a listed building, any works have to be carried out to listed building standards). Again they’re just making statements without any evidence to back it up.
Either: Accept Our Offer, Complain or Sue Us!
We can include moving costs in the costs of any settlement. We suggest £1,000.00 is added to the accommodation figure in order to cover these costs.
This would bring the total cash settlement to £164,500.00 in full and final settlement of your claim. We are unable to consider cash settling the claim at the full sum insured plus fees and accommodation costs. If you remain dissatisfied with the cash settlement offer, I can log your concerns as a complaint. Alternatively, you can seek legal advice regarding the matter.
So, they’re not accepting our request and are refusing to give the full sum insured. They’ve not increased their previous cash settlement offer and it doesn’t look as if they’re likely to without a fight.
Our Third Complaint
We replied on Tuesday, 23 February, stating that we wish to lodge our third complaint. It looks as though, until the Financial Ombudsman Service get involved, they’re not going to budge on their second offer.
Have you noticed that the NFU Mutual often say things like ‘we are unable’ or ‘we cannot’, but they never give any explanations or reasons why. It’s just that they simply don’t agree with us, the quotes we submit, nor our experts written reports. So what’s the point in sending in any more evidence?
They ask us for proof and we give it, but then they ignore the evidence and give no reason why. They’re even ignoring the evidence they paid us to get! It just makes no sense.
I’m not going to waste any more of my time giving them evidence. I’ll give the new evidence straight to The Ombudsman Service instead. Perhaps then it will be looked at impartially and dealt with fairly.