Home insurance - Damage caused by neighbouring property

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Based on resolver’s experience to date it’s not unusual to suffer damage to your property at the hands of a neighbour - the most common neighbour-caused damage includes electricity, gas and phone lines being cut off. While you might think that if your neighbour causes damage their insurance will be responsible for putting it right, it is not always this simple and depends on the circumstances. For example, if you find a leak in your house caused by your neighbour, their home insurance policy not pay out if the cause of the damage is poor maintenance of their home. So unless your neighbour agrees to pay out of their own pocket, you may have to try to claim on your own home policy.

Home insurance policies contain “insured perils” which refers to events such as fire and flood. If the cause of the damage can be attributed to an “insured peril” then you may be able to claim. You should check whether your policy has accidental damage cover which may cover this sort of situation. If your insurer or theirs refuses your claim, then there are other avenues you can explore. If talks with your neighbour fail, then you can utilise legal expenses cover if you have that as part of your home insurance – check your policy carefully. This could cover the cost of taking legal action against your neighbour. This will enable you to litigate against your neighbour personally to recover the damages he has caused you. Keep a record and photographic evidence of the damage as it can be used as evidence for your insurance claim.

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If you cannot resolve your issue you cannot raise your case to the Ombudsman until 8 weeks after you have first raised your complaint with your supplier, or you have received a ‘letter of deadlock’ from the company stating that they cannot resolve the issue as you have asked. Your complaint must also not be older than 9 months. For an accurate decision by the Ombudsman you should provide a detailed file of your communications and supporting documentation. In addition make sure you explain what you want as an outcome as this will help assess your case.

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