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Last summer I noticed the internal wall between my downstairs lavatory and kitchen was becoming damp. I immediately consulted my builder, who was puzzled. He said he would give it some thought and come back to me in the autumn. By the end of the year I had not heard from him, so I contacted another builder, who said he thought the damp was from a leaking pipe.
At the beginning of this year I contacted my home insurer, Saga, for some advice. I was shocked to be told by Saga that as it had just changed underwriters, the previous ones would not take responsibility as the problem had started in 2021, and I had not reported it until 2022.
I am 88, living alone, and stuck with a very unsightly and damp wall which could cost thousands to repair.
– AN, North Yorkshire
This business with the underwriter sounded like a pathetic excuse to reject your claim. Your insurance contract was with Saga, rather than the underwriter, so any changes to the mechanics of the policy should not have impacted your claim. I also felt it wasn’t fair of Saga to penalise you for not claiming sooner. As a seller of insurance exclusively for over-50s, it should be well it has a number of vulnerable customers like you on its books. It wasn’t your fault the first tradesman took a long time to get back to you; you reported the issue to Saga as soon as it occurred to you to do so.
Happily, following my involvement, Saga has agreed to accept your claim. Someone is coming to your property to assess the situation. Saga has apologised for any additional stress it caused you, which you appreciate.
A Saga spokesman said: “We are sorry that the claim was initially declined, especially given this is a longstanding Saga customer. We have asked our current underwriter to take on her claim. It has agreed to this and a loss adjuster has been appointed to investigate the claim further.”