This is a common term used by insurance companies to decline a claim. As an example if you claimed for storm damage to a roof where parts of the roof are damaged and the survey by the insurance company reveals that the whole roof is in a bad state of repair, then they probably will decline the claim as there was natural ‘wear and tear’ to the roof anyway. The argument being that if the roof was properly maintained in the first place then the storm damage would never have occurred. Insurance operates to cover a sudden event and generally not an ongoing issue. It is however accepted by insurers that subsidence can occur gradually.
We had a case recently where we were asked to look at a claim that the insurance company had already declined because of ‘wear and tear and a gradually operating cause’. What had happened was the hold down bolts attaching the cistern to the toilet had rusted over time causing a gradual leak that over time caused dry rot. We studied the policy and noticed that ‘wear and tear’ was an exclusion under escape of oil but wasn’t an exclusion under escape of water peril. As its clearly water in a toilet cistern and not oil our argument prevailed and the claim was paid out.
If you have damage as a result of a leak, have it professionally assessed. In Property Claims Loss Assessors Ltd we are Engineers and Building Surveyors with over 20 years’ experience. Knowing where water can go and cause damage is part of our normal assessment. In addition to water damage we also cover damage from fire, smoke, storm, flood, subsidence, break-ins, etc. Our first survey is free and we are a ‘no win no fee’ company.
Call us: ROI: Land 01 5620082 Mob 087 6165435 NI: Land 028 95212991 Mob 077 95374150 Web www.pcla.ie Email firstname.lastname@example.org