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Buildings insurance with Southwark Council

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Thursday 19 March 2009 10.26pm
Hi, hope I am putting this in the right place - I just wanted to share my experience of Zurich insurance and ask for any advice that anyone might have.

Just under a year ago, we had a flood, in our flat, which we own, but is a ex-local-authority, and therefore the buildings insurance is with Southwark council. The contents insurance (Endsleigh - no connection etc) were helpful, and quite quick, and we got our new belongings quite quickly. However, it took over eight months for the subcontractors that Zurich assigned to rule the flat as dry (another technician said this was a mistake, and it had been dry for ages). Finally, in January, we moved into a hotel so tht they could repair floors and walls - they origionally said it would take 12 days, and we were out for 6 weeks! During these 6 weeks, I had to call Zurich or their subcontractors (about 5 different ones involved) at least once a day to chase things - noone had done any work for the first two weeks when we were in the hotel! Finally, and only because I chased every day, this work got done, and we moved back in on Friday. However, since then, our drains have been blocked due to the plaster that the builders poured down, our boiler timer no longer works, our bathroom door won't close, and loads of shelves have been left off the walls.

To add insult to injury - one of the few things we left in the flat was a money box - because the removal company will not take money. When we got back to the flat, I lifted this up and found it lighter, we opened it up, and someone had taken out our holiday money (silver coins, a couple of quids, and some euro notes) and just left in the 1ps.

I've spoken to people at the insurance company, and I have written a letter, but noone really seems to take my complaints seriously - when I first told them that the drains were blocked, they said that it was probably just coincidence. I just feel like giving up / screaming.. any suggestions?

Rant over!!

Friday 20 March 2009 8.03am
You have my sympathy - I can't think of anything more bureaucratic than having to deal with a council and an insurance company at the same time.

Have you looked into the Insurance Ombudsman service?

Friday 20 March 2009 9.58am
We also have insurance with Southwark and this is a horror story!
I would go and speak to my local councillor and ask them to approach Southwark on your behalf with all your documentation. Why not try the consumer helpline as well, they are very good with a range of consumer advice.

Best of luck and do fight for your rights, afterall you do pay for the insurance!
Friday 20 March 2009 9.26pm
great advice - and I got it off my chest which was also very theriputic! thanks
Tuesday 12 May 2009 4.38pm
Sorry to hear about your experience.

I was looking for buildings insurance info too for a claim and came across this on the council's site. I assume you have written a stern letter to CEO at Zurich and FOS as stated under 'complaints' section?

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