Question: Our gable end wall was not secured to the rest of the house when it was built in the late Fifties to early Sixties, and in 1994 when the wall started moving, the loss adjuster, structural engineer and builder agreed steel brackets and wooden beams, fixed at strategic points in the loft, would remedy the problem. However, it didn’t work and we now realise the wall still moves. Should I call in a loss adjuster, who I hope will look after my interests? And should I first tell my insurers I intend to do so because the problem has recurred? Will they cover the costs?
Answer: Notify your insurers, who will employ a chartered loss adjuster to investigate, negotiate and settle the claim, and who must act in a fair and just manner.
You can certainly employ a chartered loss adjuster yourself — they will provide support, help and professional advice and will liaise with the insurers’ chartered loss adjuster. Your loss adjuster can advise about the appointment of structural engineers and building contractors, and will be able to ensure the work is done as efficiently and quickly as possible.
You will be responsible for the fees of your loss adjuster unless you have a separate loss recovery insurance policy which covers this.
Generally, a policyholder would not employ a chartered loss adjuster for a claim worth less than £10,000 but it is a matter for you if you choose to do so.
Tell your insurers you intend to employ your own loss adjuster and make sure you choose one who is a chartered member of the Institute of Loss Adjusters, and is therefore regulated.
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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email email@example.com or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona McNulty is a partner in the residential property, farms and estates team at Withy King LLP (www.withyking.co.uk).
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.