Product Type: Halifax Building Society Insurance in Insurance
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Halifax Building Society Insurance in general
Member Name: piglet
Halifax Building Society Insurance in general
Date: 26/08/01, updated on 26/08/01 (872 review reads)
Advantages: none, unless you're a masochist.
Disadvantages: anyone actually enjoy being ripped off?
Firstly, I'm not a Halifax-Basher. As a mortgage company, I've found them first-rate, very approachable and helpful if you're going through a rough patch financially. As an Insurance option for buildings or contents, though, my strong advice is GO ELSEWHERE!!!
We had 2 runs of bad luck....first our garage (concrete) and field-shelter (wooden) were severely damaged by gales, then during a really bad storm, water got through a wall into our vestibule and knackered our tumble-dryer, fridge and fridge-freezer.
These incidents occurred 18 months apart, but due to living in the back of beyond, we still hadn't managed to get any tradesmen to estimate for repairs to the garage and field-shelter by the time the appliances went.
"No worries", think I naively, "I'll ask the Insurance company to send their own man at the same time as they look at the appliances."
Well, firstly, they denied any knowledge of our having notified them 18 months ago re. the wind damage (but they insist they log all calls.....) then when the assessor came and it was found that some previous damage had been caused by mice to the appliances' wiring (they'd been working A1 until the water got in) they refused to consider the claim as it was "vermin damage" - and vermin damage is excluded. So, regardless of the fact that the "vermin" had not stopped the appliances working, suddenly they're entirely responsible, and the Halifax won't meet their obligations.
As to the outside buildings, we were told initially that the damage that had been caused by the wind was as a result of our having failed to adequately maintain poor quality buildings, which judgement they made as a result of the cracks in the structure of the remaining walls in the garage, and because the field shelter was on concrete only around the edges - standard practice for many field shelters, btw.
Well, no, actually - the b****y cracks were
a result of the ensuing damage while we tried to get someone to come and estimate a small (to contractors) job in the middle of nowhere instead of doing maybe 3 nice fat-cheque jobs in town in the same time it'd take them to do our one "little" job.
At the time of writing this, we have had only one letter from the Halifax, incidentally; everything else has been done over the 'phone, at my instigation. I think that alone is entirely unsatisfactory; especially as I am about to refer the whole sorry case to the Ombudsman and would have liked to have more in writing.
The Halifax (who don't actually run the insurance themselves, incidentally, it's some other company, possibly Royal Sun Alliance, though I don't recall for certain if that's who, and haven't got the papers to hand) have now told me in this one letter, that they are prepared to pay "something" towards the buildings damage since they checked with the Met. Office and found that the storm did occur when we said it did - but that is NOT good enough for me. We paid the premiums in good faith, and I want the payout that I feel they are ethically due to give us.
Oh, I almost forgot 2 important points - we did eventually get a payment for contents of the fridge-freezer: however they initially overlooked it, then due to my 'phoning and asking why, said "oh dear, you are entitled to that" - nothing in writing, you understand, just silence from them - good job I 'phoned instead of just giving up and quietly disappearing like a lot of busy or unassertive people might, isn't it? And, when I asked about the clause regarding vermin damage and for a replacement policy document to be sent, I was sent one which had no reference to vermin exclusions for the type of claim involved; however when they DID finally write, they sent a different policy booklet - I still have to investigate this, but in the meantime I STRONGLY recommend anyone who actua
lly hopes for a payout on a genuine claim, to pay the premium to another company and give the Halifax a very wide berth.
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