Home Insurance Claim? - Ropey Garden Wall

Munzz

Active Member
Hi All,

Our garden wall that separates us from the footpath has seen better days, to the point where you can wobble the wall. It’s dangerous but also bloody long at c.17 metres.

The wall was like this when we moved in last year.

Has anyone made a claim for such thing on their home insurance? If so, what was the process like? Did your premium increase?

It’s a costly job, and if covered on insurance, I’m keen to follow up but would be grateful for any similar experiences shared by AVF members.
 

shotokan101

Banned
unlikely to be covered if not maintained properly especially if like that when you bought property

check title deeds if a boundary with neighbour might at least be joint responsibility for costs.....
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Pre existing faults are generally not covered by any form of insurance, so don’t think you have any basis for a claim.

Generally household insurance would only cover accidental damage, and I’m not even sure whether boundary walls would generally be included.

edit: crossed with Jim
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
If your wall is wobbly then that suggests poor construction or maintenance. Every policy I've ever taken out states you have to ensure you look after your house and keep it in good order.
 

Munzz

Active Member
Thanks for the responses, and, you are echoing my thoughts too.

The wall runs from my driveway to the end of my garden, and alongside the councils footpath.

Will dig out the deeds but also question with the insurers.

I know some people have claimed for some funky things on insurance, maybe a pre-existing damaged wall is taking it to far!
 

Munzz

Active Member
If your wall is wobbly then that suggests poor construction or maintenance. Every policy I've ever taken out states you have to ensure you look after your house and keep it in good order.

I agree with that, and in addition to poor construction, I suspect tree roots have caused damage to the foundations which has hindered the stability.
 

StaxMicromga

Active Member
If you only moved in a year ago this should have been mentioned on your full survey. I wish you good luck in getting anything back from the surveyor but ... Isn't this what a survey is for?
 
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captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I agree with that, and in addition to poor construction, I suspect tree roots have caused damage to the foundations which has hindered the stability.
You should check what your policy covers but I'd be surprised if you could claim for your wall. My current policy, for example, doesn't cover damage to a garden fence during a storm, it has to be accidental damage.
 

John7

Well-known Member
Be careful “discussing” a potential claim with your insurer. I have heard that even if you don’t make a claim, the act of discussing a possible claim will be noted and your premium likely increased at renewal.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I had an insurance broker who told me never to contact my insurance and run a potential claim past them. She said, and I quote 'That's when their alarm bells start ringing'.
 

anticlaus105

Well-known Member
Be careful “discussing” a potential claim with your insurer. I have heard that even if you don’t make a claim, the act of discussing a possible claim will be noted and your premium likely increased at renewal.

I had an insurance broker who told me never to contact my insurance and run a potential claim past them. She said, and I quote 'That's when their alarm bells start ringing'.

Can second this from experience. Find out if you can claim before contacting your insurer.
 
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noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
A word of warning. If the wall is your responsibility, get it fixed before it falls on someone. Walls alongside public footpaths can be a pita and an injury claim would be very expensive.

I would check your household insurance covers you against such liability claims and if not get some suitable insurance.

If the wall is very wobbly, you may need to advise the council to close the footpath until it's made safe.
 

booyaka

Moderator
Echo everything above,

I highly doubt a claim could be made for that. The insurers would almost certainly point to any required maintenance / upkeep of the wall which has not been done, therefore, claiming against it would be a non starter.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Just our of general curiosity.
If there was a strong storm and high winds, you know, one of those once or twice a year type events, and a wall fell over due to such a storm wind, even if the wall was old, it was only the unusual storm that make it fall.
In such an event, if someone got injured would it still be you to blame, or can we use the "act of god" get-out that insurances use sometimes?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
By you own admission, you know the wall is not in great condition. Act of God would only apply if there was a lot of severe damage around you as well and this would be the insurance company not paying out, not necessarily a claim by a member of the public for the wall falling on them.

Definitely get some remedial work done on it so that it's unlikely to fall onto the footpath - or as I say find out who owns the path as it may not be the council and recommend they close the path on safety grounds until the wall can be inspected and repaired.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
It doesn't take much for an insurance company to get out of paying.

If it fell and injured someone and you then tried to claim on your insurance, they would send an assessor out to look at the condition of the wall. They would find it was in a poor state and needed repairing. Claim rejected.

If it just fell over due to being in a state of disrepair, you then claim, again they would send an assessor out to look at the condition of the wall. They would find it was in a poor state and needed repairing. Claim rejected.

Unfortunately it's something you are going to have to repair before it gets to be an expensive problem.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Its an interesting point about what constitutes a wall in a good state of repair.

Let's say you have a wall that's 'looking a bit iffy'
Bricks are old, but ok in general for that age, but the cement if missing pretty heavily in many places.
Nothing out of the usual.

So you contact a local firm, then come look at the wall, and you talk about re-pointing it, perhaps replace the odd brick or two here and there. and agree a price of £500 for the guy, which may take a couple of days to do.

If something happens then, is it now the building firm that are liable, as they are 'skilled tradespeople' and they did the repairs they felt were needed to get the wall back into a good state of repair which should be expected to then remain good for many years.

Basically, by getting an actual company to repair something are they now liable for that something and you as the owner are off the hook?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
It's still your wall and you are liable. You might have a case to bring against the tradespeople, but that would be a separate claim. Note: I have no legal qualifications whatsoever.
 

basserphil

Well-known Member
Munz, are you fit and active? if so you could do most of the work yourself, digging out the footing if it need repairing?replacing?....then ask on here for local recommendations for bricklayers....if you lived in birmingham, i would pop round and give you a materials cost and labour cost.....if the tea was strong enough and a few biscuits provided, a days bricklaying for you , would be free, worth asking?
put up a few photos so us brickies can give you some advice for free.
 

Munzz

Active Member
Munz, are you fit and active? if so you could do most of the work yourself, digging out the footing if it need repairing?replacing?....then ask on here for local recommendations for bricklayers....if you lived in birmingham, i would pop round and give you a materials cost and labour cost.....if the tea was strong enough and a few biscuits provided, a days bricklaying for you , would be free, worth asking?
put up a few photos so us brickies can give you some advice for free.

What a fantastic gesture, much appreciated.

I’m young(ish!) fit and healthy, and not afraid to get stuck in. I also work for a builders merchant!

However, the wall is 17m long at 6ft tall so it’s not a small job or cheap job for that matter, unfortunately.

I’m also in no position to just replace like for like, which is why I was checking out the insurance route.
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
What a fantastic gesture, much appreciated.

I’m young(ish!) fit and healthy, and not afraid to get stuck in. I also work for a builders merchant!
Run a competition through the merchants you work for with a prize on who can lay the most bricks in say 2 hours, you'll obviously get a great discount on the materials, and beyond the mixing of the mortar all skilled labour is free.

if you offer to advertise the merchants as well with some big signs you could try to get the materials free as well:):thumbsup:
 

topgazza

Distinguished Member
If money is a bit tight and I suspect the replacement cost would be several thousand have it taken down and replaced with concrete fence post and decent quality fence panels. Won’t be pennies but a lot cheaper than brick
 

Dolus

Well-known Member
Does the wall actually belong to you. The reason I ask is that the fence alongside my garden belongs to the county council, so their responsibility.
 

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