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Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by louloutanner • Tue 25 May 2010 18:36
Hi, I wondered if anyone out there has any advice for me. I have a very small house in Auzances but the boundary wall along the road looks to be my responsibility (it is about 30m long and 2m high). A section of the wall has collapsed and much more of it apparently looks dangerous. So I contacted my insurance company (UK based) advising that there had been very bad weather and the builder stated that storm damage was the probable cause but they have dismissed it immediately stating that there specifically had to be severe gale force winds and I also had to provide proof that other properties in the area had been damaged. I have just had an estimate of 9000 Euros. Frankly I am shell shocked and don't really know where to go from here! Any advice would be very much appreciated.
louloutanner
9
Apr 2008
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by dikdok • Tue 25 May 2010 19:47
English insurers haven't experienced French weather, obviously (today's storm for example)! Why do you need a gale force wind when the rain can demolish almost anything?
No help, I'm afraid, but you have my sympathy.
Also, perhaps use local insurers in future?
"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
dikdok
50
Jun 2005
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by Maria2009 • Tue 25 May 2010 22:15
Silly question but do you have any idea when it happened? The storms here a little while back were classed here as hurricans and we had 'red' weather alerts re the force of the winds. If the damage was done then - surely this should qualify?
Maria2009
90
Apr 2009
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by Annik • Wed 26 May 2010 09:16
Is it also worth asking around your neighbours to see if they had any damage, too? The mairie would probably also be helpful. Also ask the builder when he thinks the damage happened and see what evidence you can find in contemporary newspapers, etc..

We are in the throes of changing our insurance from a French-based building policy (bought when we acquired the house - a mate of the Limoges estate agent, we suspect), and an English-based contents policy, into a comprehensive all-risks French policy with AXA. The new policy, which seems better than the others, will actually cost less than the sum of the two others. I would suggest that you do the same for the future. You have to give special notice to any current French insurance company to say that you want to give up the cover some time in advance.

We found it complicated to claim on the building insurance which was with someone in Chateauroux, and having made friends with the local AXA guy think it should be much more straightforward in future. A house in the town burnt down last week only 100 yards from his office and he has arranged alternative accommodation for the occupants for the next year or so very efficiently.

Good luck!

Annik
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Annik
1246
Jun 2007
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by virtdave • Wed 26 May 2010 10:24
We've also been happy with AXA--when the big millenium storm of 2000 hit, and a tree fell on our hangar, they had it repaired even before we returned to Creuse (from Calif.) the next spring. We did have to shell out 150€ (the 'franchise', i.e. the deductible). I also have the ancient Citroën which winters in our barn insured with them. You're almost surely better off with a French company than with one outside the country--however, French insurance law is, naturellement, based on the Napoleonic code, not English common law, so try to get educated about differences, and (though it's pretty boring) read the contract and get it explained if necessary.
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virtdave
1133
Sep 2008
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by dissid32 • Wed 26 May 2010 10:46
9000€ seems rather a lot. Have you had any other estimates?
Patrick
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dissid32
204
Feb 2006
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by dissid32 • Wed 26 May 2010 10:53
Or how about taking it down and not replacing it, or only building it back to 2' or 3' high?
Patrick
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dissid32
204
Feb 2006
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by louloutanner • Wed 26 May 2010 17:30
Thanks everyone for your replies. Nobody seems absolutely sure of the exact date it happened but seems to be around 2nd-9th May! We don't know many of the builders in the area and so the Mairie arranged for the estimate of 9000 Euros. I will definitely contact the Mairie to ask if they could confirm the severe weather conditions and keep my fingers crossed.
louloutanner
9
Apr 2008
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by dikdok • Thu 27 May 2010 01:24
If your wall is the one I think it is it looks like a retaining wall so it's more likely to have been rain damage than wind - or maybe it was just tired and ready to go at any time? It does look like an expensive job to replace the whole lot - if it's a road safety issue perhaps the commune might have some responsiblity; is it worth approaching the Mairie again to see if they can help? they seem to have plenty of money to spend on other less necessary projects (like knocking down medieval houses to make a car park!)
"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the great ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."
dikdok
50
Jun 2005
Re: Wall collapse - insurance nightmare
by angua1967 • Tue 14 Dec 2010 22:08
I have to agree I think a local insurance would be better Jean Luc Legrand at AXA in Chenerailles is very good and we have never had any probs with them, we pay a bit extra as we live in UK
angua1967
5
Feb 2008
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