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Claim for the floor collapsing

A customer was not reasonably aware of a water leak or damage to prevent a claim for the floor collapsing an FOS case study presents.


The Complainant had a water leak from his washing machine but was not aware of the water leak happening. The water leak caused damage to the Complainants kitchen walls, flooring and it caused the floor joists to rot, with the floor eventually collapsing.

The Complainant contacted the Insurer and registered the claim under his home insurance policy for the floor collapsing. The insurer agreed to pay for some of the damage but the Insurer wouldn’t pay for the gradual damage, including the rot. The insurance policy said that they wouldn’t pay for gradual damage in general, and specified about not paying for rot which was the reason for the floor collapsing.


When the FOS looked into the complaint for the insurance claim for the floor collapsing, they saw that the leak was behind the washing machine. This meant that the Complainant wouldn’t have been able to notice the leak or damage until it was too late. The FOS decided that the damage started with the leaking pipe, which was covered by the policy.

Even though the FOS agreed with the Insurer that the damage happened gradually, it wasn’t reasonable to think that the Complainant would have been aware of the damage until the floor collapsed and he made a claim for the floor collapsing.

The FOS understands the Insurers decision to decline the claim. Which was in line with the terms of their policy as it excluded gradual damage. But the FOS didn’t think the decision was fair or reasonable to the Complainant as he wouldn’t have been able to do anything about the damage.

FOS upheld this complaint.

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