Insurance nightmare re leaky roof

Long story short. January 2016. Bad storm, roof leaked in 4 places. Insurance sent Dakwal buiders to fix it.

Complete mess up. Days off work for me, lost wages, lots of stress also, expecting them to come and they sent workmen who didn’t do the job right, messed me round with appointments, fixed the roof but then it leaked again in the places they supposedly fixed it, sent me someone to fix the ceilings before the roof was actually fixed then tried to blame the mess of the roof on ME and the insurance company relied on them so much and was so uninformed they actually denied they had even sent me a roofer. The insurance company also wouldn’t listen to me as this builder was one of their preferred builders. Google them and see other complaints.

To top it off it took 6 months to fix the ceilings, roof etc and now…guess what…it rained a few weekends ago and I had to call the SES who said that whoever fixed the roof…quote…‘didn’t fix the roof’ and to get onto the insurance company again to have it sorted. Don’t let this builder touch your house. Total nightmare. Look what happened to these people a while back. Thank God that wasn’t me but goes to show the reputation the company has.

So the SES came back twice and had to put a 2 tarps on half my house. Same area leaking as this company supposedly fixed. Insurance have allocated it to someone else now. Either way my house looks like a battle zone. I am still waiting for the insurance to do something positive about the roof.

I wrote the owner of the building company a letter to which he has not responded in writing. He got his Sydney manager to call me. Nothing else has happened. It’s been nearly a month. I thought I would give the owner the benefit of the doubt in case he was unaware as to what was happening. From his lack of reply I gather he was aware and just doesn’t care. I have emailed him again since. And tried to call him. Of course he is not available when I call.

So last Sydney storm 4 buckets in the lounge room. Now its two weeks later and the insurance company is messing me around. They sent a roof assessor who reported I had ceiling damage but did no report on the 3 leaks in the roof so they sent me an independent roofer to do a second report. And the girl from the insurance wondered why I called the first roof assessor STUPID. She told me I was swearing to which my answer was that stupid is in the English dictionary. And if you have a roof assessor who does not do a report on the outside of the roof he must be stupid. Steer clear of bad insurers and bad builders.

I can really sympathise with you. My partner had a tree on a neighbouring property come down on her roof a couple of weeks ago and we look like experiencing something similar. The SES were wonderful but one thing worth pointing out to others, is generally they aren’t supposed to do any work once the insurance company has gotten involved and has sent “make safe” people out. Currently the badly ripped tarp looks like it will fly off in the next 24 hours if the wind doesn’t drop. One thing we’ve done is take regular photos. No doubt I’ll report further.

Oh the insurance company were supposedly finished with me. as far as they were concerned the job was done well…ha ha. They wanted me to sign off on it. Lucky I didn’t.

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Hi @jenettahai, sounds like a truly awful experience. We’ve asked one of our CHOICE experts to see if he can provide any feedback for you. We’ll get back to you soon.

Thanks. The saga is still continuing. They wanted to send me someone to fix my ceilings - the paint job until I reminded them it might be a good idea to fix the leaky roof BEFORE the ceilings. Are these guys just dumb or what. I seriously don’t get it. Someone is coming to fix part of the roof on Monday but the other half of the roof has not been APPROVED yet. I have called the supervisor in charge at the insurance company twice but she didn’t return my calls yesterday or today. Of course the excuse is that she is full on busy and always fully apologetic when she finally does get back to me. Unbelievable.

Hi @jenettahai, sorry for the delayed response here. Most insurers (including NRMA, whom I’m assuming you’re with) give you the option of using their preferred repair contractors, or choosing your own. If you choose your own repairer, the insurer will simply pay you for it.

Beware the fine print, though. Some insurers will only pay “what it would cost us”, not what it will cost you. And because they get discounts from their preferred contractors, their quote might be a lot less than what you’ll get from the market.

Given that they’ve completely botched the job so far, you might be able to argue that the insurer should pay up to your benefit limit for the repairs and let you use the roofer of your choice to finish the job properly. On the other hand, if the roofer you pick does a substandard job too, then you’re probably stuck with it and the insurer can wash their hands of you.

Don’t forget about the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS), if you don’t get a satisfactory result. They have information on dealing with an insurer’s internal dispute resolution process, and if that doesn’t pan out, you may be able to lodge your dispute with them for arbitration.

And I know how frustrating it can be dealing with a faceless corporate entity, but you’ll almost always get a quicker result if you keep your cool and resist the urge to call their staff stupid. Personally, I’ve always found a passive aggressive “thanks so much for all your help” does wonders.

Hope I’ve been able to help. Let us know how it goes.

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Hi Dan,
Thanks for your reply and the info. Yes what you said here is true. And worse yet. IF I choose to use my own repairer it is not covered by their LIFETIME warranty on work. So it creates for the customer a catch 22 because they can use shoddy workers as in my case AND if you choose your own they won’t cover you for the quality.

Where it stands at the moment is they sent me a carpenter who did a good job, I think, repairing the gable. They also finally sent me a roofer who has repaired ALL of the outside of the roof. I hope. Test will be next heavy rain. STill to go is a bit on the inside of painting the ceilings and I think painting the new gable they installed. So far this time it seems to be going ok. Fingers crossed. When they are finished I will see what is going to happen about my 3 tone roof in different coloured sealant. Hopefully the new roofer when he did his job has fixed that. So it is moving along SLOWLY (now half a year has gone in total) and lets see if it is finally leakproof. Will keep you posted. Thanks

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