Sub-section A Property
Storm, wind, water, hail or snow other than
(a) that a rising from its undergoing any process necessarily involving the use or application of water
(b) wear and tear or gradual deterioration
(c) loss or damage
(i) to retaining walls
(ii) caused or aggravated by
- subsidence or landslip
- the insured's failure to take all reasonable precautions for the maintenance and safety of the property
insured and for the minimisation of any destruction or damage.
I have a question regarding the above clause in our short term insurance contract. One of our buildings have collapsed and we had to undertake repairs ourselves which was exuberant. The insurers refused payout as a result of us not having subsidence cover.
What had happened is this, a pipe next to our building had burst, it was underground and not visible. It washed away the soil underneath the building and as a result the building had collapsed on the side where the water was leaking. Subsidence can be caused by water erosion, however if it is not specifically excluded then the cover of water damage would come into play and we are protected (this is according to Ombudsman).
Our insurer claims that the above clause prevents them from paying out as a result of subsidence being caused by the water damage. My interpretation of (c)(i) and (ii) above only pertains to loss or damage to retaining walls and has nothing to do with the damage to the foundation.
Could any other people with experience in insurance and or law shed some light?