Halifax Property Insurance Fiasco
I have an astonishing Insurance-related matter to report which I thought may be of interest to your members.
In April, my wife took out what she believed to be a standard Home Insurance Policy with the Halifax. The Policy permits up to 4 lodgers to be present.
She lets 1 or 2 rooms out to students.
After paying for the Policy she checked the wording.
One of the clauses reads:
"Any liability from lodgers staying at your home is excluded from the Policy".
She didn't understand what that meant, so phoned them to discuss.
They originally said they thought it was meant to cover items being stolen from or by the lodgers or them breaking things in the house if accidental damage cover was included, but seemed unsure themselves.
During a subsequent call they confirmed that if say there was a fire at her house due to a cooking accident caused by one of the lodgers, then that "would be covered".
At that stage we thought that our fears about this wording had been allayed, but it was again clear that they still weren't 100% sure of the precise meaning of this Clause, so we wrote to them asking for clarification.
They have at long last replied by letter which we received last week to say, astonishingly, that the Clause in fact means:
"Any circumstances that occur which result in a claim having to be made by someone who isn't the Policyholder, for either damage to their property of injury to themselves, will not be covered ...when it is due to the negligence of the lodger. An example of this would be if your lodger overfills your bathtub and it ends up causing water damage to the neighbour's property"
So by analogy, presumably any fire caused by one of the students cooking spreads to next door, damage to that house wouldn't be covered! That makes the whole Policy pointless.
We have complained and asked for a full refund and shall be switching to a different Company today but thought your readers should be made aware of this.
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