Hildenborough flood family 'facing homelessness'
- 27 June 2014
- From the section Kent
A woman whose home flooded at Christmas has said she and her family will soon be homeless because her house is still uninhabitable and her insurers will only pay for six months' accommodation.
Lisa Peacock said her house in Kent was now a "damp, uninhabitable shell".
Her Hildenborough home may still not be fit to live in by Christmas, she said.
Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) said a loss assessor hired by Ms Peacock had not cooperated. The loss assessor Morgan Clark said it rejected RSA's assertion.
Stuck in middle'
Ms Peacock's current temporary accommodation costs £1,700 per month, which she said she could not cover on her school secretary's salary.
The divorced, single mother looks after her two children, aged 11 and 15, and her 70-year-old mother.
Her house in Bramble Close, which once featured in magazines, currently has no kitchen, no floors, no water or power supply and no plumbing.
"All we want is for it to be put back the way it was," she said.
Ms Peacock said she was "stuck in the middle" between RSA and Morgan Clark, who she hired for help in dealing with her claim.
An RSA spokeswoman said the insurance firm worked closely with Ms Peacock to try to get her back into her home, but faced a number of issues with the independent loss assessor.
The spokeswoman said RSA dried the property by 5 January and repairs should have started that month, but the loss assessor halted work to use an alternate surveyor, and the companies had not been able to resolve the situation.
RSA had agreed with Ms Peacock her temporary accommodation would last for six months from when repairs were ready to start, she added.
"We did make it clear that the alternative accommodation would not be extended beyond August but her loss assessor has delayed the claim and prevented the repairs from being carried out," she said.
Morgan Clark said RSA's contractors caused additional damage to Ms Peacock's contents and to the buildings and used an unsuitable method of forced drying.
It said delays and disputes over the reinstatement work meant she now either had to accept an inadequate repair or refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service and move her family back into a building site.
Heather Shepherd, community and recovery support executive at the National Flood Forum, said Ms Peacock should refer her case to the insurance ombudsman, who would be able to resolve the situation.
She said the forum's advice to people flooded was to consider every decision and keep notes of all conversations.
"If an insurance claim continues to give problems that escalate and become so stressful that you don't know where to turn to resolve things, then get in touch with the insurance ombudsman," she added.