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Old 28.02.2017, 22:58
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Buildings Insurance Claim

So here is the story....

We live and own a house in Kanton Aargau and therefore have the obligatory buildings insurance through the Aargauische Gebäudeversicherung (AGV). Furthermore we have contents and personal liability insurance through one of the well known local insurers. So far so good!

In early December my daughter lit a candle on a kitchen worktop. Due to one thing or the other, the candle was forgotten about and eventually burnt down and damaged the worktop. No problem I thought, we're insured to the hilt, so it has to be covered.

Initially made a claim on the house contents insurance. They blew me out as the worktop is fixed and therefore not considered as part of the contents that I can take with me when leaving the house. As a passing remark they assured me that it must be covered by the buildings insurance.

I then informed AGV of the claim and to my surprise they turn it down. Their explanation was that the damage was not caused by a fire and heat damage was not down to a technical reason. This is despite the fact that I clearly stated that my wife had to extinguish a flame on the worktop to stop it burning further.

I have already appealed once and AGV have simply maintained their point of view. My questions are the following
  • Is such damage covered by buildings insurance?
  • Is there any sense in appealing further?
  • If not covered by buildings insurance, can I go back to the contents insurer?

Any other thoughts or questions are welcome.
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Old 28.02.2017, 23:04
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

Sounds like you have to suck it up.

Tom
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Old 28.02.2017, 23:17
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Sounds like you have to suck it up.

Tom
That may be so, but I want to consider all my options and the chances of success. AGV are a monopoly as you are obliged to have buildings insurance with them if you own a house in Aargau. It just seems to me that they are playing both judge and jury and will always decide in their favour.
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Old 28.02.2017, 23:48
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

Is AGV the equivalent to ECAP in Romandie? In which case a definite NO- as it is for total reconstruction in case of total destruction (to ensure victims don't find themselves homeless and in social service care in need of accommodation).
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Old 01.03.2017, 07:49
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Any other thoughts or questions are welcome.
From talking to an insurer recently. It appears that unlike the U.K for example, accidental damage to your house caused by yourself is not normally covered unless specifically listed and described in the policy.

So, for example, water damaged caused by a water leak would be.
Broken windows can also be included (but may not be).

It's the same for contents insurance so if you dropped a lit cigarette on an expensive rug, you wouldn't be covered.
(But if your neighbour dropped a cigarette on your rug then you could claim on their insurance).

Insurance companies seem to know their own rules pretty well so you may be wasting your time trying to claim if they have said no.

For the future, what you ought to do though is get someone from your insurance company to come round and explain your insurance to you so you fully understand it. We did that and the agent came round with lots of info and diagrams/pictures which was quite helpful.
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Old 01.03.2017, 08:30
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

There are 3 types of insurance:
Buildings
Buildings
Contents

1) Buildings: The mandatory kantonal one - covers the building itself
2) Buildings: Optional via your insurer to cover damage to the building - which normally has around 19300 options - do you want to cover your driveway? Fences? Plants? etc etc
3) Contents: the stuff inside your house - whether it is actually inside your house or not - eg Bikes

Bizarrely our 2) insurance won't cover damaged roof tiles and lifted flashing - but will cover the water damage inside the house caused by the broken roof tiles and lifted flashing.
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Old 01.03.2017, 09:12
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Is AGV the equivalent to ECAP in Romandie? In which case a definite NO- as it is for total reconstruction in case of total destruction (to ensure victims don't find themselves homeless and in social service care in need of accommodation).
Not familiar with ECAP, but I assume it is also an obligatory buildings insurance that home owners must take out with the cantonal insurance company.
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Old 01.03.2017, 09:15
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Insurance companies seem to know their own rules pretty well so you may be wasting your time trying to claim if they have said no.
Who checks if the insurance companies are interpreting their own rules correctly? Remember homeowners have no choice in taking this insurance. They have a monopoly!
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Old 01.03.2017, 09:20
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

No obligatory building insurance in Ticino.

Tom
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Old 01.03.2017, 09:23
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

Insurance is heavily regulated by Swiss laws, you could seek legal advice, but I suspect that as the professionals are saying you have no claim, you might be wasting your money.
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Old 01.03.2017, 09:55
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

In my experience insurance companies nearly always deny ones claim is covered the first time round - car insurance is otherwise.

You have to push your claim. In this instance I wonder what the cost of replacing a formica top is compared to the excess...
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Old 01.03.2017, 11:35
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Who checks if the insurance companies are interpreting their own rules correctly? Remember homeowners have no choice in taking this insurance. They have a monopoly!
Again, tham compusory insurance is for massive damage to a building- to pay for temporary accom for the owner/family and full reconstruction. Historically, due to many wooden buildings, the village community would become responsible for any family made homeless and the re-building- and when large village fires occured (and it did frequently) and half the population was made homeless, the strain was massive for all. It has nothing do do with minor internal damage at all. The cost is based on full reconstruction for a same size, same quality, building.
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Old 01.03.2017, 11:40
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

Sue your daughter. Tell her to claim from her personal liability insurance.
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Old 01.03.2017, 12:06
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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Who checks if the insurance companies are interpreting their own rules correctly? Remember homeowners have no choice in taking this insurance. They have a monopoly!
According to the AGV's terms, AGV decisions can be appealed to a special administrative court (Spezialverwaltungsgericht). See para. 24 at this link:

https://www.agv-ag.ch/media/filer/er...g_2013_agv.pdf

To me, the decision hinges on what is considered to be part of the building. According to para. 5, components (Bestandteile) are considered to be part of a building. You might wish to argue that the counter-top is a component of the building and therefore is covered.

Good luck!
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Old 01.03.2017, 12:10
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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According to the AGV's terms, AGV decisions can be appealed to a special administrative court (Spezialverwaltungsgericht). See para. 24 at this link:

https://www.agv-ag.ch/media/filer/er...g_2013_agv.pdf

To me, the decision hinges on what is considered to be part of the building. According to para. 5, components (Bestandteile) are considered to be part of a building. You might wish to argue that the counter-top is a component of the building and therefore is covered.

Good luck!
A counter top will have a reasonably short life span, so unless it's fairly new the payout will only be small & possibly zero after franchise.
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Old 01.03.2017, 12:20
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

Well the consensus seems to be that I am fighting a losing battle here. I do take the point that the purpose of the compulsory insurance is for massive damage to cover temporary accommodation and rebuilding of the property. However, if that is not explicitly mentioned in the terms and conditions of the policy, it does not hold up in court.

AbFab is completely correct that car insurance is different, there when I made a claim, they phoned me to make arrangements for repair before I had even got over my wife damaging the car. That said I think I can afford one more letter, as if you do not push, they will never give.

I will update if there is any response other than the obvious NO.
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Old 01.03.2017, 21:49
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

As I have posted before, it is your contents and liability insurance which is inadequate.


We switched ours to a provider who will cover us for damage we may do to our own things.


So I suggest you switch providers so you can have better coverage the next time something happens. For this instance you are out of luck.
https://www.mobiliar.ch/versicherung...koversicherung
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:13
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

We are insured for our personal goods with La Mobilière as well, with some items specifically itemised- but without the 'Casco'option. So when I accidentally poured coffee over my MacBook- I was shocked to find out that it was NOT covered, as I had caused the damage. My neighbour offered to say it was her toddler son that had done it- as I often looked after him and his little sister- and she would have claimed on her own insurance- but I refused.

You really have to go throguh your insurance very carefully- and check that it also includes all glass fixtures (windows, patio doors, shower screens, etc) as well as water sippage from unseen sources. We have currently got a problem with water getting in from a chimney when we have rain with strong winds- and it will be covered under water seepage/infiltration.

Last edited by Odile; 01.03.2017 at 22:23.
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:27
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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As I have posted before, it is your contents and liability insurance which is inadequate.


We switched ours to a provider who will cover us for damage we may do to our own things.


So I suggest you switch providers so you can have better coverage the next time something happens. For this instance you are out of luck.
https://www.mobiliar.ch/versicherung...koversicherung
My contents insurance argues that as the worktop is fixed, it is not part of the contents, but part of the house structure. Unless I am mistaken that is not the same as saying it is contents that they are refusing to cover.
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:42
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Re: Buildings Insurance Claim

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My contents insurance argues that as the worktop is fixed, it is not part of the contents, but part of the house structure. Unless I am mistaken that is not the same as saying it is contents that they are refusing to cover.


The worktop is fixed and I understood fixed things are part of the AGV. We had a faucet leak and damaged the bathroom cabinet. The AGV paid for a new cabinet, but not for a new faucet. The AGV have people who are responsible for certain regions. You should insist they send someone along.
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