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Disappointment with EBM / QBE landlord insurance

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by Joseph, 10th Jan, 2017.

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  1. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    I subscribed to EBM RentCover Ultra a few years ago, after hearing good feedback from this forum. At the beginning of last year, the roof on one of the buildings came off in a storm. My building's roof was intact. However, the council prevented access to the whole building until the roof was fixed. I wrote to EBM to ask if i could claim for rental loss (my tenant was evicted) under prevention of access, but i was told to provide documents after documents before a claim can be established.

    I felt that i was taken for a ride. EBM / QBE rejected my claim after getting a defect report without inspecting the unit. This is contrary to another independent report the strata organised that states that there weren't any defects before the storm. Furthermore, all the neighbours i have spoken to were indemnified by their insurers. I mean literally the unit upstairs, next to, and below mine were indemnified.

    My wife and i now have to take on extra work to pay off loans to fix the unit. Stressful experience!
     
  2. KayTea

    KayTea Well-Known Member

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    Do you know who the neighbours were insured with? I think I'd be finding out…..
     
  3. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    @brettc might be able to look into it?
     
  4. Brendan_300

    Brendan_300 New Member

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    I can provide some very general advice based purely on the information you've provided.

    Section 46 of the Insurance Contracts Act provides relief for insureds in your position (in most cases) regarding the roof damage.

    If your policy does cover storm damage as an insured event, then the insurer is obligated to cover the roof, but not the defect itself, unless they can establish you knew about the defect prior to the contract (new business or renewal) being entered into. They would also have to establish that the roof damage wouldn't have occurred in the absence of the sighted defect.

    In regard to loss of rent, you usually have to establish that the home can't be lived in due to an insured event occuring. That will trigger the loss of rent cover. So if the damage to the roof is accepted, there is a chance the loss of rent will be covered too. As previously mentioned, I haven't read through the PDS so I'm basing this on what you've written.

    Happy to dig into it further if the above is useful to you.
     
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  5. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    @Joseph, I have multiple properties insured with EBM. I have made a number of claims and they have all been paid. I always get my PMs to raise and process my claims.

    Did you have s PM? If so, why did you raise the claim and not use your PM?
     
  6. melbournian

    melbournian Well-Known Member

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    Lodge a case to Ebm to have claim reviewed and then fob financial ombudsman if nothing comes out of it

    I have claimed with ebm and qbe

    Found qbe is far better
     
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  7. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Is it just the lost rent you were claiming or some damage from the event as well?

    I ask, because the first para says there was no damage to your roof but the last sentence says you have had to take on extra work to pay to fix the unit.
     
  8. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Just to provide a parallel example:

    - I manage a unit where nearby stream filled up during a storm and flooded all the units.

    - The LL has ebm rentcover but body corporate is covering the building.

    - As Brendan was alluding to above, EBM only covers if one of their defined events kicked in

    - body corporate's insurer is covering both the rebuild and the rent because they're the ones triggered

    - imo, Joseph should be taking it up with body corporate insurer , not EBM

    - when you buy a unit, always review how much funds the body corporate has and what insurance policies they have in place
     
  9. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    I know for sure that my neighbour above me is with Allianz and below me is Westpac. My unit is boxed between other units who were affected by this storm. I don't understand why mine is the only one rejected!
     
  10. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Its a building issue not a landlord issue
     
    Last edited: 11th Jan, 2017
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  11. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Thanks for the advice Brendan. My policy does cover storm damage as an insured event. It is a landlord insurance called RentCover Ultra from EBM. But because EBM / QBE has a report that indicates there was a roof defect, my claim was rejected. This is despite the fact that i have no knowledge whatsoever of the defect. The strata had an expert in to assess (before the storm) and told us there were no defects.
     
  12. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    I didn't know that my PM should be handling this. They pretty much disappeared from sight after this event. In fact, i have to follow up with the strata to get updated. Looks like i should be changing my PM! :(
     
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  13. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Even though this policy is for RentCover? My tenant was evicted because the council barred them from entering until the roof was fixed.
     
  14. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    Thanks DT. My contents were damaged too. But because of the roof defect, the content was not covered.
     
  15. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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  16. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    1. Contact your insurance company and request a formal letter of rejection of your claim in writing giving the reasons for the rejection. Under leglislation you are entitled to this.

    2. Request the insurance company to formally review your claim under dispute resolution provisions. Again, leglislation provides time frames.

    4. If still unhappy with the result, contact the Financial Institutions Ombudsman. As a first step, they may give you the name of a person in he company you can contact for further review. If no resolution, and if the ombudsman believes you have a case, they may act on your behalf.
    Marg
     
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  17. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    I look at it this way. PMs charge you a %age of the rent. The more work they do for you, the better value they are :) :).

    Beside, PMs are far more experienced at submitting LL insurance claims than I am. They do it every month and know how to word the claim.
     
  18. Storm damage can always be contentious. Usually the insurer requires a impact and not merely water finding a hole. eg a tree or object damaging the rood is likely to be approved where a roof peeling off in wind may be disputed... It indicates structural failure or deterioration or a inherent defect NOT storm damage.

    What does the policy wording say about loss of rent ? I reckon it ties the damage to the rent and as you didnt satisfy the apparent event the rent isnt being paid. Perhaps your claim was wrong and assumed information that didnt meet a defined event ? Always read the policy wording before claiming to ensure the claim satisfies a defined event and ensure their is no deficiency in the tradesmans invoice etc.

    1. Seek formal reasons for the insurer declining claim
    2. Review claim documents
    3. Consider amending the claim to ensure you prove the insured event occurred. You may need a second opinion from a tradie etc. The insurer will be able to explain the process and may even attend on site but be prepared first !!

    I wouldnt allow a PM to submit a claim on your behalf.

    Is the roof issue a strata insurer issue first ? If so, perhaps the contents insurer needs that information too.
     
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  19. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    If it is a LLI issue, why not?

    If a PM can't handle such an issue in a professional and competent way, I would be changing PMs :) :).
     
  20. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    That's crazy talk.
     
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