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Insurance row means pensioners still living in flood damaged house
7:00am Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Local News
TWO women are still living with the effects of the flash flood in late August because of a dispute with an insurance company.
Pru Beamont, 70, has been left sleeping on a camp bed and without a proper shower after flood water devastated her home in Beverley Avenue, Canvey.
Ms Beamont and housemate, Betty St John-Marshall, 67, have made repeated calls to Churchill Home Insurance, but have failed to reach an agreement over how much should be paid out.
The company says the repairs the pair have asked for would be classed as improvements and will not pay for them. The women dispute this.
One month’s rain fell in less than 24 hours on the August bank holiday weekend.
Ms Beamont said: “Our house was flooded with rainwater and sewage and we lost everything on the ground floor, which is where the bathroom and my bedroom were.
“We have been like this for six weeks now and it is making me and Betty ill.
“I am having to sleep on a camp bed in the back room because my bedroom is ruined.
“I have had two hip replacements and really should not be sleeping like that.
“We are both pensioners and just cannot live like this any longer. We got the estimates from people we know and have been told they are not high for the amount of work that needs doing to the property.
“It is so upsetting and frustrating. Why do we have to fight them for everything?”
A spokesperson for Churchil, famous for its dog mascot with the catchphrase ‘Oh, yes!’, said: “We have investigated Mrs St John-Marshall’s concerns.
“After the flooding of her home, we cleaned and dried out the property.
“An offer of £9,450 was made to repair and decorate her home, as well as a further £2,500 for the replacement of water-damaged wardrobes, which was rejected by the customer.
“Unfortunately, thequote from Mrs St John-Marshall’s builder is substantially higher than this amount.
“This is primarily due to additional work requested by Mrs St John-Marshall which represents improvements on how her home was before the flood damage.
“This is known as betterment, the cost of which is not covered by Mrs St John-Marshall’s insurance policy.”
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