Irene urges locals to check policies

An Angus homeowner is warning people to be aware of what their insurance covers - after her claim for storm damage was rejected.

Irene Gillies, from Brechin, sustained damaged to the gable end of her home following the arrival of Storm Gertrude - however her home insurance has rejected her claiming, putting the damage down to ‘wear and tear’.

Irene explained: “There was only a very little thing in the police that mentions wear and tear.

“The rendering came fell off from part of the gable end of the house, but the insurance company has said there must have been a crack in the wall.

“If there was one - I wasn’t aware of it.”

Irene, who lives in the Provost Buchan area of the town, has been in her home for over 30 years, and has not had a claim on her insurance before.

She said: “I was told rendering doesn’t last that long, but if that’s the case why do builders still use it?

“When I phoned up about it I was first told rendering only last five years.

“The surveyor who came out to visit said it last about 10 years, but the house is around 40 years old and I’ve not had a problem.

“There are 118 house in this scheme, and I’ve only knowledge of one other losing some of their rendering.”

The rendering came off part of the gable end of Irene’s home on January 29, the same day as Storm Gertrude was causing gale force winds to sweep the country.

The debris fell on a communal path, with Irene’s neighbour notifying her the following morning that there had been damaged.

Irene added: “It could have hit someone - thankfully it didn’t - but would I have been liable if it had?”

Irene wanted to share her story to ensure other people don’t experience the same problem.

She said: “I just want to highlight this matter to others.

“People need to look to see if problems with rendering is covered by their insurance.

“They need to more aware of what policies cover and what they don’t.

“You think are protected and you’re not.”

A spokesperson for Legal and General who are the underwriters of Irene’s insurance police, commented: “Unfortunately we are unable to pay Mrs Gilles’ claim as although there were storm conditions, the storm event did not cause the damage to Mrs Gilles’ rendering and only hi-lighted a pre-existing maintenance issue; which is not covered by her policy.”