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Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ Letters -

Why won’t AA in­sur­ance pay?

We had build­ing and con­tents in­sur­ance with the AA and we also took out its ad­di­tional home emer­gency re­sponse pol­icy.

I found wa­ter drip­ping from our bath­room through the ceil­ing light fit­ting into a down­stairs room.

I called the in­surer and it agreed to send a plum­ber out that evening.

In the mean­time I turned off the electrics and wa­ter. Mo­ments later the drip­ping through the ceil­ing stopped.

A plum­ber ar­rived from a lo­cal com­pany. He di­ag­nosed the prob­lem as a gap in the shower tray sealant. I told him no one had been in the shower for at least five hours.

I then asked whether the drip­ping wa­ter could in fact be a leak from a pipe as the drip­ping stopped when the wa­ter was turned off.

He said he’d have to take my ceil­ing down to check the pipes. He wasn’t pre­pared to do this with­out an as­bestos test as we live in a Vic­to­rian era house.

The plum­ber re­as­sured me that the prob­lem was sorted. He ad­vised me to put the wa­ter back on but not to use the shower un­til I’d added some sealant to the shower tray.

He told me to sign his tablet screen, which I did, and then he left.

Since then the leak has caused dam­age to a light fit­ting and sat­u­rated the orig­i­nal ceil­ing be­hind the sus­pended plas­ter­board one.

The fault could have caused an elec­tri­cal fire and, if we’d left it un­fixed, could have dam­aged the new plas­ter­board ceil­ing.

AA in­sur­ance has of­fered only 50pc to­wards the ul­ti­mate re­pair.

SC, ES­SEX

The so-called “re­pair” was a nine-minute won­der as 10 min­utes af­ter turn­ing the wa­ter on, the drip started to ap­pear again.

You had phoned the AA that evening and then on the two fol­low­ing days. Each time it promised to send an­other plum­ber or call back. It did nei­ther.

On the third day you called an en­tirely sep­a­rate “pay for use” ser­vice for a one-off charge of £180.

This provider sent one of its des­ig­nated plumbers the next morn­ing, who took the shower con­trols off the wall, found a dam­aged washer and re­placed it. Ap­par­ently the shower sealant was fine.

You com­plained to the AA, which said that the faulty washer was part of the shower unit and so was not cov­ered.

The sec­ond plum­ber told you that, whilst the shower con­trols or the shower head would not qual­ify for pay­ment, the washer on a pipe lead­ing to the con­trols would. Any­way, chang­ing the washer was the sim­plest and quick­est way of stop­ping the leak.

Your ba­sic home emer­gency cover cost­ing £28 per year was an add-on to your AA home in­sur­ance.

This pro­vides “as­sis­tance for emer­gency re­pairs to make your home safe and se­cure” in an in­sur­able event, such as a leak, but ex­cludes prob­lems with shower units and fit­tings, trays or en­clo­sures.

The AA recog­nises that, in this case, the di­ag­no­sis of the prob­lem as the shower tray seal was in­cor­rect and

Firm won’t give me pa­per­work

I had a small hold­ing in an ac­count with Al­liance Trust Sav­ings which I de­cided to sell nearly four months ago.

My calls re­mained unan­swered so I was obliged to give the in­struc­tions over the in­ter­net, which isn’t ex­actly my forte.

Al­liance Trust Sav­ings has failed to sup­ply the pa­per­work so far.

There was also an ini­tial prob­lem in that the funds were held back for what seemed an un­nec­es­sary pe­riod of time.

When I come to com­plete my tax re­turn I will re­quire the in­for­ma­tion from the com­pany. Can you help me

The AA, which of­fers in­sur­ance, failed to pay out to one reader

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