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