This weekend we are going away and I can’t wait. Its ages since we have been anywhere. We are going to a house party back down saufff at a friend’s house. It is being called a ‘house warming’ party, although they have lived at this address for 16 years now, however, it is a house warming as such as it is almost a new house!
Over a year ago now in December 2009, we got a message at work to say B wouldn’t be in as she had had a house fire. Thankfully everyone was OK.
Her eldest daughter K was getting dressed in her room while her husband was in the shower. She heard K shouting her Dad saying there was smoke coming out of her overhead light. Her husband got out of the shower to look and noticed a small amount of smoke seeping through the loft hatch and realised something was very wrong. He got both the kids, told them to go downstairs and get outside with their mum. He grabbed some clothes (and his wife’s jewellery box – clever man!), and also got out.
By the time the fire brigade turned up 10 minutes later, there was fire raging out of their roof. The family had to then move in with a relative until the insurance did all their checks, and eventually in early 2010, they were able to move into rented accommodation. The house needed a new roof, but due to all the water from the firemen, all the upstairs ceilings had to come down, all furniture was smoke/water damaged and downstairs was smoke damage so the whole house has been re-done from top to bottom. It has taken a full year for all the work to be done and they managed to move home a week before Christmas. This was all due to some faulty electrical wiring (I must admit I am pretty pleased we had to have the whole of our house re-wired when we moved in).
It has been a nightmare for the whole family. They have done nothing but fight with builders and insurance people for the last year. All their stuff like clothes and personal possessions had to go for professional cleaning and was then put into storage, and they lost loads of stuff due to smoke and water damage.
One thing that I have taken away from their sorry situation is to check our house insurance policy. They have had major problems being able to claim for all their damaged items, not because the house insurance didn’t cover it, but due to the amount the insurance covered them for. If you check you house insurance details, they ask you to name an amount you want to be covered for. I think a standard policy offers you something like £30,000 -£40,000 worth. Most people, including us, think that this will more than cover anything that happens. However, my friend was saying once they started to go round the house and add up everything they had that needed replacing, they soon exceeded the amount they were covered for.
I mean sitting in my lounge now, with King Gadget (DH), I can easily count about £6500 just from 2 leather sofa’s, TV, all the games stations, his computer, my laptop, dining room table and chairs, our cabinets, woodburner, speaker system, and that’s not including the curtains which cost us over £300.00 in the end as we had to get them made to fit the windows, carpet, rug, and decorating, or the things within the cabinets like camera’s, DVDs, books, china. So you can see how quickly it all adds up. It’s frightening. They had to include all the soft furnishings for a 3 bed house, on top of all electrical equipment, clothing, shoes etc, and sadly they were not covered for it all. For them they also had to think of all the things they had stored in the loft.
This is why when we came to take out home insurance on this new house, I was really careful about who I insured with and how much we insured for, we have now insured our contents for £60,000, deciding that if the premium was slightly more it would be worth it in the long run, god forbid the day ever arose that we may need it.
And so, this weekend we will be travelling to just outside Luton to help ‘warm’ the nice, sparkly newly refitted house and roof!