Case study Ian Carnachan, Crawfordsburn

Case study
Ian Carnachan, Crawfordsburn, Northern Ireland

The last thing any retired couple needs is drain problems, let alone the hassle of trying to pursue a legitimate claim with an insurance company that won’t stump up. Sadly for Ian Carnachan (65) and his wife Ann (64), who live in the picturesque village of Crawfordsburn in County Down, Northern Ireland, this was recently the case.

The Carnachans’ difficulties started when their drains became blocked and overflowed, leaking water and sewage into their garden. Ian had his drains professionally cleaned before the blockage backed up inside his home but the problem continued to recur.

Having his drains professionally cleaned on a regular basis was becoming costly to Ian so he resolved to do it himself, a horrible job that became a true thorn in his side. Ian suspected that his drains were covered under the accidental damage clause of his buildings insurance so he called his insurer. It sent Master Blaster, a Bangor-based plumbing and drainage expert, to the property to conduct a CCTV survey.

The CCTV survey revealed a blockage near the edge of Ian’s property, which Master Blaster cleared, but this did not resolve the problem. Eventually it was discovered that a pipe had collapsed under the weight of Ian’s new conservatory, interrupting the flow of the drainage system and causing repeated blockages.

The quote to fix the drainage system came to nearly £5,000. Ian tried to claim on his buildings insurance but his insurer attempted to pass the collapsed pipe off as subsidence damage, which is not covered under the terms of Ian’s policy.

Ian disagreed. If his property was affected by subsidence then surely he would see cracks in the walls and other tell-tale signs? However, the insurer stubbornly refused to pay.

Master Blaster advised Ian to contact Happy Drains, which manages insurance cases for homeowners and negotiates with troublesome insurers to get legitimate claims paid. Happy Drains agreed with Ian. There was no other visible damage to the property so it was the new conservatory rather than subsidence that was the cause of the problem.

This meant that the Carnachans had a rightful, legitimate claim under the accidental damage clause of their building insurance policy.

Happy Drains took the couple’s case on and entered into lengthy negotiations with the insurer, which did its best to wriggle out of coughing up by passing the case to an assessor. The assessor immediately sided with Ian so the insurer eventually accepted and paid the claim, saving the Carnachans nearly £5,000. 

“Frankly, people pay good money for insurance policies and when they have a legitimate claim they expect to be supported by their insurer not trodden on,” says Ian. “It is a blessed relief to have a company like Happy Drains standing up for the rights of consumers. If it hadn’t taken on my case I would have paid to fix the damage myself and ended up nearly £5,000 out of pocket.

“Happy Drains was extremely knowledgeable and understood all the insurance jargon my insurer kept palming me off with. It provided a wonderful service, kept me regularly informed of case updates and fought my corner hard to get the claim settled as soon as possible.

“I have been recommending Happy Drains to all my family and friends. I really can’t praise the firm highly enough.”