From Subsidence to Salmon - A Lumley Claims Story

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Here at Lumley, we believe that the true value of your insurance policy is not discovered until you need to make a claim, and when you do, you want to be content in the knowledge that the people involved are working together to achieve the best outcome for you.

Whilst some claims are more straightforward than others, our Account Handlers will go the extra mile to ensure everything is settled to your satisfaction – no matter what might be thrown their way.

This is the story of a claim that threw a few unforeseen events into the mix, as told by our Client Account Handler, Jenny Barker.

“My client first contacted me in November 2018 after noticing part of a river wall in their grounds had begun to collapse. I first advised them to call a structural engineer or contactor who could visit the property to try to ascertain the cause for the damage to the wall. It was then discovered that the shifting in the river wall had caused cracking to the internal wall of their nearby kitchen extension.

The client was growing increasingly concerned, due to ongoing poor weather, that the damage was worsening.

Their insurance provider, Home & Legacy, appointed a loss adjuster immediately, who attended the property at the earliest opportunity, having set off at 6am in view of the urgency of the matter.

Reports were provided on the extensive remedial work which would be required, and following several months of surveyors visits and planning of how to access the riverbank safely in order to repair the damage and shore up the wall, an unexpected complexity reared it’s head.

In order to repair the damage, part of the affected kitchen extension had to be knocked down, which was not ideal due to a family wedding planned to take place at the property. Due to the expansiveness of the works, they would unfortunately not be complete in time, but Home & Legacy were happy to arrange for a full temporary kitchen unit to be installed, at their expense, to ensure the day went ahead without disruption.

Works were postponed for the weekend of the wedding, which was enjoyed by all, and due to restart the following week, had it not been for another ‘bump’ in the road.

The Environmental Agency had been involved due to the planned works in the river and concerns were raised over disruption to the Atlantic Salmon migration season, meaning further works had to be delayed until this was complete. This was due to be the case for over 6 months!

Naturally, this was not the news I or my client had hoped to hear. In an attempt to expedite the process, I enlisted the help of our independent claims consultant, and we were able to suggest that a specialist in Salmon migration (not a typical topic for household claims, and not one I have seen before!) was appointed to give their opinion to the Environmental Agency. Through proactive thinking and escalating proceedings where needed, we were able to appease the agency and works were on track to continue as of May 2020 and completed by August.

The kitchen extension rebuilt and upgraded. My client was overjoyed with the results, and some additional touches which were added during the repair to the river wall.

“I've included two little extras that they did for us - fixing an ancient stone squirrel into the wall they were rebuilding, and some ammonites into the new terrace. The kitchen is excellent, though not yet much lived in. It's a lot better than it ever was before! And we really appreciate them putting in a safety fence above the river 'swimming pool'. They also managed to manoeuvre the huge old tree stump out of the bank and over into the field where it is now a very wonderful home for Hobbits (which the little ones cannot yet decide whether they are real or not).”


From subsidence to salmon, the team at Lumley are prepared to deal with any eventuality, and will be there to represent you throughout your claim – no matter how big or small.

If you'd like details on our high-end home insurance policies, call us on 01285 885885 or leave us a message below.