Invalid house insurance shock

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AFTER 26 years with the same insurance company, a Sheffield couple’s claim for snow-damaged guttering was refused because their live-in son had been convicted of assault.

Not only did Royal and Sun Alliance refuse the claim, it said the policy had been void ever since March last year, 30 days after sentencing.

The Frecheville couple then found their equally long-term contents insurers, Aviva, wanted nothing more to do with them for the same reason.

It sent a letter advising that when the policy expired on February 19 to look elsewhere.

The stunned mum rang Action Desk to warn others after experiencing the full impact of the insurance industry’s multiple exclusion clauses.

She said: “My son was 19 when he got into a town centre fracas. But how his conviction has got anything to do with my gutters I’ll never know.

“Thank God we didn’t have a major catastrophe in the last 11 months because we weren’t covered at all.

“They said we should have informed them, but I had no idea. I was still paying even though it was void.

“Since then I’ve rung around and a new policy will be about £200 extra per year.

“I think it’s appalling, he lives under the same roof but has no connection with the policy.”

An RSA spokesman said the policy wording was clear – customers must disclose changes to their circumstances within 30 days.

He said: “In the case of a conviction for common assault, had we been made aware, the policy would have been cancelled immediately.

“As the conviction predates the claim, I’m afraid we’re unable to provide cover to Mrs Keyworth.

“We cannot make exceptions when there has been a clear breach in the terms of the policy. To do so would be unfair to all our other customers.

“Customers must take the time to understand the terms of their policy.”

Aviva did not comment.