Pool Insurance Claim Rejected - Insurer Claims Pool Not Built to Australian Standards

Hi guys bought our house 3 years ago (approx 30 year old built )and I just applied for a pool insurance claim with our insurance company as I noticed the pool was coming of the concrete(fibreglass pool) and their was big crack in the pool.

The insurance company sent a dodgy young structural engineer(amateur) and he did some inspection and tooks the picture and after few days the company rejected my claim advising that our pool was not made as per the Australian standards, therefore it resulted in getting the issues and advised if the pool would have been installed in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Standard as well as the internal water height at operating level, the damage to the pool would not have occurred.

When we bought the house(2017) we did get a safety certificate from the pool inspector who passed the pool and it was complying with all the safety requirement . So, my question here is if the the pool was not made as per the Australian standard should I be held liable for this or the previous owner who sold the house to us? Should I contact the city council about this because they are the one who would have granted the authority to the builder when the pool was made(I am thinking obviously the person who built it may have to get it passed(authorisations) from them.

Is their any way to take this further or appeal it further as I believe the insurance company is not telling the truth and running off their liability. What are my options from here?

Comments

  • +6 votes

    Should I contact the city council about this

    They may issue you a notice to fix the issue.

    Maybe ask the insurer which standards it does not comply with and then get an independent opinion.

    Either way, sounds like they got you for water height, which is your responsibility, not the previous owner or the builder.

  • +1 vote

    Standards change over time, when it was built it may have passed the inspection, however it may not be up to the same standards today.

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      So , do I take responsibility for this , because I believe I am at no fault and have always Maintained my insurance policy and our pool.

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      And it is the standards at the time of design that apply. The insurance company ought to provide a detailed catalogue of non-compliance/s against those standards in order to support their rejection. I would also be contacting the company that installed the pool to request a certificate confirming compliance with the appropriate standards.

  • +6 votes

    If you believe your pool is up to standard and the company wrongly rejected the claim. Lodge a AFCA complaint against them.

  • +6 votes

    The safety cert from the pool inspection would only cover fencing and signage. Has nothing to do with the structural integrity of the pool itself.

    Get a second opinion from an engineer, but I suspect you are out of luck with the insurance co.

    How old is the pool?

    •  

      Not really sure about how old the pool is ..tried calling the council and they said to the QBCC (organisation in Queensland)and trying ringing them and they were like we don’t keep all the records and advised to contact the council ..yes I will definitely take second opinion cheers

      •  

        How old is it roughly? 0-5, 5-10, 20 years? If it is likely over 10 years I don’t think you will get any recourse. Builders warranty is around 7 years, you might be lucky with some form of equivalent.

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    What type of insurance are you trying to claim? And can you link the pds?

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    I am claiming under the home and building insurance . Please see link for the PDF reports
    https://imgur.com/RvcHSSm
    https://imgur.com/u6AOGzh
    https://imgur.com/kB7goRw
    https://imgur.com/lDvwUhU
    https://imgur.com/azVFre8

    Sorry , unable to attached the whole PDF in one go ..that’s why used this

    • +3 votes

      Home and building insurance will (usually) only cover damage that is caused by a "defined event" like earthquake, fire, storm, flood. Part of your property failing without being caused by a defined event won't be covered.

      How long ago was the pool installed? It may be covered by a warranty.

      •  

        The pool seems very old. Probably your only chance would be to track down the original installer but they may deny liability as well if it wasn't maintained properly.

    • +1 vote

      This page says its all - long tern neglect

      https://imgur.com/u6AOGzh

  • +4 votes

    They've got you on pool maintenance/water level. You'll find it hard to substantiate a claim from that point.

    You're only hope at this stage will be to contract an alternative structural engineer who's willing to provide a report that is effectively in your favour. From there, you'll need to argue it with the insurance company, possibly through legal channels.

    Don't bother trying to track down the original contractor from 30 years ago. Even if they still exist, you're not going to get far trying to make a warranty claim after 30 years.

    Attempting to pursue the previous owner will also be fruitless. All properties in Australia are effectively sold "as is". You will only have recourse here if the owner gave some specific warranty to you over the condition of the pool.

    The probabilities are that you're stuck with the problem.

  • +8 votes

    The insurance company sent a dodgy young structural engineer (amateur) and he did some inspection and tooks the picture and after few days the company rejected my claim advising that our pool was not made as per the Australian standards, therefore it resulted in getting the issues and advised if the pool would have been installed in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Standard as well as the internal water height at operating level, the damage to the pool would not have occurred… pool inspector who passed the pool and it was complying with all the safety requirement . So, my question here is if the the pool was not made as per the Australian standard.

    Removed blatant bias.

    Highlighted difference between structural and safety standards.

  • +3 votes

    TIL there’s “pool insurance”

  • +1 vote

    Seems the only way you are going to win is to get a certificate from the installer the pool was built to Australian Standards.
    Maybe contact the previous owner to see if they have any old documentation and/or they can tell you who built the pool

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      Sure thing mate , atm I am exploring all the options ..cheers for you help though ..

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        Actually, construction of the pool would have required a Council building permit. The permit would also record the name of the installer

  • +1 vote

    Ask your neighbours if they know when the pool was built.

  • +3 votes

    And this one of the many reasons why you don't buy a house with a pool but instead befriend the neighbours with pools …

  • +1 vote

    dodgy young structural engineer(amateur)

    lol bias much?

    if anything, hes found out a number of issues with your pool that suggest you havent been looking after it. If you're going to fight this, youll need to hire your own engineer who would argue to the contrary.

    • +1 vote

      Mate , if you would have been there you would have probably said the same thing , this is coming from me practical experience . I just got told by him that’s he only started working as a structural engineer not long ago and this was his 2-3 visit and based on investigation he did it seemed like an amateur art of work. so , I don’t understand why do feel it’s biased ..I believe if you are in the my shoes position you would have agreed with me statement.. so you are saying in one visit he determined that we were not looking after pool, without providing any evidence ..in reality it the legsislative requirement to manaintain your pool as per the councils guidelines ..sorry mate you felt about my post in this way..but this is coming straight from the practicality…if you google the reviews the review of the structural engineer(majority of the reviews were negative ) I don’t have to explain meself..

      •  

        fair enough. irrispective of his experience, you are on the back foot.

        I've always been under the impression that insurance only fixed issues that were caused by an event. i.e. if the pool collapses, you can claim, but a crack is just maintentance.

        If it was me i'd be reading the PDS cover to cover, and then i'd be looking to hire alternative engineers who will support to the contrary.

  • +1 vote

    Hire your own expert to check the pool and take it from there. Insurance companies are not in business of paying claims.

    Worst come to worst least you can use his report to get quotes to fix your pool :)

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