A Devon couple is claiming to have been mis-sold insurance after being told they can’t claim for damage caused by tenants.
According to the Daily Telegraph, their tenants – who appear to have been operating a cannabis farm within the property – caused £56,000 of damage, which Saga is refusing to cover.
Richard Meryon and his wife Rosalind decided in 2009 to move to Jerusalem to volunteer with a Christian charity. They let out the house to a local couple, and two months later insured the house with Saga, their insurer for ten years. Mr Meryon says he told the company that the house was now let out, and Saga sold him a contents policy underwritten by Allianz.
Two years later the tenants stopped paying rent. The couple flew back to inspect the house – and found that the tenants had boarded themselves in and scattered furniture and rubbish across the garden.
Five months later, the tenants were evicted. But the Meryons found that the house had been badly damaged by water and heat – probably the sign that a cannabis factory had been operating inside.
However, Allianz refused to pay out, citing small print that excluded any loss or damage caused by persons lawfully in the home, or malicious damage by tenants. And that decision was upheld by the financial ombudsman.
The row shows the importance of reading the small print in any agreement – although this is often easier said than done.
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