Value for Money
1Value for Money
In 2012 I rented my recently renovated house to a young professional family, recommended to me by Ray White Rockdale. I took out Honan Landlords Insurance (underwritten by the Guild Insurance) and paid the premium outright, directly to Honan’s.
A couple of months later, the professional family suddenly became tenants from hell when the husband bashed his wife and she took an AVO against him. She then decided that this incident entitled her to stop paying me rent and leave her belongings in my house while she moved to a refuge. Paying rent there instead. To cut short a long and unpleasant story with the tenant and Ray White Rockdale, I managed to force the tenant out of my house 3 months into the lease. She left it 2 days after I exchanged Contracts of Sale on the house. Helping herself to some of my belongings that Ray White Rockdale property manager didn’t bother to list on the inspection report. The house sale was finalised 5 weeks later, during which time the house was empty and I was losing more rent needed for the mortgage payments.
I’ve informed Honan Landlords Insurance of the situation and was advised to put in a claim for the 5 weeks loss of rent and stolen items. I filled in their simple form, clearly stating what I was claiming. I also advised them that in the first instance, I was hoping to recover my losses from the tenant or Ray White Rockdale in CTTT hearings. No resolution was achieved in the conciliation hearings and the follow up ones were rescheduled to the new year, 4 months later.
During this extremely stressful time, I dealt with 7 various people at Honan’s. I provided them with information requested by the Guild Insurance, their underwriters. For some reason, these people could not/would not understand my simple claim, documented on their simple claim form. Apart from the many emailed explanations and supporting documents that I kept sending a number of times while they kept getting “lost”, I also had numerous telephone conversations with most of them. Explaining again and again what I was claiming.
The CTTT hearings were over in March last year (2013). I wasn’t able to recover my financial losses from the tenant or Ray White Rockdale. I informed Honan’s and pursued my claim through them. When the Guild Insurance’s claim specialist declared my claim invalid because I didn’t advertise the property for rent (for the five weeks while it was being sold!), a customer service officer from Honan’s undertook to assist me with the claim.
It took him another 4 months to document all my dealings with Honan and the Guild Insurance to persuade them to award me the 5 weeks lost rent. I had to resend some documents for the third time as the Guild Insurance claimed they weren’t received until July! Since my stolen belongings weren’t documented on the inspection report, I was not entitled to claim them.
As soon as I was informed of the Guild Insurance’s decision, I contracted a life threatening illness, no doubt exacerbated by the enormous stress I experienced during the past year. I spent a few weeks in ICU. When I returned home, I searched my accounts for the insurance refund. It was nowhere to be found. I informed Honan of this at least 3 times. They finally traced it to Ray White Rockdale account! Somebody in the Guild Insurance decided to transfer it there, 9 months after my house was sold. Not only without my knowledge and permission but also without any reference to me! For a month, my refund sat in Ray White Rockdale’s account earning them interest until I claimed it upon my return from hospital, again involving a number of people. An interesting fact to note was the Guild Insurance’s and Ray White Rockdale’s ability to sort out this problem within 24 hours! When to this day Ray White Rockdale refuses to take any responsibility for the problems they caused me with the tenant and all my subsequent financial losses. And when it took the Guild Insurance “only” 9 months to process my very simple claim!
I recently lodged a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman against the Guild Insurance and requested compensation suggested by my solicitor, for the way I was treated with respect to my claim. For my wasted time and the stress my dealings with them caused me. Unfortunately, the Financial Ombudsman’s compensation terms are limited to a maximum $3000 that would not cover my losses with regard to my claim. The Guild Insurance informed me they “don’t pay for pain and suffering” and will therefore not be responding further to my compensation claim. Not a word of apology from them either!
After a year of unpleasant dealings with exceptionally incompetent and unprofessional staff at Honan and the Guild Insurance, I have now severed all my association with them. Because of my experiences, I DO NOT recommend Honan Landlords Insurance (underwritten by the Guild Insurance) to anyone and will never deal with them again.
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