Monday 19 March 2018

'She wasn't asked if he was in prison' - man tells Liveline home insurance policy revoked after daughter-in-law didn't reveal her husband was in jail

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Stock picture

Tomás Heneghan

A woman whose husband is in prison in the UK has had her insurance policy revoked after she failed to disclose his existence to the insurance company.

Tom Finn from Wexford was speaking to Radio One's Liveline today about his daughter-in-law, Betty’s problem with her insurance policy.

The man told RTE’s Liveline show on Monday afternoon that following water damage to Betty’s home, she attempted to make a claim on her insurance policy.

However, Tom explained the insurance company refused to pay out on the claim, saying Betty had failed to disclose that there was someone with a criminal record living in her home.

Tom told the show that his son, James, was currently in prison in the UK and had been there for three years. He added that James will be in the prison for another four to five years.

The Wexford man explained to the show’s presenter, Joe Duffy the insurance policy was taken out in February this year and that at that time there was no one - and continues to be no one -  with a criminal record living in the house.

The policy claim arose after a water tank in the house became dislodged and the resultant water leak damaged ceilings, floors and walls.

Tom said Betty currently lives with one of her sons, while her other two sons are living away from the home.

He explained: “On the form she filled in she had to say who was living in the house at that time.”

“She wasn’t asked [if her husband was in prison]”.

He added: “They accepted her money…and the minute she puts in a claim they come along with this story.”

He said Betty is currently on Jobseekers Allowance and can’t afford the estimated €12,000-€15,000 cost of repair work for the water damage.

He also said that only Betty’s name appears on the insurance policy for the home.

Tom said a cheque for the original amount paid for the policy was returned to the family and that they sent it back to the insurer.

Tom said the insurance company then sent the cheque a second time and the family handed it over to their solicitor for the time being.

He said in her current financial position Betty would be happy just to have the money to get the ceilings in the house repaired before winter.

A second caller, Richard Sherlock told the show he had recently tried to get home insurance and was refused because he disclosed that he had a criminal record from a fight 18 years ago.

He said as an 18-year-old he had gotten into a drunken fight and had been given a three month suspended sentence and bound to the peace.

He said now, at 36 years of age, insurance companies will not provide cover due to this and that he needed insurance as he is currently trying to rent out his house.

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