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Tornado house still in a shambles

PUBLISHED: 16:24 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:49 24 August 2010

A FAMILY whose house was damaged in the Kensal Rise Tornado three years ago is still battling to get an insurance company to complete the work, writes Alex Wellman. Elaine Photiou of Lidell Gardens, Kensal Rise, suffered a living nightmare trying to ma

A FAMILY whose house was damaged in the Kensal Rise Tornado three years ago is still battling to get an insurance company to complete the work, writes Alex Wellman.

Elaine Photiou of Lidell Gardens, Kensal Rise, suffered a 'living nightmare' trying to make insurers Liverpool Victoria complete and pay for all repair work on the property.

Mrs Photiou, who lives in the house with her husband and three children, says the company only took interest in her once she contacted the chief executive on the third anniversary of the disaster. She said: "For the first year we tried to accommodate the insurers and contractor as much as possible by changing our work schedules but we were taken advantage of and the work was not completed.

"It got to the third anniversary and still the work was not complete and we had heard nothing from Liverpool Victoria so I emailed the chief executive directly. I got a very apologetic response and now things are being done, but it should not have come down to me talking to the top for this to be dealt with.

"All the way through we were promised a point of contact and nobody did anything for us. It was broken promises all the way.

"How on earth can you justify a claim going on for this long? It's a shambles. They could have built a whole new house in three years yet I have been completely abandoned."

Mrs Photiou involved her MP Sarah Teather, who has elevated the case to the Financial Ombudsman and pledged to fight for her until the case is won.

Ms Teather said: "The tornado in Kensal Green brought untold damage and distress to the streets of Brent. It is unacceptable that, three years on, there are residents still having to fight their insurance company to get them to pay up."

A Liverpool Victoria spokeswoman said the company had done around £180,000 of work on the house, adding that a new contractor was selected to start work on January 12.

She said: "We agree that our original contractor could have handled the claim better and we apologise for the delay in finalising the repairs. We have agreed to discuss compensation Ms Photiou after the final repairs have been completed in the New Year."

l Turn to page 12 for more on climate change.


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