The beast from the east caused chaos in March last year.

A burst pipe caused catastrophic damage and we need a surveyor to identify all the problems

In March last year, a pipe burst in our loft as a result of the “beast from the east” cold snap. The consequence was catastrophic with every ceiling, wall and floor ruined.

Since then, our insurance company, Legal & General, has sent several builders to look at the damage but we feel the proposed repairs address only the superficial damage and have significant omissions.

Since June, we have been asking for a surveyor to identify the full scale of any problems but this has not been done. The worry is that hidden issues, such as damaged wiring, rotting flooring and damp and mould will not be addressed, and we will be left with serious ongoing problems. Ten months since the flood we are still unable to return to our house, no repairs have started and we are beginning to despair of ever going back. DB, Newbury, Berkshire

If Legal & General’s apparent intransigence was a cost-saving strategy, it was shortsighted because neglected damage racks up far bigger bills in the long run.

Here’s a depressing fact. You say that for 10 months your pleas for the damage to be properly assessed by a surveyor were ignored. Two working days after its press office realised publicity was pending, it rang you to announce it had appointed a surveyor to assess the full extent of the water ingress. “We’ll always make every reasonable effort to get customers back into their properties as safely and quickly as possible, providing alternative accommodation in the meantime if required,” it says.

Questions about why it has taken nearly a year to perform this elementary step, and what the timescale for repairs is likely to be, went unanswered.

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