‘We are absolutely over the moon’ Flooded family fearing ‘homelessness’ finally get payout after insurance paperwork blunder

Christel Deskins

A Scots family have told of their joy after fearing they would be left ‘homeless’ after an insurance paperwork blunder. Caitlyn and Darren McAleese were stranded with their two-year-old tot, Finn, after a freak flood destroyed their home in Freuchie, Fife. They faced a further blow after Direct Line downed […]

A Scots family have told of their joy after fearing they would be left ‘homeless’ after an insurance paperwork blunder.

Caitlyn and Darren McAleese were stranded with their two-year-old tot, Finn, after a freak flood destroyed their home in Freuchie, Fife.

They faced a further blow after Direct Line downed tools and told the couple they wouldn’t pay out £40,000 in damages, after already starting repairs last week, due to a paperwork error.



a group of people swimming in the water: The street was struck by a freak flood in August


© Supplied
The street was struck by a freak flood in August

The mix up occurred after the family failed to declare Caitlyn’s side business as a sports therapist, working from the garage. With just nine weeks to find the cash and repair the home before their emergency accommodation ran out, they started to fear the worst.

But the insurance company then did a full u-turn and decided to resume work on the house, but not the garage were Caitlyn occasionally saw clients.

Workmen for Direct Line will carry out the repairs needed to the home in the coming weeks.

Caitlyn told the Daily Record: “We are absolutely over the moon.

“Direct line have changed their minds and are now covering the claim.

“Our full bottom floor has been completely destroyed and we couldn’t believe it when we were told they wouldn’t cover us.



The water was up to knee level in their home


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The water was up to knee level in their home

“It was because I never declared that I sometimes see people in my garage for sports therapy.

“It’s really occasional work, I didn’t know I had to, they made us feel like criminals.

“It was a nightmare, I can’t believe it even all happened.”

Now Caitlyn has lifted the lid on her horror as brown liquid ‘up to knee height’ swept the full downstairs of their house on August 12th after a sudden heavy rain storm.

She said: “We were at home when the rain just came on really heavy and started to come through the house.



Their full downstairs area was destroyed in the flood


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Their full downstairs area was destroyed in the flood

“It was so stressful I just grabbed Finn, the cat, and dog, while my husband tried to help elderly neighbours get out of their homes.

“The water was up to our knees in the house and up to waist level in the street.

“Finn was in tears and really upset, it was awful it was coming down off the fields at the farms and stunk so bad.

“Our full bottom floor has been completely destroyed and on Monday we found out the insurance company won’t cover us.



a close up of a small child smiling at the camera: Caitlyn grabbed her on Finn as dirty water filled the house


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Caitlyn grabbed her on Finn as dirty water filled the house

“We have stayed there for five years and never had any problem so it was really unexpected.

“There had been a flood 12 years ago but the council had put precautions as defences but this flood got past them.”



a person holding a child: With just nine weeks to find the cash and repair the home before their accommodation ran out, they started to fear the worst.


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With just nine weeks to find the cash and repair the home before their accommodation ran out, they started to fear the worst.

A spokesperson for Direct Line Home Insurance said: “We have fully investigated Mr and Mrs McAleese claim and can confirm that the damage to their house will be covered on the policy and remediation works will continue once drying out of the home has been completed in the coming weeks.

“However, as their garage was used for business purposes we are unable to provide cover for this space or its contents.”

 “It is incredibly important for householders to notify their insurer of any changes to their personal circumstances to ensure they remain covered on their policy.



a car parked on the side of a river: The area was submerged in water


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The area was submerged in water

“This includes, changes to the use of the property or outbuildings, whether this be for business purposes like Mr and Mrs McAleese or if they are having any building work or an extension added to their home.”

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