Homeowner baffled by insurance snub

A GOATHLAND cottage owner believes the disastrous landslips in Whitby have led to him being snubbed for home insurance by a prominent company.

When Dennis Hudson, of The Common in Goathland, contacted John Lewis Insurance, which is underwritten by AXA, he was told they would not insure his 196-year-old cottage due to subsidence.

With no serious instances of landslips occuring nearby, aside from a small amount of slippage near Goathland station, he concluded that they must have been referring to the landslides that have threatened Whitby’s east side, 12 miles away.

“It’s stupid,” he said. “I challenged them and said ‘what’s this got to do with subsidence?’ She couldnt explain to me. Then I linked it to Whitby, realising it might be the same postcode, but she just refused to go any further.”

A manager at the insurance company reaffirmed the stance of the telephone operator by stating that they no longer insured homes within the YO22 postcode, which is shared by properties from St Mary’s church to Goathland, Glaisdale and Robin Hood’s Bay.

Mr Hudson said he never had this problem before but added that a neighbour was also denied home insurance by the same company. He explained: “I was talking to a neighbour about it and got halfway through the story when he said ‘that happened to me’. He too rang John Lewis, so it would seem that they have taken a blanket ban on YO22.”

However, a spokesperson for AXA Insurance refuted Mr Hudson’s claims. She said: “We can confirm that AXA does have customers in YO22 and does continue to write home insurance policies in this area.

“There are a number of factors that can determine whether we will insure a property so inevitably there will be some homes within the YO22 district that we wouldn’t provide cover for. If we were unable to provide cover for some reason, we would direct these customers to a specialist provider who would be able to help insure the property.”

The barn conversion was constructed in 1817 as a cow shed for the adjacent farm and no instances of subsidence have ever been recorded.

It was transformed into a private property in the 1970s and purchased by Mr Hudson, a former GNER employee, 16 years ago.