VOTE: Should more be done to help the victims of flooding in Arun?

A flooded Elmer couple claim they have been abandoned by their insurance company.

Kate and Colin Mussell, whose house suffered four to five inches of flood water, have seen their policy cancelled because of difference of opinion over a water feature.

This is marked as a drain on the environmental report Mr and Mrs Mussell commissioned before they bought their house in December 2006.

But the Avantia house and contents policy, underwritten by AXA, has been voided because it says the couple failed to disclose the presence ‘within 200m of a body of water, that is, a drainage channel’.

It claims it would not have insured them if it had known about the ‘drainage channel’.

The drain/drainage channel is behind the properties on their detached house’s side of Lodge Close.

Mrs Mussell said: “We had, we believe, quite understandably, thought a drain was just that – something to take away water.

“So, we did not know we had to disclose it as ‘a body of water’ and the drain is dry for most of the year, so this seems to be an extremely harsh decision.”

An AXA spokeswoman said: “It is clear the customers had not informed Avantia, when asked as part of their insurance application, that they lived within 200m of open water, which is a condition of the insurance and, as such, their policy was voided.

“It is essential customers provide insurance companies with correct information so the risk involved can be accurately assessed and to ensure they achieve the type and level of cover they require.”

Have your say

Should more be done to help the victims of flooding in Arun?

You can cast your vote by clicking on the poll at the top right of this story.

Alternatively, you can comment below or email

To read more of Kate and Colin’s story, pick up your copy of today’s Bognor Regis Observer (Thursday, July 12, edition).