Eaux de Marseille Insurance Claim

In the manhole adjacent to the house, the mains water pipe burst (on the water board’s side of the counter) and flooded the manhole for several months before we noticed huge cracks in the house appear and found the problem. We called our insurers MAAF who employed an expert. After a quick look around the house, he concluded that he could not say if the leak caused the damage. In 2015, however, we had exactly the same problem and MAAF paid because the leak was on our side of the counter. Agglopole have said we are not insured. Has anyone taken action against Agglopole?

Hello George and welcome to the forum.

Have you actually contacted your local Water Board and discussed the damage to your property ???

You mention MAFF and Agglopole (??)… but it’s not clear whether the Water Board itself is officially denying responbility…

EDIT: are you in a lone position, or are any other properties affected?? Is the roadway/pavement affected… ??

Hello Stella,
Thank you for getting in touch.
We reported the cracks in October 2022 to MAAF (our insurer) unsure of the origin. However, in December 2022 we found a massive water leak in the manhone which we videoed! MAAF came to the house in February to look at the cracks/damage and were accompanied by a member of Eaux de Marseille (Agglopole). They were given the video. They then decided to employ an independent expert from ELEX (expert de batiment) to assess and find the cause of the cracks. He arrived with an insurance assessor from Agglopole. The report from ELEX was inconclusive (despite exactly the same thing happening in 2015 for which MAAF paid). He didn’t know why the cracks have appeared! (not so expert!) . MAAF are required to find the source of the movement of the house, however they have said that it’s not their responsibility as the leak was the other side of the counter and closed their file on the claim and there has been a deathly silence from Agglopole. We don’t know who to approach next.
I would be really grateful for your comments.
Thank you.

3 questions…
When did you report the leak to EdeMarseille?
When did the leak get mended???
Was any other property or whatever… affected by this incident, or is it just You ???

(You mention inspections being done in February… but it’s unclear if you actually
reported the leak to Eaux de Marseille when you found it and videoed it in previous December??)

Reported the leak in December 2022 to Eaux de Marseille immediately after finding it and videoing it. It was a Friday. We turned the mains water off and they came the following Monday to mend a broken washer which had caused the leak. Have a photo of that too.
No other property affected. Just us.
The initial cracks are in a direct line above the leak (manhole) both outside and inside the house and have subsequently spread. Has the house suffered subsidence because of this? We don’t know as the expert was useless.

Frankly, I reckon EdM are content that the cracks appeared before the waterleak (judging by the timeline you have posted here…).

Which might be correct… however, their waterleak will surely have exacerbated things, so I’m not sure how they can deny all responsibility.

Sounds like you might have to fight hard to get your MAAF and EdM Insurers to hold their hands up and pay the part which is applicable to each of them.

check your house policy, right down to the very small print.

Others will surely know how you can make the appropriate claims in such circumstances…

The cracks are exactly the same and in exactly the same place as the first incident in 2015 although worse this time around.

Ah… makes me wonder if they were rectified properly on that occasion.
How did you handle that original problem??

The work should have been guaranteed for 10 years… ???


Absolutely. In 2015 MAAF sent a team of decorators to mend cracks and repaint but didn’t check the foundations. This time around, the leak exacerbated the underlying problem, maybe.
I have written to MAAF. According to their paperwork, in the case of a “disaster” they have to do three things. Find the cause, price the problem and find a solution. None have been done.

In 2015, we were alerted to a water leak by the waterboard because our bills were horrendous and it had been going on for some time. Then the leak was our side of the counter so MAAF were liable.

I think MAAF have to send a structural engineer to see if they were negligent in 2015 and didn’t do a full structural survey.

You may be right in that Eaux de Marseille are happy that the cracks appeared before we reported the leak (October cracks reported to MAAF and December leak mended). But it’s the same story. Leak over a period of time. How do we prove that? Only from our last experience.

As far as the 10 year guarantee - I agree. But the building work and redecoration done 2015 and since have been fine and solid until this second leak and then it all re-cracked. We called the builder and he said it’s not his responsibility because he did the job that the insurance company told him to do.

The biggest question I have is if MAAF agreed in 2015 that the water leak caused the structural damage and paid without hesitation, why aren’t they going after Eaux de Marseille on our behalf to get them to repair the damage caused by their leak? It’s in exactly the same place and caused exactly the same damage.
Do I pay for a third independent engineer? Will both parties disagree with that report?

Do you have any assurance protection juridique?

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Hi Gareth,
I thought we had covered ourselves for everything. We have MAAF integral. On the insurance policy, however, that one is not covered.
We’ve got:
Responsibilitie Civile Vie Privee
Defense Juridique consommation
We have got, which we pay seperately, is cover to call the MAAF lawyers free of charge.
We’ve got:
Assistance aux personnes
Renseignements juridique
Do you think we can ring the MAAF lawyers and ask them to take action against Eaux de Marseille?

Hi George. If it were me then I’d contact them and explain everything you’ve put here. They’ll give you an objective opinion and suggest what your best course of action should be.

Good luck.

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Given dates you’d maybe better be quick. Not sure what statute(s) of limitations apply here.

Also I am wondering how independent your insurance company’s ‘expert’ can be on any occasion if there are high sums involved. In the UK my insurance co sends an adjuster, or even if an expert or assessor realistically his role can be suspected to be a ‘loss adjuster’ and the counterpart person you’d hire would be a ‘loss assessor’ (ie your own expert to disagree with the insurance co’s loss adjuster) if a lot of money was at stake.