Worried about property damage and insurance reinstatement? Here’s everything you need to know about property damage caused by an insured risk! Property Damage or Destruction Caused by Insured Risk Both residential and commercial property owners are potentially vulnerable to unexpected events affecting their homes and offices/industrial/retail units. These may include fire, escape of water, flooding, structural damage and more. These events will occur when you least expect them and can cause major disruption.
The degree of damage or destruction of the property depends on the type of incident and its scale. A small leak might not be a problem but it can cause major structural damage if you leave it unnoticed.
As a resort, we turn to property insurers to provide us with a degree of comfort and protection. However, unfortunately, it’s not all plain sailing. Even if you have the right insurance in place at the appropriate level of cover, things may not go exactly the way you expect them to!
Dealing with the Damage
Businesses can be disrupted due to a fire, major burglary, flood, or by any other insured risk. This can mean finding alternative premises at short notice or working in temporary offices. Needless to say that it will ultimately affect your work, clients, turnover rate, and profits.
Householders, whether freeholders, leaseholders, landlords, or tenants also often need assistance in prompt resolution of insurance claims. It becomes even more crucial when they’re unaware of the complexity of the process.
It’s imperative to read the terms of your policy because those who don’t, are likely to get quite a shock in the later stages as to what is covered and what is not.
Another scenario is where a problem in your property affects the adjoining buildings, resulting in a leak in a block of offices or flats with water cascading through the structure, ruining finishes and possessions. Others may well want to claim against you, or you may want to do it against other occupants. It just makes things too complex.
Whilst it is possible to deal with the insurance company on your own, you may not have the time or confidence to do so. The insurer will likely appoint a loss adjuster for larger claims. It won’t be a surprise if you find out that the loss adjuster puts the interest of the insurer first to mitigate their financial outlay and keep the costs as low as possible.
This means that insurers appoint those professionals to deal with the problem at a practical level. They also ensure the insurer doesn’t have to spend even one penny more than they can get away with.
So, do you think you can deal with the loss adjuster on your own?
Sure, you can try but let’s give you a heads-up that they’ll have far more experience in dealing with insurance reinstatement claims than you!
The Solution: Get Professional Support for Insurance Claims Matters
Many people do not realise that the insurer will often pay for the insured party to obtain professional advice in dealing with the loss adjustor. This could be a surveying company, a structural engineer, or a specialist firm.
Building surveyors, particularly Chartered Building Surveyors are trained to deal with loss adjusters in insurance reinstatement matters. Here’s what they do:
- Agree on the fee for the input on the claim
- Discuss the elements of the claim with the loss adjuster
- Negotiate various items of the claim, whether it is related to fire, structural damage, escape of water, flood, or any other incident affecting the property
- Communicate in writing with the loss adjusters/insurers on behalf of the insured party to update them of progress and relevant issues
- Provide any necessary specialist structural reports or service reports to assist with the settlement of the claim
- Negotiate and reach a conclusion with the loss adjuster regarding the degree of caused to the insured’s property while being aware of the insurance cover at the time of the incident
- Come to an agreement on the financial settlement for reinstatement of the premises
- Considering the type of business and any disruption in the implementation of temporary remedial works
- Keeping the insured party in the loop regarding the progress on the claim
Major Claims Insurance Reinstatement
A professional advisor can also offer to help with the organizing remedial works if the insured party requests so. This will involve:
- Carrying out a measured survey of the affected parts of the property
- Preparing specifications of work and drawings
- Finding builders for tendering
- Inviting tenders
- Assessing tenders, liaising with loss adjusters, providing tender reports to both the parties with recommendations
- Contract administration of the remedial works
- Cost control of the remedial works
- Issuing paperwork, certificates, etc. at the end of the job
Minor insurance reinstatement claims may not require this but the option remains with the insured party. It often helps in situations where the client wishes to make some changes at the same time and go beyond what was covered in the insurance claim. Building surveyors, such as Arun Associates are experts of these matters. And the best thing is that they always give impartial advice!
Looking after the Purse-Strings
Clearly, no insurer is going to pay out any more than they have to in any claim. That’s the reason they involve loss adjusters in the matter!
While you certainly can make other changes as part of remedial works, you need to be realistic, as you will have to fund those changes as well.
For example, if the equipment in kitchen has been affected by water damage and 25% of it can be saved and repaired according to the loss adjuster, you may feel tempted to disagree and want all units replaced.
This is where Arun Associates come in!
They are used to handling these sorts of situations. They will negotiate with the loss adjuster on your behalf and meet all your realistic expectations.
The comfort of an experienced professional looking out for you in what might be a difficult time of significant disruption is everything!
The expert surveyor represents your interests and saves you the hassle, time, and resources of dealing with loss adjusters and insurance agents. You may still be required to sign certain documents though. However, the building surveyor will guide you through the entire process to ensure a risk-free experience.
The Risks Involved in Remedial Works
Businesses may need assistance with remedial works to their offices following an insurance claim.
Remedial work is often done in smaller phases. An experienced professional can help you understand your problems and work with you to ensure correct programming of the work and meet strict budgets.
More often than not, businesses are on leased premises. This means they might have to coordinate with the landlord/freeholder to obtain any permissions and licences for alterations. A partial refurbishment may be carried out to bring the office or retail premises up to scratch while a budget for the work is set aside. A professional building surveyor may take care of all these matters as a part of the package chosen by the client.
Comfort for Householders in Insurance Reinstatement Scenarios
A quick question, why would you put yourself through stress and invest so much time and resources in negotiating an insurance claim when you can get an expert to do that for you? Especially, when there is little to no fee being charged!
The loss adjuster often agrees on the fee for professional surveyors in insurance reinstatement matters. Any appointment with a building surveyor should be clearly set out to make it clear what your financial liability will be. Professionals at Arun Associates believe in communicating everything clearly while answering any questions you may have.
Hiring a Loss Assessor
In some cases, it is best to seek expert help to efficiently manage the complicated process following a mishap. This is particularly important for businesses and homeowners affected by major fire and flood events,
Many policyholders appoint loss assessors who don’t act for the insurance company. Arun Associates have strong connections with professional loss assessors and they can help you get in touch with them.
Loss assessors are typically responsible for finding alternative accommodation whilst the damage to the original premises is repaired. They also review the loss of rent and contents after an incident and assess whether the damage is recoverable. Moreover, they measure the impact of the incident, helping you mitigate the effects efficiently.
That being said, a loss assessor does not usually organize the remedial works – and that is where you will need help from a building surveyor. The two parties will work closely together to bring out the best results in your favour!
As a home or business property owner, you may wish to build an extension or perhaps completely remodel your property after an unfortunate event. The design and surveying team at Arun Associates will be happy to work with you on your project in addition to helping you with your insurance claim reinstatement. Finally, we would be happy to discuss your needs at no obligation so feel free to contact us.