Home Insurance – £1.1 million in cash indemnity insurance claim settlement
In addition to several smaller yet important projects such as recruitment of staff, setting up house management processes and implementing preventive maintenance schedule we dealt with a fire insurance claim in a Grade II listed property in Central London. The incident happened in the utility cupboard in the basement floor with the fire quickly spreading in the staff office area and adjoining guest bedrooms. 5 fire engines contained the fire in the basement, however the ensuing smoke engulfed the entire property – 3 floors above. The home owners who were based abroad were obviously not pleased but wanted to ensure that the insurance claim was handled professionally.
To start with we addressed the loss adjuster’s queries, fire marshal’s reports, forensics investigation to rule out any arson possibilities. Simultaneously, we were coordinating with individual service providers to establish structural damage to supporting beams, isolate and remove burnt air conditioning units and pipe work, electrical and electronic cables. This was with a view to minimise downtime to the rest of the property where all services originated from the basement and had sustained maximum damage. Once the insurance company confirmed acceptance of liability, we were able to swiftly source accurate quotations for reinstatement building works, cleaning smoke and soot damaged areas, include loss of accommodation and all associated consultants cost.
Open, transparent and timely communication helped establish trust and confidence between myself and the loss adjuster. During extensive research and consultation on the insurance claim process, it transpired that the loss adjusters interest was equally high to settle the claim in an efficient and exact manner as detailed in the terms of the insurance policy. All suggested ongoing expenses were pre authorised to avoid any delays in the claim process and minimise financial exposure to the Principals. Despite warning from the Family office that suggesting a cash settlement might put the claim in jeopardy, I was confident that I would be able to maximise value to the Home owners. With the Principal’s approval I was able to successfully negotiate a cash indemnity settlement of £1.1 million
Key value added
The owners were very pleased and appreciative of a hugely successful financial outcome in a fire fighting situation! More over with a cash settlement, the funds could be used in a phased manner to modify the basement layout and finishes as per owners requirement instead of restoring the losses as before, seeking insurance approval at each stage of the project. The fact that we had all asset inventories and records from previous refurbishment works in place, meant we were able to provide supporting documentation/copy of invoices for most associated costs. With excellent working relationship with the service providers, we were able to bring the property back to a ‘guest-ready’ condition within 3 weeks from the date of a major incident.