As airports, beach bars, and luxury hotels around the globe prepare for the arrival of your high net worth clients this summer, now is the time to help them ensure their properties at home are protected before heading off.
As our loss adjusters have experienced on high net worth cases, relaxing vacations can soon turn into stressful nightmares when something goes wrong back at home.
Case study: what can go wrong when clients are on holiday
In one instance, our loss adjusters were approached for advice after the event when a couple on a weekend away in Berlin received a phone call from a neighbour notifying them that their flat had been broken into.
The police assessed the situation and instructed that the lock and door were damaged and should be dealt with immediately. Unfortunately, the landlord of the building was absent as he lived abroad, and so the couple were tasked with finding a contractor straight away.
They found an emergency contractor who told them he was approved by insurers, and would be able to immediately replace the door. The new door cost £1300 in total. The couple came back from their holiday ready to claim the cost back on their household policy.
When the insurers received the claim, they stated that their specialist contractors would have charged £700, and that the couple should have gotten at least 3 competitive quotes for the work. They refused to pay them any more than £700.
This is when the couple approached Lorega’s chartered loss adjusters for advice. Our adjuster argued that it was the insurer’s duty of care to the customer to pay the full claim, as it was unreasonable to expect them, whilst on holiday abroad, to shop around for multiple quotes for the emergency work, when the police had told them to immediately secure the premises.
The insurer agreed to pay the claim in full. Moving forward, the couple have taken out a Loss Recovery Policy, which will remove the stress of dealing with their insurance claims if faced with another loss in the future.
7 tips to protect an empty property
Share these tips with your clients to help make sure they’re protected when on holiday.
- Make sure the policy covers long absences – it’s no use having cover if it isn’t valid for the entire trip. In most cases this will be 30 days, and some policies may even ask that somebody visits the property every week.
- Ensure all door and window locks are secure – in 72% of break-in cases, a burglar will enter through a door, according to LockRite statistics. 15% of those will get in because the door has simply been left unlocked
- Take contact details for emergency contractors – write them down or have them saved on your phone, just in case you need them while away. Preparation is key and will help should something happen when abroad
- Ensure your alarm is in full working order – check this before you go, and make sure it has a regular service (every 12 months). Many HNW policies will have this service contract as a requirement.
- Switch off the water mains – an easy one to forget but an even easier one to prevent disasters from occurring. Turning off the water supply can help avoid issues, but may also be required as part of the policy
- Tell a trusted neighbour – let them know that you are going away, and make sure they have a spare key should the worst occur. This will make the insurance process easier and, in some instances, can help to mitigate the loss. As a lesson to learn from the above case study, it’s a good idea to ensure your neighbours have your contact details
- Avoid posting about going away on social media – while it’s tempting to show followers that you’re jetting off to the sun, this tips others off that the house will be empty for the duration of the trip
Smooth the claims process
Should the worst occur and a claim is not prevented, our loss adjusters have the expertise and experience to ensure the claims process runs as smoothly as possible – as demonstrated in the case above.
In our recent webinar, Chartered Loss Adjuster and Operations Director of Lorega Solutions Martin Almond spoke his experience supporting policyholders in high net worth claims and discussed some of the benefits of having a loss adjuster working on their behalf. For personal lines brokers, the webinar provides information on product benefits and how they can sell Loss Recovery to home owners.