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Case study: Lorega Adjuster reduces business interruption claim for gastropub.

Case study: Lorega Adjuster reduces business interruption claim for gastropub.

Case Study: Licensed Trade

Material Damage and Business Interruption claim

When a major fire broke out in a traditional gastropub, located in London’s West End, it suffered serious damage to its structure and the roof.

Luckily the pub, which dated back to the 1880s, was unaffected by the fire itself, but there was significant damage done by the fire service’s extinguishment water, which entered the pub and restaurant on the ground floor, as well as the kitchen in the basement.

This resulted in the ceiling collapsing and extensive damage to the flooring and the kitchen equipment, including the cookers and extraction system which suffered major damage. The result of this extensive damage meant that the pub was unable to trade, so the owners immediately contacted their insurance broker to find out what could be done under their insurance policy.

As they had Loss Recovery Insurance, Lorega was able to send a Chartered Loss Adjuster to visit the site within 24 hours and instigate drying measures, reviewing the extent of the damage and deciding on a strategy for moving forward. Unfortunately, this was not a straightforward claim and problems arose with regards to the separate buildings insurance arranged by the landlord, who seemed reluctant to instigate works to the flats and roof.  This resulted in subsequent rainwater penetrating the pub, meaning further damage. It transpired that the landlord of the building was submitting a planning application to change the roof and add more flats above the pub, which would result in considerable delays.

Beer Tap Lorega case studyThe Lorega adjuster was able to communicate with the insurers, who ultimately agreed to fund the emergency works needed including a “tin hat” over the building. Although this was not strictly covered under the policy, our adjuster argued that this would reduce the business interruption claim, which would outweigh the cost of the emergency works. This resolved the initial issues with rainwater and allowed proper drying to proceed, meaning agreements could be reached over the internal refurbishment of the pub.

The Lorega adjuster worked side by side with the client to maintain detailed records of any costs incurred and to prepare a full business interruption claim for presentation to the insurer’s loss adjusters. This was a complicated process as many of the staff had been redeployed to other pubs owned by the policyholder, but after considerable negotiation our adjuster was able to agree a sensible mechanism for calculating the loss of profits claim.

The pub reopened, but trade was still affected as works to the flats and roof were ongoing and there was scaffolding across the frontage. Our adjuster obtained agreement to put up temporary signage alongside some initial promotions, and a claim was agreed within the maximum indemnity period.

The pub is now continuing to trade successfully having re-established itself in the local market; both the broker and the policyholder were delighted with the service they received from Lorega.

Customer feedback

“From the start, Lorega offered me total reassurance"

"Thank you, you were a great help and made sure I claimed for everything I was entitled to. Could not have done it without you”

“Your support and input was excellent”

New survey shows insurer’s claims service still lags behind SME customer expectations.

New survey shows insurer’s claims service still lags behind SME customer expectations.

According to a our recent independent survey of SME insurance customers, there remains a clear gap between the experiences and expectations of SMEs in the UK* when it comes to making a commercial insurance claim.

Despite the growing appetite and interest in SME insurance products and distribution opportunities, our survey found the experiences of those making claims were still lacking.

A snapshot of the numbers:

  • Nearly 70% of SMEs say interim and final claims amounts not agreed promptly
  • 6 out 10 SMEs received no advice on loss mitigation as part of the claims process
  • Only 16% of businesses had a loss adjuster visit with 24 hours of reporting a claim
  • Close to 60% of SMEs had no regular communication from their insurer on claim progress
  • Over half of SMEs got no explanation of claims responsibilities

 

For SMEs who had made a claim of over £5,000 in the last two years, their experiences revealed insurers still have some way to go to address the concerns highlighted in the Financial Conduct Authority’s thematic review on SME claims published in 2015.

 

When asked about the support received, only half of the SMEs (56%) said they had received advice and support in preparing the claim. 57% of respondents said they did not have regular communication from their insurer on the progress of their claim.

 

53% said they were given no explanation of who was responsible for their claim and the same percentage said they were provided with no information on their cover and claim coverage. When it came to claim settlement, nearly 70% indicated their insurance company or its loss adjuster did not agree interim and final claims amounts promptly.

 

When asked to what extent their insurance company and its loss adjuster understood the impact of the loss on the business, over half of SMEs said they only understood somewhat or partially. Just under 6% said they did not understand at all.

 

The results of those who made a claim contrasted with what many SMEs expected their insurer to provide.

 

SMEs surveyed who had not made a claim, had clear views on the most important aspects they would expect to receive as part of the claims service. At the top of the list was for their insurer to provide regular communication on the claim’s progress. This was closely followed by advice and support in preparing a claim and prompt agreement of interim and final claims settlements.

 

Expectations around receiving information on cover and which sections might be relevant for the type of claim being made and guidance from their insurer on how to mitigate the impact of the loss on their business also featured highly amongst SMEs.

 

Commenting on the survey results, Neill Johnstone, managing director of Lorega, said:

 

While the development and distribution of insurance products for SMEs continues to evolve, our survey indicates there remain challenges in the servicing and support available when SMEs call on the policy in the event of a claim.

“The foundation of our business model was to provide policyholders with access to claims expertise; enhancing the service they received when it came to making and settling claims. The results of our survey reveal that this approach is more relevant and necessary than ever before.

“The survey reflects a number of findings from the FCA’s thematic review on the handling of insurance claims for SMEs which was published over two years go. It’s clear that the industry needs to take a more holistic approach to supporting SMEs who suffer claims of £5,000 and over, developing covers that include a responsive claims services with access to professional support and expertise, to ensure the trading and financial impact on SMEs is kept to a minimum.”

* Lorega’s research was conducted by Censuswide, with 250 SME business owners between 19.04.2017 – 24.04.2017. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

 

 

How can we help?

When you are running a business, in the event that you need to make insurance claims following a loss, you need to have the confidence it is going to be sorted quickly.

Loss Recovery Insurance – For Businesses is an insurance policy which provides the policyholder with unlimited advice from one of our expert loss adjusters, to help you prepare, negotiate and settle a material damage or business interruption claim.

Acting independently of your insurance company, to help you achieve the fairest and fastest settlement possible under your insurance cover. We have a nationwide network of expert loss adjusters who respond promptly on notification and will visit you within the first 24 hours.

We have more than 25 years of experience in helping policyholders with their insurance claims, giving you peace of mind when you need it most.

Seven ways high net worth customers could avoid an insurance claim while on holiday

Seven ways high net worth customers could avoid an insurance claim while on holiday

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.

7 ways to a avoid an insurance claim on holiday - empty home high net worthThe 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.

Case Study: A complex high net worth claim in Belgravia

Case Study: A complex high net worth claim in Belgravia

When you’ve refurbished your home to an incredibly high standard, the last thing you want is to discover a burst pipe in the ceiling.

This is the unfortunate situation one Lorega policyholder found himself in, after his housekeeper discovered a major burst pipe while he was abroad.

The burst pipe had caused significant water damage to many of the ceilings in the ground floor of the property, as well as some of the bedrooms in the basement.

Luckily, as the home owner had a Loss Recovery Insurance policy, our adjuster was instructed and immediately investigated solutions for mitigating the loss and drying the building.

These investigations revealed serious damage to the ceiling voids, which housed some of the built in electrical systems and speakers, alongside a sophisticated and newly installed air conditioning system.

Unfortunately, this meant taking down a number of high ceilings that still had their original cornice features. In order to do this, our adjuster had to ensure that any works of art, of which there were many, were properly removed from the affected areas and stored safely. Whilst there was very little contents damage overall, a lot of money was spent moving these valuable and irreplaceable pieces.

Due to the complex nature of the claim, and the large amount of damage done, our adjuster spent a long time working with the project team making sure the repairs were undertaken correctly and to the required standard.

This was especially needed in this case, as concurrent to the insurance claim, the policyholder wanted to do some further upgrading works, which needed to be differentiated from the insurance works. Our adjuster was essential for the policyholder in this instance, as he was abroad throughout the process and unable to deal with the insurance company.

By having a Loss Recovery Insurance policy in place, the home owner was able to continue his daily life whilst having peace of mind, knowing a claims expert was on hand to handle the situation.

Case Study: expert advice on hand when a family home goes up in flames

Case Study: expert advice on hand when a family home goes up in flames

When an elderly couple who had lived in their family home for over 40 years woke up in the night to discover it was on fire, they were absolutely devastated.

The lady of the house was the first to realise something was wrong, after being woken up by a sound in the loft. Upon heading outside to investigate, she saw the roof was on fire and immediately rang 999. The emergency services attended straight away, but despite their best efforts the roof collapsed and the entire first floor of the house was very badly fire damaged. Furthermore, the actions of the fire brigade in stopping the fire resulted in severe water damage to the ground floor of the property.

Luckily, the home owners had taken out a comprehensive insurance policy that covered the damage to the buildings and contents, and had also bought a loss recovery policy to provide a chartered loss adjuster, working directly for them to manage the claim and get the fairest settlement.

Having been occupied by the same family for many decades, there were items belonging to several generations, and many old, valuable pieces of furniture and artwork. There was also a lengthy process to determine which items were salvageable and could be saved or restored, and what was beyond repair.

Our adjuster organised for specialist contractors to be appointed to carry out the restoration of the house, removing the salvageable contents.

They agreed for a surveyor to start drawing up a schedule of the building works and carry out emergency works, another process that the policyholder would’ve found difficult to undertake without expert guidance from a claims expert.

The adjuster was also on hand to guide the process of some additional building works and layout changes, financed by the policyholder, to be undertaken concurrently with the restoration work. The repair took 15 months in total – a stressful period for any home owner, but particularly for an elderly couple in need of total assistance getting their home life back on track.

By having one of Lorega’s chartered loss adjusters on hand to handle the claim and negotiate with insurers, they were able to avoid unnecessary stress and concentrate on looking after the family while their home was rebuilt.

Case Study – Expert Loss Adjusters save landlord thousands of pounds after an oil spillage in Worthing

Case Study – Expert Loss Adjusters save landlord thousands of pounds after an oil spillage in Worthing

When a block of seafront residential flats in Worthing suffered a boiler malfunction, their basement was flooded with approximately 750 litres of oil, causing severe damage to the building.

An environmental recovery specialist was instructed to pump out and remove the oil spillage which required the removal of both boilers within the building, meaning the residents living in the flats would have no heating or hot water while the works were undertaken.

This in turn meant that the residents would have to move to a temporary location, at a huge inconvenience and a heavy cost.

To make matters worse, insurers advised the cost of the new boilers would not be covered under the policy, leaving the landlords with a total cost projected at well over £100,000.

Fortunately, the landlords had bought Lorega’s Loss Recovery Insurance as part of their property insurance, which meant one of our Chartered Loss Adjusters was on hand to mitigate the loss .

The Loss Adjuster introduced a separate specialist environmental firm, and together they proposed an alternative method of decontaminating the basement.

This alternative method allowed the boilers to remain and continue to be used during the process, whilst also sealing the walls and floors, preventing any further contamination issues.

By having Lorega’s Loss Adjuster to advise from the beginning and propose an alternative solution to fix the loss, residents were able to remain in their homes, massively reducing their stress and inconvenience.

Furthermore, our claims Expert was able to considerably reduce the overall cost to the policyholder by half, from over £100,000 to a diminished fee in the region of £43,500.

Case Study - Oil spillage