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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.