When Ralph Pearson, Claims Manager at property specialist Resident’s Insurance Services got the call from a managing agent client for support in a large fire claim, he quickly stepped in to help resolve the issues.
Insurance claims under a certain value, usually £5,000, are normally dealt with easily and quickly on a desktop basis by the insurer’s in house claims team.
Insurance claims over £5,000 generally become more complex due to the increase in cost and parties involved. Firstly insurers will look to instruct a loss adjuster to visit site to meet the insured or their representative to view and assess the damage. The loss adjuster will confirm the extent of policy liability and then effectively take over the running of the claim. The loss adjuster will confirm the degree of works and authorise costs as appropriate. Larger losses will also include the involvement of some or all of the following: managing agents, surveyors, engineers and others dependant on the type and size of loss.
One of our clients recently suffered such a loss when fire completely gutted a flat in a block. It quickly became clear that this was going to be a large complex loss as the insurer immediately appointed a loss adjuster to attend site.
With a loss of this nature as Claims Manager at Residents Insurance Services, I’m keen to assist in providing an efficient claims process for the client. This could involve an initial site visit, meeting with insurers/loss adjuster/client and other necessary parties involved during the course of the claim.
This particular large loss needed just such an intervention when the loss adjuster was slow to respond to the client on quotations for stripping out works. I contacted the loss adjuster to stress the urgency in him contacting the client to confirm costs which he then did which enabled the claim to move to the next stage. I will continue to monitor this claim and will intervene when necessary.
Claims need not necessarily be of a large nature to require my involvement. Smaller or contentious claims can have issues which require my intervention. Due to the close relationship I have with insurers and other claims related parties this is something often an insured or agent would find very difficult to manage.
When arranging insurance on a block of flats you should be asking your broker if they have a dedicated claims manager with the experience to assist and resolve all issues on their behalf. Someone you are able to call on for absolutely any claims related issue; someone who won’t just fob you off to insurers; someone willing to come out and meet with all involved parties to ensure your claim is managed efficiently; someone like me!
Don’t wait until you have a serious incident to discover you are on your own.
Ralph Pearson is claims manager at Resident’s Insurance Services