Have You Got Cavity Wall Insulation Problems?

Public Loss Adjusters have recently teamed up with MyCavityClaim.com to provide clients with help on resolving damage caused by badly installed cavity wall insulation. My Cavity Claim is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as part of the Public Loss Adjusting group and doesn’t charge any upfront fees, working on a no win no fee basis.

My Cavity Claim operates throughout the UK and will help all of our clients right from the claim submission through to the settlement and payment. We can help you further by recommending highly rated companies to fully solve damage caused by your cavity wall insulation. Having carried out substantial research followed by a 12-month trial period, this has resulted in several claim pay-outs to homeowners in excess of £50,000 per claim.

Problems can occur if your property hasn’t been correctly dealt with by cavity wall insulation companies. We can help and guide you through these problems, with 63 years’ experience, you can be reassured that your claim will be dealt with professionally and reasonably, with every member of our staff fully trained and experienced.

You can learn more about these services by visiting the cavity wall claims website.

Are you having Cavity Wall Insulation Problems?

Product Degradation: If you had cavity wall insulation installed a long time ago, it is possible that urea formaldehyde may have been injected into your cavity wall. This is a type of foam which over a number of years, degrades and can become harmful to your health through a combination of gas released from the foam and damp.

Inappropriate Property: There have been a number of occasions where the cavity wall insulation has been fitted into houses which are structurally unsuitable, most commonly steel or wooden framed properties. For brick or blockwork constructed properties which are in a poor condition or are in areas subject to wind driven rain e.g. near the coast, problems caused by cavity wall insulation can also occur.

Flood or Fire Damage: Where a property has been flooded the cavity wall installation can become wet and is unlikely to dry out leading to problems of damp inside a property. Similarly, in the event of a fire the high volume of water used to extinguish the flames may also water-log the cavity wall insulation.

Other cavity wall insulation problems may include:

  • Cold spots on external walls, possibly caused by areas of the cavity wall that haven’t been correctly filled
  • Internal damp problems, possibly caused by warm air condensing onto cold spots which haven’t been insulated properly
  • Growth of mould which occurs as a result of the damp
  • Dry rot caused by untreated damp affecting timbers
  • Corrosion of cavity wall ties when insulation has become wet

If you have any of these problems, or you simply don’t notice your cavity wall insulation making a difference and you’re unsure whether it has been installed correctly, it is worth calling Public Loss Adjusters or My Cavity Claims to discuss the best resolution for you.

Remember we work on your behalf on a NO WIN NO FEE basis.

 

Advice On What To Do After Fire Damage

This information pack is provided for your use. The information is to assist you to manage the immediate effects of the fire.

This information is provided as a guide only.

Property Protection

If you have to leave your property:

Follow the directions of the Emergency Services. If they confirm the property is safe, clear and accessible to enter, remove all your valuables and documents where possible.

Request the police keep a special eye on the premises and give them a contact point. Ask your neighbours to do the same.

If you own the property, arrange for broken doors and windows to be boarded up. If you rent the property, ask the owner to do so.

If the heating is off and it is very cold it is possible that your pipes may burst and this post disaster damage may not be covered by your insurance. Consider having the water system shut off and drained to prevent further damage.

Information For Your Insurer

If you are insured, provide your insurance agent or company with a complete list of losses. If possible, include dates of purchases and costs.

Consider taking photographs of any badly damaged or destroyed items that may need to be removed or disposed of before a loss adjuster arrives, which could take up to five days.

Cleaning Up

To reduce the damage there are a number of actions you can take. However if you are insured, seek the approval of the insurance company before committing yourself to expenditure. The Yellow Pages will provide a complete list of organisations that can help you.

After the fire has been extinguished, the fire officers will thoroughly examine the building, and will advise you of any apparent structural or other defects. If the building is considered unsafe by the emergency services, they will inform the local building control officer.

Insurance Matters

  • As soon as possible get in touch with your insurance company or broker to advise them of the incident. They may want to appoint a Loss Adjuster to visit the property to survey and assess damage. Please be aware that you have the right to appoint an independent loss adjuster, such as Public Loss Adjusters, who will be working solely for you fighting your corner.
  • If emergency repairs need to be carried out immediately to make your property water­ proof and secure, make sure you retain receipts for the work carried out, as these may form part of your claim.
  • Make a list of all the property, contents or goods damaged

Public Loss adjusters are independent claims management specialists who investigate claims on behalf of the policyholder to help restore their property to full working order. They investigate at the scene of an incident to establish the causes of the ‘loss’. They then write reports for the insurer, recommending appropriate payment to cover your full entitlement.

If You Live On A Low Income And Have No Home Insurance

People on a low income may not have adequate insurance. Many households also let their policy lapse if they are facing financial problems.

The ‘crisis loan’ or ‘community grant’ is no longer available in England, Wales and Scotland however there are some other options that you could consider:

The Essential Living Fund can provide assistance for groceries, furniture, white goods, clothing and other living expenses, please visit http://www.southend.gov.uk/elfforessex for more details. Please note, while this is run by Southend Borough Council, it is available to people across Essex.

You may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan if you have been receiving benefits for 26 weeks or more. Please visit the job centre for further information.

If you have children or other vulnerable people in your family, you can get assistance from social services. Contact your local social security office for short-term financial assistance.

Otherwise contact your local council for further advice on what assistance is available to you in your area. To find out who to contact go to this site:

http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/Start.do?mode=1

Protecting Your Property

When the emergency services leave, you are responsible for the security of your property. Your insurers will expect you to make sure your home is secure. Remove all valuables from the property if it is safe to do so, and close all doors and windows.

If windows or doors have been broken, they will require securing. If you are a council tenant, contact the relevant council or Housing Authority. If you are a homeowner you will need to contact your insurer, who will advise you. Contact your local police station to make them aware that your property will be empty.

Police – Non Emergency 101

Safety Of Appliances

Your water, gas or electricity installation or meter appliances may have been affected by fire, or may have been disconnected by the Fire and Rescue Service for safety reasons. If this is the case, do not attempt to turn them back on until they have been thoroughly checked by qualified engineers.

Check to ensure that any gas supplier or installer is on the Gas Safe Register (previously the CORGI register) and that a check of the installation and any problems are rectified BEFORE any attempt is made to restore the supply.

Contact your supplier of gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone/cable, to advise them of any change of address and the supply situation.

Temporary lighting or heating units can be dangerous. Make sure that they are inspected by the manufacturer or a qualified dealer before use. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the room where these temporary appliances are being used and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Freezer Frozen Foods

If your home freezer has stopped running, take these steps to stop food from spoiling:

Keep the door closed and food may remain frozen for up to 24 hours. If you are removing/moving food, wrap food thickly in newspaper or use insulated cool boxes. To remove spoilage odours from a fridge or freezer, wash with baking soda and water or one cup of vinegar to each gallon of water.

Thawed Foods

Fruit, vegetables, meat fish or poultry exposed to intense heat and/or open flames MUST BE THROWN AWAY.

Canned Goods

Do not use canned goods that have been exposed to intense heat or open flames, during a fire the contents can be heated to the point where harmful bacteria can develop.

Cooking Utensils

Wash thoroughly with soapy water and scouring powder. Copper and brass should be cleaned with special polishes.

Locks And Hinges

These should be taken apart and wiped clean. If they cannot be removed, spray oil through the keyhole.

Books

If you have wet books, they should be dried as soon as possible to prevent mould forming. To dry very wet books initially stand them up on a piece of absorbent paper to drain.

Then place absorbent paper between the wet pages and leave the book on one side, removing and replacing the wet absorbent paper regularly.

When dryer, the book can be stood on its side with pages fanned until thoroughly dry. When dry place the book under a weight to prevent crippling of the pages. Leave the books under a weight for several days to weeks.

Smoke Odour

Wash smoke odour and soot off washable clothing at the first opportunity. Follow instructions on labels. This will also prevent mildew. If soot or mildew remains after washing seek professional advice.

Dry Cleaning

For clothes that should be dry-cleaned, if there is a delay, remove shoulder pads or trimmings that might bleed. Then soak in cold water with small amount of synthetic detergent. Do not soak too long. Rinse in cold water gently squeezing out the water to avoid wrinkling, and then place on a hanger.

Dry cleaners can deal with soot, water damage and smoke odours.

Leather

Remove surface dirt, and wipe off with cold water then, wipe dry. Stuff shoes with crumpled paper. Dry them away from heat or sun.

Pillows

It is almost impossible to remove odours from feather or foam pillows however you can try placing the pillow in a bag with baking powder, shaking and leaving overnight then hanging out on a clothes line or placing in a dryer on a non-heated setting.

Wool Blankets

Shake and brush surface dirt from blankets. Use manufacturer instruction for cleaning if possible. Otherwise, soak in lukewarm detergent for 15 minutes. Turn two or three times by hand if needed.

Then rinse in lukewarm clean water. Then either dry in a preheated dryer with some hot bath towels or hang the blanket over two parallel lines. If you use a dryer remove blanket while damp and finish drying on two lines. Gently stretch the blanket into shape and finish by brushing it. Iron the trim.

Mattresses

If a mattress that has been damaged has to be used temporarily, expose it to sunlight and cover with rubber or plastic sheeting. NEVER allow a person to sleep on a plastic covered mattress without a sheet or blanket between the plastic and the user.

Cleaning Walls

Walls with soot on them can be washed with detergent solution. Wash a small area at a time working from the floor up.

For water-damaged walls, wash while they are still wet if possible, if damage is substantial, it will be necessary to use a primer coat of paint first. Plaster walls can be repaired whilst still damp. Consult a decorator but do not paint until thoroughly dry.

Floors

Wood placed under water for any amount of time expands. When floors buckle badly, take up the trim boards, and then remove one board along the edge of the floor. The wood will shrink back to normal when dry.

Wood Furniture

Clean any dirt off furniture and remove drawers until dry enough to prevent sticking. Scrub with stiff brush and cleaning solution, dry thoroughly, open door and windows for ventilation. Wet wood will decay and go mouldy. Do not dry furniture in the sun as it can warp.

Upholstered Furniture

Dry upholstered furniture as quickly as possible to prevent mildew and rotting. Brush off dirt and shampoo if necessary. Apply suds (not water) only with sponge or damp cloth, then blot dry. Brush pile fabric one way only. When completely dry brush or vacuum residue.

First Aid For Furniture

Rub surface with a cloth wrung from a mixture of household ammonia and half-cup of water. Wipe dry polish with wax. Alternatively, rub surface with a cloth wrung from equal parts of turpentine and linseed oil.

Linoleum Tiles

If water seeps under linoleum, it will cause bad odours after a few days. If this happens, remove the entire sheet. Linoleum can only be relayed when floor is completely dry.

Cleaning Rugs

If a rug has been soaked and soiled let it dry thoroughly. Then remove the residual dirt by beating, sweeping or vacuuming. If necessary, shampoo using a soft brush in a circular motion. Wipe with soft cloth dampened in lukewarm water and use as little water as possible.

Coping With A Crisis

Your experience is a very personal one but this leaflet will help you understand how others have reacted in similar situations. It will also show how you can come to terms with recent events and avoid potential pitfalls.

Normal feelings and emotions you may experience after a fire:

Fear

  • Of Damage to yourself and those you love
  • Of being left alone, or having to to leave loved ones
  • Of ‘breaking down’ or ‘losing control’.
  • Of a similar event happening again.

Helplessness

  • Because crises show up human weakness, as well as strengths.

Longing

  • For all that is gone.

Guilt

  • For being better off than others, (e.g. surviving, not being injured or still having material things).
  • Regrets for things not done.

Anger

  • At what has happened, at whoever caused it or allowed it to happen.
  • At the injustice and senselessness of it all.
  • At the shame and the indignities.
  • At the lack of proper understanding from others and their perceived inefficiencies.
  • “Why me?”

Shame

  • For having been exposed as helpless, ’emotional’ and in need of others.
  • For not having reacted as you would have wished.

Memories

  • Of loss or of love for the other people in your life who have been injured or died at other times.

Disappointment

  • For all the plans that cannot be fulfilled.

Hope

  • For the future, for better times.

It is natural to have these feelings, though they may vary in intensity according to your circumstances. Acceptance of the situation and loss will only be made possible by allowing these feelings to come out. This will not lead to a loss of control, but stopping such feelings may lead to other and possibly more complicated problems.

Remember, crying can give relief.

Physical And Mental Sensations

Some common sensations are tiredness, sleeplessness , bad dreams, fuzziness of the mind (including loss of memory and concentration), dizziness, palpitations, trembling, difficulty in breathing, choking in the throat and chest, nausea, diarrhoea, change in sexual interest and muscular tension which may lead to pain (e.g. headaches, neck and back aches, abdominal pain/tummy ache, menstrual disorders).

Numbness

Your mind may allow the misfortune to be felt only slowly. At first you may feel numb. The event may seem unreal, like a dream or something that has not really happened. Other people often see this wrongly as’ being strong’ or ‘uncaring’.

Activity

Helping others may give you some relief.

Reality

Facing the reality, by attending funerals, inspecting losses or returning to the scene, can help you to come to terms with the crisis. At this stage, there is a need to think about it, talk about it and at night to dream about it, over and over again. Children will react by playing out and drawing the event.

Support

It can be a relief to receive other people’s physical and emotional support. Sharing your thoughts with others who have had similar experiences can also help.

Privacy

In order to deal with feelings, you may find it necessary to be alone or just with family and close friends.

Some Dos And Don’ts

DO take time out to sleep, rest, think and be with those important to you

DO try to keep your life as normal as possible.

DO let children talk about their emotions and express themselves in games and drawings.

DO send your children back to school and let them keep up with their activities.

DO drive more carefully.

DO be more careful around the home.

DO express your emotions and let children share in the grief.

DO take every opportunity to review the experience

DO allow yourself to be part of a group people who care.

DON’T bottle up feelings

DON’T avoid talking about what happened.

DON’T expect the memories to go away- the feelings will stay with you for a long time to come.

DON’T be critical of your reactions.

Family And Social Relationships

New friendships and relationships may develop. On the other hand, strains and conflict may appear in existing relationships. You may feel that family and friends offer too little support or the wrong kind or that you cannot give as much in return as they expect.

Accidents are more frequent after severe stress. Alcohol and drug intake may also increase, due to the extra tension.

When To Seek Help

  • If you feel that your emotions are not falling into place and you are still experiencing tension, confusion, emptiness or exhaustion.
  • If, after a month, you continue to feel numb or you have to keep active in order not to think about it.
  • If you continue to have nightmares and poor sleep.
  • If you want to share your feelings and have no-one with whom to do so.
  • If your relationships seem to be suffering badly, or sexual problems develop.
  • If you have accidents.
  • If you continue to smoke, drink or take drugs in excess since the event.
  • If your work performance suffers.

DO remember that you are basically the same person that you were before the crisis.

DO remember that if you suffer too much or too long, help is available.

Source: British Red Cross

 

Higher Premiums Due To Flood Re Exclusion

Are You At Risk of Higher Premiums Due To Flood Re Exclusion?

Government officials have been accused of “Empty Promises” over a fund that is intended to prevent venerable flood risk homes being left un-insured.

The British Property Federation has warned that several types of properties will be excluded from the governments Flood Re scheme. This will result is many insurance premiums sky rocketing!

A national levy named as Flood Re is due to be introduced next year in order to help lower the cost of flood insurance cover.

Insurers claim that Flood Re is needed as current commitments to provide properties is now unsustainable, due to the lack of funding for flood defences, as it is simply too risky!

Groups that have been excluded include some types of private properties and commercial premises. This is due to the fact that ministers claim that there is little evidence to suggest that they would have any difficulties purchasing insurance premiums in the open market.

This has been disputed by many policy owners that are excluded from Flood RE because they already have had to pay much higher premiums, as well as increased excess levels. As a result, ministers are going to monitor the impact this has on excluded properties.

Will Flood Re Really Guarantee Access To Affordable Flood Insurance?

The director of policy for a lobby group for policy owners and investors at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, has stated “The government’s intention to monitor the impact on various excluded property groups is welcome, but a suck-it-and-see attitude to affordable flood cover is not ideal for either householders or people trying to run a small business.”

However, a response to a consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the property federation has stated that: “There does not appear to be any mechanism to allow the scheme to be amended to include new categories of property, if this is deemed necessary. Without this, the government’s commitment to monitoring the effects on leaseholder properties is an empty one.”

Concerns regarding Flood Re have also been raised by insurance companies claiming that the plans are unworkable due to crucial details as to how it will be funded.

According to insiders at Defra, leasehold houses would be within the scope for Flood Re but subject to certain conditions, one of which is that the leaseholder or immediate family will have to live in the property and obtain property insurance in their own name.

Also protected by the scheme would be buildings which consist of 3 flats or lower on the condition that the freeholder resides in one of those properties or if the insurance is purchased by a leaseholder who has a share of freehold.

DEFRA have stated “We are taking action to protect people in the highest flood risk areas from spiralling insurance premiums”

“Flood Re will guarantee access to affordable flood insurance for households at high flood risk.”

Source: Alistair Grey, FT.Com

We Will Manage The Whole Process

We are here to work on YOUR behalf to ensure you receive 100% of your insurance claim entitlement whilst our network of specialist recommended contractors reinstate your property. We can manage the entire process when you need to make an insurance claim, leaving you to put your feet up and relax whilst WE TAKE CARE OF YOU. This article discusses how the Public Loss Adjusters can help and what to do if your insurer tries to negotiate with YOU directly.

WARNING: DIRECT CONTACT BY AN INSURANCE COMPANY OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES FOLLOWING THE APPOINTMENT OF US AS YOUR LOSS ADJUSTER

When YOU have decided to appoint Public Loss Adjusters as YOUR professional advisors and have signed the mandate authorising Public Loss Adjusters to act on YOUR behalf in relation to an insurance claim, it is very IMPORTANT that Public Loss Adjusters are allowed to deal with ALL aspects of the claim, for and on YOUR behalf to avoid any possibility of misunderstandings or similar events taking place and possibly delaying the resolution of the insurance claim.

As part of the mandate, you will have given the insurers specific instruction to deal with Public Loss Adjusters on YOUR behalf and the insurers MUST advice any intermediaries of Public Loss Adjusters appointment and deal with Public Loss Adjusters in all matters. If any queries are raised, Public Loss Adjusters will obtain the answers from YOU and present the information to the insurers representative accordingly, keeping records of ALL conversations or communications as part of the normal professional standards Public Loss Adjusters use throughout any claim situation.

The same advice a solicitor will give you regarding and matter they are representing you on applies, as Public Loss Adjusters and yourself have given the insurance company and ALL of their various representatives the written instructions to send or address ALL communication to Public Loss Adjusters on your behalf.

Do Not Communicate With Insurers Without Public Loss Adjusters Present

Therefore if anyone from the insurance company (or more importantly, anyone representing the insurance company) contacts YOU by telephone, email, letter or even calls at your premises unannounced, it is important that you MUST refer them to Public Loss Adjusters and do NOT enter into any form of discussion with them, even if it seems a simply query. Be polite, but simply tell them that Public Loss Adjusters have been appointed as YOUR Charters Loss Adjusters and are now dealing with the claim on YOUR behalf and that ALL queries and / or discussions should be addressed to Public Loss Adjusters.

ANY attempt to ‘short-circuit’ these instructions could lead to YOU being asked to accept a settlement offer which is below the value in which YOU ARE ENTITLED TO.

You may even be ‘told’ that to use Public Loss Adjusters will result in significant delays, this is simply not the case, as an FCA regulated firm we ensure that the claim is dealt with in strict compliance with ICOBS 8.1.1 which states that insurers MUST treat a customer promptly and fairly. Remember many of the insurers representatives operate under an exemption from regulations and if Public Loss Adjusters were not representing YOU, there is a strong possibility that YOU might accept a low offer which may or may not be paid quickly in any case.

If anyone from the insurance company or anyone representing them contacts YOU in an attempt to change an appointment, it is important that you MUST refer them to us to allow Public Loss Adjusters the opportunity to reschedule and YOU do NOT allow them to try and have the meeting without Public Loss Adjusters being present. If any of the above events take place, please let Public Loss Adjusters know immediately so the appropriate steps can be taken to protect YOUR interests.

Trouble Settling Your Flood Claim?

Are you still waiting for your insurer to settle your flood claim?

It has now surpassed 6 months since the catastrophic events that ground regions of southern England to a halt in 2013 and early 2014. Whilst the water has now been dried out, some properties have been restored but for many residents the ordeal it still very much ongoing.

The crisis was a direct result of the UK’s increasingly unpredictable climate which lead to a combination of torrential rainfall and hard hitting storms. In result of this towns, cities and rural regions had found them self’s submerged in water. Although not much could have been done to prevent this happening there is no doubt more needs to be done in assisting the remaining residents who are still living with the aftermath of the storms.

As household and commercial properties continued to fall victim to water damages, submitted insurance claims rose to an all-time high which subsequently left the insurance providers with simply too much to handle. Insurance providers failed to cope with the sheer volume of claims there for mistakes were made and claims failed to have been processed.

To this date insurance providers are still dealing with a backlog of claims leaving policy holders with no option but to continue living in either alternative accommodation with no indication of settling back into their property’s any time soon or in some cases the very same property which has been severely damaged.

Throughout the floods people were soon realizing that they didn’t have to wait around while their insurance providers got round to dealing with them but a 3rd party impartial public loss adjusting company would benefit them immensely. We dealt with a magnitude of claims all of which were successfully settled swiftly and efficiently.

Being industry leaders who have dealt with countless flood insurance claims we know exactly what is expected from your insurance provider and the exact protocol to follow. Leasing with your insurance company on your behalf increases productivity as they know we will not allow for any unnecessary faults or complications. The great thing about appointing a Public Loss Adjuster is we work for you and not your insurer, working in your best interests to ensure your receive your full entitlement and not what your insurance provider deems an appropriate settlement.

If you have struggled through the past 6 months with empty correspondence from your insurance provider then why not call one of our experience claims handlers or loss adjusters to see how we can assist you. We will even provide our services FREE of charge if you allow is to appoint our preferred contractors to restore your flood damaged property. We will oversee the entire process making our service the only comprehensive claims and restoration service in the UK.

To find out more call our loss adjusters today on 08000 434 999 today!

Moray Flooding & Insurer Frustrations

Residents in the Scottish district of Moray have been expressing their anger towards insurers after recent flooding. Many policy holders have been left to worry about whether their insurers are even planning to pay for the damage that has effected many properties in the area. How can the Public Loss Adjusters Alternative help when flooding damages your property?

After the tail end of hurricane Bertha reached the UK last week, homes had to be evacuated in some areas of Moray in northern Scotland. Despite sandbags being distributed by the council some residents of Dallas were not so lucky and suffered flood damage to their properties.

One week later some residents have expressed their frustrations with their insurers over worries over if they are going to be paid out or not for water damage that has been caused to their properties?

As reported by The Press And Journal, Charles Gerrie of Sonas, Dallas has be quoted as saying:

There is still no word from the insurance companies in regards to whether they are going to pay for it or not.

But the assessor has been, they got dehumidifiers and they have been saving as much as they can themselves.

It’s a near nightmare to understand what the insurance companies mean.

“When John took out this policy there was no mention of distance from the river.”

“Now they are saying you have to be a quarter-of-a-mile away from a water source.”

“I don’t think there is a house in Dallas that isn’t less than a quarter mile away from the river.”

So how can the Public Loss Adjusters Alternative help when your property is damaged by a flood or water damage?

Unfortunately Public Loss Adjusters come across this type of standoff between the insurer and the policy holders time and time again. In many cases we help many property owners in similar situations who believe they are insured when the insurance company says otherwise.

If you are currently in a dispute with your insurer after flood damage get in touch with the Public Loss Adjusters Team to find out how we can help you to claim everything in which you are entitled to.

Do not take NO from your insurer without talking to us first!

Call us now on 0800 434 999: Public Loss Adjusters – Working For YOU.

Insurers Slash Rates For Reinstatement

In a recent article published in Recovery the British Damage Management Association (BDMA) publication it was stated that:

”There is no doubt that some insurers in the past tried to take a far too rigorous approach to managing claims costs which meant slashing the numbers of loss adjusters and damage management suppliers on panels – and paying rock bottom rates. However, sources suggest there has been a change of thinking.

Expensive solutions utilised during surge over the past few years, to overcome these cutbacks, include loss adjusters being flown in to perform basic work from countries such as the US and South Africa and sub-standard repairers used as insurers ran out of approved builders – working with too small a pool and attempting to pay too little for quality work fails the customer – and not least can raise the Ombudsman’s antennae.

Mr Davison adds: ” Cutting back on costs affects the customer. Of course we understand insurers need to contain the supply chain, but there has to be a balance. Insurers who think they are saving by having too aggressive a procurement strategy can find it backfires.’

”Delivering the claims promise is at the very heart of what insurance is about. The industry can talk all it wants about qualifications, excellence in underwriting and profitable business. Of course these are all enormously important, but to the customer, whether personal or commercial, what matters is that they are looked after, promptly, with a minimum of fuss. That means a fast agreement from the adjuster – and fulfillment from the damage management supplier.”

Public Loss Adjusters fully endorse the above statements and point out that it is time for insurance claims to be managed with the policy holders interests having a priority and the insurance companies delivering what the policy holder is entitled to and cost cutting should not be the primary objective.

If your property has been damaged and you need to make an insurance claim why not try our free loss adjusting service.

Call 08000 434 999 to try the Public Loss Adjusters Alternative

 

Insurers Refuse Payouts For Groundwater Damage

A quarter of homeowners whose properties have been flooded since the start of the year may be refused payouts for damage to their houses because of a little known inclusion in the small print of insurance policies.

Esure, Co-op and Admiral are amount several companies that do not accept claims relating to groundwater flooding, where damage occurs because of water saturating the ground after a sustained period of wet weather. Flooding caused by rivers bursting is covered.

Aviva policies state they do not cover floods for loss or damage that happens gradually, while L&G policies exclude underground water.

Data from the Environment Agency shows that 2,320 homes damaged by floods since the start of the year, 563 were caused by rising groundwater. Last was, the agency was monitoring high groundwater levels in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Kent and Sussex.

Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire, confirmed to the Sunday Times that he had intervened in the case of one of his constituents who was refused a payout for groundwater damage, and that the decision had now been reversed.

He said: I am happy to take up other cases with constituents who believe they are not being fairly treated. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean raised concerns about the issue in the House of Lords last week saying groundwater exclusions were Preposterous.

During previous periods of flooding, such as in 2007, groundwater was less of a concern because the weather occurred over a shorter period.

Paul Mustow, flood risk manager at the Environment Agency, said Groundwater flooding has been a bigger issue this time because underground water stores were already full after a very wet 2012. Groundwater levels could take weeks or months to drop in places.

The association of British Insurers said: If it can be shown that flooding was caused by seepage of water from a nearby river, drains, or other cause over a period of time, it may be classed as a gradually operating cause, which is not generally covered by home insurance.

The financial Ombudsman Service said it started receiving complaints last week about insurers refusing to pay for damage caused by the recent floods. Insurers that do not specify groundwater exclusions include Lloyds, LV, Nationwide and Churchill.

It is also worth checking policies for other flood related exclusions. Hiscox for example does not cover flood or storm damage to gazebos, pergolas, arbours, gates, hedges, fences or damage caused by river or coastal erosion.

Admiral, as well as excluding groundwater damage, excludes losses due to subsidence, heave or landslip resulting from storm or flood.

Justin Beddows at Admiral said: If water rises, or floods a cellar following heavy rain, such as we have had recently, then we would consider paying out. If the build-up of water is gradual, over months, we could look to exclude it.

You can tank your property to avoid some of the worst effects of rising groundwater. This uses chemicals to seal areas of your property, but the process can be expensive. A cheaper option is to use pumps to clear water out as it seeps in. Go to the National flood Forum website for a list of approved flood resilience measures.

A government scheme to make insurance affordable for owners of flood risk homes, through a £10 levy that will apply to all home insurance policies, does not cover groundwater damage. However, the scheme, known as Flood Re, will not take effect until summer 2015.

(Source: Ali Hussain, The Sunday Times, 9th March 2014)

If you have a dispute with your insurance company find out if Public Loss Adjusters can help.

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