How a Claim for a Fire in a Motor Garage was handled
This was a major loss as a result of a fire. There was a total loss of the building and significant damage to stock, fixtures, fittings and vehicles. The fire was caused by an electrical fault whilst one of the vehicle batteries was being charged.
As a result there were issues over proof of ownership and insurable interest. The insured was a private person (& sole trader) whose company (recently dissolved) was not mentioned in the cover. Some items of stock, fixtures and fittings had been purchased through the limited company. Insureres argued that these items were not insured by the policy as they were purchased through the limited company and not subsequently transferred to the ownership of the insured.
Clearys Loss Assessors, with offices throughout Ireland, argued that, as the Limited Company was dissolved, the assets were transferable to the Insured’s name. This was proven by way of various items of documentation and ultimately ownership was agreed upon and this claim was settled. This claim proved difficult and negotiations were protracted due to the issue of insurable interest and insurer’s desire and effort to avoid liability despite the fact that all this property and the company itself were owned by the insured and clearly in his total control and possession as reflected in his financial accounts.
How Loss Assessors in Ireland work…
Have you ever suffered a loss in terms of fire, flood, burglary or other damage to your home or business? If you have, then there is a high probability that you made a claim on your insurance? And if so, you may have used a firm of loss assessors to assist you with your claim. You may also have dealt directly with the insurance company yourself.
The objective of any insurance policy is to assist the client regain what they lost during their incident. It is not intended to make people money. Your insurance company will aim to pay out a little as they can, within reason. The Loss assessors job is to work with you to establish what exactly you can claim for and to prepare and manage your claim in a professional way with your insurance company, generally ensuring a speedier and higher value payout.
Insurance is a complex area and making a insurance claim can be testing. Not only do you have the emotional trauma of loss to deal with, but you also have to deal with the insurance loss adjustor, appointed by the Insurance Company looking at everything in a practical way, aiming to quantify losses and reduce payouts. The loss assessor works for the client at all times and can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the settlement that you are entitled to.
A loss assessor will work on any type of claim. The only stipulation required is that you are insured in the first place. Now is not the time to be eliminating insurance payments.
Loss Assessors are skilled in assessing loss and value of loss. In a business environment, there may also be loss of income claims so please be aware of this too.
If you have suffered a loss, do the right thing and call Clearys on 1850 28 1850 today for an initial discussion. We will save you time and money and remove the pain in making insurance claims.
Its 2012 and as the days and months go by, more and more people are considering more ways in which they can cut down on their monthly outgoings. There is a high percentage of people in the country wrapped up in a financial quagmire and may are really finding it difficult to make ends meet. And they look at all expenditure, including home insurance.
Our advice is this: Make Sure Your Home Is Insured – Cut No Corners and here’s why:
1. We have worked with thousands of clients in the past 25 years and have helped them recover from flood, fire, property damage as a result of burglary, subsistence claims and leaking pipe damage plus many more. In the vast majority of cases, we were able to help the client recover their loss by working with them and their insurance company. All these clients were insured.
2. The emotional and financial pressure experienced by clients in the face of an event is immense. Having insurance eases some of this pressure in the immediate aftermath and makes it all so much more bearable as time goes on and the recovery process starts.
3. If you are suffering financially right now, neglecting your insurance and subsequently suffering a loss with massively increase your pain and suffering. Its a gamble that you may be considering but no good gambler takes unnecessary risks.
Working with a loss assessor like Clearys will ensure that if you do suffer a loos, your claim will be managed professionally, promptly and with empathy at all times. Call us today to discuss your claim…
Serious Flooding on the River Shannon
Major Flooding in 2009 throughout Ireland resulted in large areas of the country being isolated for weeks. Access to property, damage to buildings and their contents, destruction of stock and loss of Business due to the
flood resulted in many large contentious insurance claims.
Insurance companies argued that property adjacent to rivers were not insured for flood damage as the event was not “ fortuitous”, it was inevitable. Clearly these floods were exceptional so that argument did not hold water for long! Another argument for large areas such as car parks however carried much more weight in that the policy will not pay for damage to “land” or “ground” under the finished car park surfaces.
Rising and falling water table which affect properties adjacent to rivers could give rise to difficulty in dealing with claims for damage to car park surfaces, paving and kerbing, damage to drains and underground services particularly where the issue of Proof of Cause of Damage is a problem. Policies may exclude damage due to changes in water table levels.
Need help? Call 1850 28 1850
We are finding more and more that insurers are holding in excess of 30 – 40% of a property damage claim settlement until the client can prove that the work specified in the settlement has been carried out and that invoices are available up to and exceeding the value of the settlement. Retentions are “assumed” to be the difference between insurer’s liability on an indemnity basis and that of reinstatement (i.e. effectively New for Old). The levels of retention however are in our view far in excess of a realistic and fair measure of indemnity – particularly in cases of relatively new residential properties, where actual wear and tear could be argued as extremely nominal.
Many issues arise in this area but firstly why is this happening and who benefits. Clearly the insurer benefits from the retention of cash-flow initially. The issue becomes much more significant I believe when one considers that many retentions are ultimately never actually pursued by the client because of the various unfair aspects of the system being applied. For example Loss Adjusters are setting deadlines to have works completed which in many cases do not consider the clients ability to manage a small building project (this is despite the fact that the client is actually entitled to professional fees to have this work done for them) once the deadline passes and works are not complete insurers close the file and make a big deal about re-opening the case. We see many cases where contractors VAT registration is not current – when this happens payment is not made to the client – so the client suffers again.
If the client pursues the retention but has not completed all of the work agreed in the settlement for whatever reason again the retention is withheld. This position also applies if the full amount of settlement is not spent on repairs and this may apply to “parts” of the settlement such as Professional Fees or VAT for example.
This may be a risky game for insurers as the amounts being held could be argued as being excessive and therefore insurers are not actually paying their true liability under the terms of the policy. This could be a big area of concern in these days of consumer protection and questionable banking and finacial practices.
With the Floods of 2009 in Mind we find ourselves coming into that time of the year again. Continue reading Winter Flooding 2011
Given that the weather is supposed to “improve”- a phrase I use lightly- during the summer months, the most common type of property damage claims are fire related. Continue reading Summertime- By the Fire
In the current Economic Climate, a major loss can end a company, particularly if the company is not accurately insured.
Continue reading Do You Know your Value at Risk?
1. Shock – for you and your family, both physically and financially. It is not nice to read, but this is a definite consequence of a fire, flood, burglary or any other unforeseen misfortune. Shock can result in the need for medical assistance for the more vulnerable and the young.
2. Uncertainty – No one will tell you what will happen next. You would expect to be surrounded by accurate information at this vulnerable time but this is very hard to get. Don’t be surprised if the people working for your Insurance Company are evasive, slow to respond, elusive and unable to be definitive. You are not their concern. The Insurance Company is. A decision or acceptance to liability may take months!
3. Frustration – Gardai may carry out an investigation e.g. Scene of Crime or Forensic Investigation. This can be a slow process, with lack of follow up and often no result or satisfactory conclusion. You the owner may be the last person to receive any information. Continue reading Your Personal Journey through A Major Insurance Claim
Last winter’s severe flooding saw hundreds of policy holders greatly affected both emotionally and financially. Luckily, the vast majority of these policy holders had cover in place and could look forward to prompt settlement to get them back on their feet. Or so you would think. Five months on from the floods, Fianna Fail Galway West T.D. Frank Fahy is threatening to name and shame the insurance companies who he accuses of “penny pinching” and making “inadequate responses” to flood victims.
Continue reading Imbalance of Payments