Fire Claim | Case Description
FIRE CLAIM | It was the night of St Patrick’s Day, when the fire suddenly erupted in a Dublin family home. The fire spread very quickly and before anybody could do anything about it, all that remained were four outer walls. The fire completely gutted the house and destroyed most of the house contents.
Like many others, the home owners decided to handle the claim themselves. They got all the necessary forms from the insurance company and following the instructions of their insurers, called in some contractors to assess the cost of repairs. The average quotes came to €160,000 including VAT, so they submitted this amount to the insurers and awaited patiently for the response.
The estimate of €160,000 included the cost of rebuilding parts of the house, replacing the kitchen, wardrobes, floors, bathrooms and some of the contents of the 2000 sq ft bungalow.
The home owners were shocked when they received an offer from their insurers for €96,000 in full and final settlement of their claim. The settlement left the owners at least €64,000 out of pocket and was nowhere near the estimated cost of the repairs.
ICS Loss Assessor – Trevor Kelly called in to help with the claim
On the advice of their friends, they appointed an experienced Loss Assessor and Insurance Claims Expert – Trevor Kelly to help them resolve this issue. During preliminary investigation, the Loss Assessor discovered that:
- The insurance company excluded from the compensation kitchen units, appliances, flooring, doors, furniture and most other fittings and contents.
- Mould growth had started to appear in the cavity and was hidden in areas throughout the building.
- Insurers used unrealistic pricing to calculate the cost of reinstatement.
- Insurers insisted on cleaning smoke damaged clothing and furniture.
Fire Claim | The Approach Taken by the ICS Loss Assessor
Trevor engaged a professional smoke and water damage restoration expert to carry out forensic testing on the smoke and water damaged items. The tests confirmed that the damage was too severe to be repaired and the items needed to be replaced.
He also flagged to the insurers that mould had started to grow in some of the areas, and that it needed to be eradicated before any repairs could be carried out.
On behalf of the property owners, Trevor refused the €96 000 offer of settlement and submitted a revised claim for €205,000, €45,000 more than the initial claim filed by the property owners and €109,000 more than what the insurance company initially had offered.
Fire Claim | Achieved Results
The property owners could not believe it when they received €205,000, instead of €96,000 initially offered. As a result they could afford to rebuild their house and replace all their house contents damaged by the fire. This case study confirms how invaluable is help from an experienced Loss Assessor in managing your insurance claim. Insurance companies obviously try to minimise their losses and they will always try to reduce their payout, if you don’t know how they operate.