Fire & Smoke Damage
Damage from fire?
If you’ve just had a fire or been affected by a neighbour’s fire or your property has been affected by fire from vandalism we can help you with a surveyor visit in 24 hours and immediate clean up of the mess. We will handle the first cruical meeting with insurer’s loss adjusters which will ensure that the claim proceeds smoothly and covers everything from your contents, alternative accommodation, restoration cleaning, odour removal and of course all building repairs which are needed.
The client who was a leaseholder had fire damage to his property from an incendiary device which had been thrown into his garden. As a result several doors and windows in the property had been destroyed and there was severe fire damage to internal finishes throughout.
The client was confused as to whether the council would pay for repairs or the insurance company as no one had made this clear to him at the council. Additionally, as there was a large extent of repairs he was anxious as to whether insurers would accept the full claim.
HOW WE HANDLED THE CLAIM
After forensics and the fire brigade had confirmed no foul play surrounding the incident we met with the client and explained that we would be happy to deal with his claim for reinstatement of the property, the cost of alternative accommodation and provide the services of a surveyor to oversee repairs and independently check the quality of repairs once in progress. We found out from the insurer’s loss adjuster that the policy would not cover the cost of doors and windows and that the council would be responsible for these. We arranged for an independent surveyor to submit terms and a proposal to the loss adjuster which we were able to agree for the client. We met with the insurers own contractors to brief them on proposed repairs so they could submit their own report as a benchmark of required works and costs. We explained to our client that insurers have a right to do this. As it happened the insurers own contractors agreed on the scope of repairs and we were able to agree the loss adjuster’s proposals on costs so that repairs could be commenced. We started works work straight away after costs were agreed and completed all works ahead of the client’s expectations.
An incendiary device / aerosol had been thrown into the client’s garden and resulted in a fire destroying the doors and windows to the rear of the property. Smoke had entered the property and caused damage to flooring and decorations in several areas.
The client mainly expressed concerns after the insurer’s loss adjuster had attended the property when she indicated that insurers would prefer to clean the smoke damaged areas as opposed to re-decorating or replacing with new. This was not acceptable to the client as she had already attempted to clean surfaces and had not produced a result.
HOW WE HANDLED THE CLAIM
After attending to survey the damage, we prepared a scope of works for insurers which recommended replacing floor finishes and kitchen fixtures and fittings. We explained to insurers that the client’s attempts at cleaning soot with water, unknown to her, had caused acid attack to surfaces and caused damage beyond repair. We suggested that soot damage on walls be sponged down and sealed by our restoration contractors before surfaces were decorated. After a prolonged negotiation on costs during which the loss adjuster appointed their own contractor to do a benchmark quote to satisfy themselves that costs were competitive a final settlement was negotiated with insurers. We made the provision in this offer that restoration cleaning which was being done on a best efforts basis to floors would, if the areas could not be cleaned, require full replacement. The loss adjuster did not agree and wanted a full and final settlement. We escalated the difference of opinion directly to insurers who agreed with our view and made the loss adjuster agree to the provisions. The client requested an allowance for pet relocation during works which we were able to agree with insurers. The terms of the settlement were finally agreed for our client with insurers and she was happy to accept them.
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