Salmon Assessors opened its doors in 1983 when, a year before, our founder, art and antiques dealer, Jeff Salmon, encountered difficulties with an insurance claim when he sent a consignment of antiques to New York. “Almost everything arrived broken” he says. I was unsure what to do but my parents suggested instructing a loss assessor. I had not encountered anyone within this profession and had no idea that one could employ their own private insurance claim negotiator.
I was recommended to a loss assessing company that purportedly specialised in fine art claims. Unfortunately, the loss assessor assigned to my claim made me feels very uncomfortable by suggesting I lie and inflate the claim out of all proportion. Not only was I very worried but was totally unnecessary insofar that I had bona fide invoices for each and every damaged item. I decided to dispense with his services and commence negotiations myself, not least, I am a “born negotiator” which is something you can’t learn but are born with!
The Story Continued…
I did all of the ground work and organised independent valuations and chased the claim constantly because the insurance company were doing everything possible to delay payment.
Finally, after 3 months the insurance company’s representative, the loss adjuster, offered me £8,000 which was substantially less than the value of the damage to the goods. After intense negotiation and sheer persistence I was offered £36,000.
Jeff Salmon thought that this was a great opportunity to act for other art and antique dealers who were making insurance claims but he was quickly inundated with domestic and business claims through word-of-mouth.
The vast majority of loss assessing companies far prefers to take on business insurance claims rather than domestic claims because the fees are far higher and less work proportionally has to be done. However, right from the very start Jeff wanted to “bring” the services of loss assessors to the general public and to this day still prefers domestic claims not least because word is far quicker spread about by ten claimants having ten claims of £10,000 rather than one claimant of £100,000…..The more people you deal with the more your name gets around! However, nowadays a good 45% of the claims we undertake are now of a commercial nature not least that many of the owners of the businesses we deal with are the sons and daughters of the original domestic claimant. We are proud to say that over 70% of our clients are either past clients or relatives and friends of past clients.
There are very few cases were we do not receive a larger settlement than had the policyholder “gone it alone” not least because in our thirty short years of trading, Salmon Assessors have become very well known amongst insurance companies as a company that whilst being hard negotiators are ultimately very fair. Further, our client’s know that unless we believe that the “lemon has been squeezed dry” we will not settle any claim just to “get it out of the way” quickly.
Even today a very few insurance claimants even realise that they can hire their own loss assessor to “fight their cause” against the insurance companies who have instructed their own professional negotiators.
We are very often approached when a policyholder is “knee-deep in the mire” with their insurance claim negotiations, which have generally been very badly negotiated. We always try to impress upon potential clients that we accept 10 or so new claims every week and there is nothing about the claim negotiation process that we do not know.
The majority of insurance claimants feel quite justified in believing that insurance companies and loss adjusters act like “crooks in bowler hats” and feel powerless against them. Whilst we might not go quite as far with our description of loss adjusters, be in no doubt that they are paid by the insurance companies to pay out as little as possible, not to make pay you more! Our function is to ensure that Joe Public gets every penny to which he or she is entitled under the terms and conditions of the policy. We are not there to “rip off” insurance companies but under no circumstances will we let them “rip-off our clients who have paid good money for their insurance policies and do not necessarily know their way around the insurance claim industry.
Over the years we have seen insurers get far tougher on claims. This, of course, quite is understandable but, once again, under no circumstances will we allow insurers or their representatives to pay our customers anything other than then correct amount.
Jeff Salmon is now best known as the stand-out negotiator on Channel 4’s Four Rooms. For nearly 20 years Jeff was a pundit with London Broadcasting (LBC) with veteran DJ Pete Murray answering listener’s questions on problematical insurance claims.
Salmon Assessors are now perhaps the best known firm of loss assessors in the United Kingdom employing both loss assessors and loss adjusters specialising in different disciplines including, Flood, Fire and Burglary Claims. We also have a specialist Subsidence Division and our Business Interruption department is rated by our competitors as without equal.
We look forward to counting you amongst our many happy and satisfied clients.