COMMERCIAL FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIMS

Having a flood at your shop or office is, to say the least, a very traumatic experience. It is not merely a question of having the premises repaired and replacing ruined stock. Your business may well have been rendered entirely inoperable, and the financial consequences of this are tremendous.

Your insurance company will instruct a firm of Loss Adjusters to act on their behalf. As far as the insurers are concerned, the loss adjuster doing a good job means reducing the final settlement as much as possible and, ideally, enabling them to decline cover entirely.

At Salmon Assessors, we have dealt with thousands of commercial flood insurance claims over 30-years. We guarantee to get you every single penny you are entitled to. No Win, No Fee.

OUR INSURANCE CLAIM SERVICES

Fully Managed Flood Claims

Flood claims require expert management from start to finish. Your insurance company will employ a Loss Assessor whose sole purpose is to build a case against your claim.

By employing an expert Loss Assessor to fight your corner. You can focus on doing what you do best while we do what we do best.

Contact our expert assessors now.

Alternate Accommodation

Gaining alternate accommodation is a vital part of most fire claims. Your insurer’s appointed loss adjuster will often neglect to tell you your full rights or will offer you the cheapest option available.

Salmon Assessors will always ensure that you are given like-for-like housing at no extra cost.

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No Win No Fee

We work on a total ‘no win, no fee’ basis. Our fees are based on a small percentage of the total settlement figure so it is in our mutual interest to ensure we achieve the maximum settlement on your behalf.

Our initial consultation is undertaken without any obligation or charge whatsoever.

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Highest Settlement

We are regarded as the leading loss assessors in the industry and have over 30-years of successful trading history to show for it. A huge part of the work we get comes from repeat business or recommendation.

There is no other loss assessor that will be able to get you more than Salmon Assessors.

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Settled Quickly and Efficiently

We receive countless enquiries from potential clients with claims that have been dragging on for months and months (sometimes years).

By employing Salmon Assessors, you can rest assure that your claim will be presented and settled in the quickest time possible.We will never let the insurance company delay.

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Insurance Experts

Insurance companies will always try to bend the rules if it favours giving you the smallest possible payout.

Our expertise is vital in stopping insurers ‘pulling the wool over our clients’ eyes. There are always new rules and regulations set to help the policyholder, and our job is to make sure they are put in place.

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PEACE OF MIND.

WE DO WHAT WE DO BEST, SO YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU DO BEST.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FLOOD CLAIMS

While the insurer’s appointed loss adjuster will insist upon being independent and impartial on the matter, the reality says otherwise. The firm is being paid by the insurance company and is there to represent their best interests. As far as the insurers are concerned, the loss adjuster doing a good job means reducing the final settlement as much as possible and, ideally, enabling them to decline cover entirely.

Even in situations where you stand a good chance of eventually receiving the settlement you’re entitled to and having your premises restored to the pristine condition it was in before the disaster occurred, the proverbial obstacle course you’ll have to navigate a daunting and demoralising one. You’ll be bombarded with a barrage of seemingly irrelevant questions spanning across various meetings and will have to produce pages worth of schedules of damaged items. You may be required to obtain quote after quote from contractors before it is decided that you can even think about proceeding with repairs. And that’s not the end of it. Quite frequently, if you cannot produce substantiating evidence for all of the damaged items, the loss adjuster will try to decline cover for them or at least substantially reduce the payout.

Of course, in commercial floods, it is not merely a question of having the premises repaired and replacing ruined stock. Your business has probably been rendered entirely inoperable, and the financial consequences of this are tremendous. You will have to claim for the losses accruing from the interruption to your business, and this often involves claiming for temporary relocation to alternative business premises while repairs are being undertaken. Once again, and particularly in the current economic climate, your insurers will seek out every avenue that may enable them to accuse you of failing to comply fully with the policy and thereby repudiate your claim.

As Loss Assessors, our function is to represent your best interests. We are experts in commercial flood insurance claims negotiation and can ensure that you get the very best settlement possible under your policy. We will manage your entire claim from start to finish, taking all of the stress and burdens away from you and ensuring the claim is not put in jeopardy due to one or two simple errors.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Firstly, because you are reading this we are going to assume that you’ve already called a plumber. Make sure that you turn off the stop-cock. Also, switch off the electricity to those areas of your workplace that have been affected by the flood. When you experience a burst pipe for the first time you literally do not know which way to turn. We find that the vast majority of burst pipe insurance claims happen because the pipes are uninsulated. In fact, we have had instances over the years where the Loss Adjuster does everything possible to try to repudiate a burst pipe claim when he sees no lagging and advises the insurance company either not to pay or to severely restrict the eventual pay-out. On the off-chance that you are reading this paragraph by way of interest and not that you are about to make a commercial burst pipe claim, we can do no better than to strongly advise you to ensure that all of the pipes in your shop/office are fully lagged. It is a very inexpensive and quick procedure that could save you much heartache during the winter months.

When you telephone your insurance company, ask for the claims department and explain to them that you have had serious water damage at your place of work and need their instructions. In all likelihood, they will instruct a Loss Adjuster who will represent their interests (not yours!) and he will make an appointment to come and see you. Quite obviously, if it is a very serious flood then pressure the claims department to instruct a Loss Adjuster immediately.

This is also the ideal time to instruct Loss Assessors (ideally us!) insofar that where possible, we would like to meet you before you meet your Insurance Company’s representative, the Loss Adjuster. This gives us the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with your workplace and ensure that whatever report the Loss Adjuster writes to your insurers will be exactly as we have found it ourselves. Please note that our meeting you before you meet the insurance company’s Loss Adjuster is not essential but it very much helps.

It is essential to understand that when you are making an insurance claim for flood or water ingress at your workplace, it is paramount that you do everything possible to mitigate (minimise) your loss. If your insurers believe that you have not acted promptly and with due diligence they can quite easily suggest that the water damage is far more severe than it would’ve been had you attended to the situation quicker.

The first thing we will do is to instruct a specialist flood/water damage restoration company who we know will be acceptable to your insurers.  Many ‘so-called’ restoration companies take advantage of an emergency flood/water ingress insurance claim and charge an unacceptably large fee, which will immediately put your insurance company ‘on its guard’ for the rest of the claim.

We will also instruct an electrical contractor on your behalf who will have had a great deal of experience with insurance claims and wet wiring.  It’s important to note that not all electrical contractors have insurance claims experience and we can confirm that our approved list of electrical contractors are all insurance company approved.  Be mindful that even when your property looks dry, so often the after-effects of water ingress can go far beyond what can actually be seen. It is vital that every square inch (OK, centimetres for you younger folk!) of your property is fully dried out.  By way of an example, should it be found after a few years that your property has wet rot that can be linked to the original water damage claim, then your insurers are very likely to repudiate the future wet rot claim.  Also, if your property has been very badly damaged by the flood waters, the restoration company will pump out all excess water and install the appropriate drying equipment and make sure that your property is totally secure.

Of course! We have contacts at most major commercial letting agents throughout London and the South East and those agents will ‘jump’ when we ask them to help you.  Your insurance company is also likely to have similar contacts but don’t be in the least surprised if they suggest commercial premises not of the same standard as that affected by the flood. (Please note that to qualify for temporary commercial premises you must have Business Interruption added to your commercial insurance policy. We find that one third of claimants do not have Business Interruption so beware!) Fear not!  We will simply not allow your insurers to arrange any temporary commercial accommodation without your full cooperation. anything on your behalf other than a ‘like-for-like’ accommodation.  Of course, if you have, for example, a 10,000 sq ft factory premises that has been water damaged, do not expect your insurers to offer you a 15/20,000 sq ft factory whilst your own premises are being refurbished. Conversely, we will not allow your insurers to “palm you off” with an unsuitable commercial property in an attempt to save their Principals money.

You don’t, we do! Our function is to prepare all the schedules of your water damaged contents and only at such time that you are happy that everything has been included will we present it in an acceptable format to the Loss Adjuster.  Of course, we also manage the building claim on your behalf.  Your insurance company will wish to instruct a Chartered Surveyor to manage the refurbishment. Be in no doubt that whichever surveying company they choose, that company knows very well “which side their bread is buttered” and as independent as you would expect them to be, that “independence” is always more partial to those that are paying them, i.e. your insurers! In a nutshell, a surveyor that you have not chosen yourself is very unlikely to act totally impartially although they may be acting under the disguise of independence but, remember, you have not instructed them!  We will instruct an independent Chartered Surveyor on your behalf but paid for by your insurers. You can then be in no doubt that they will be acting impartially, ensuring that their specification covers every possible damage caused by the flood waters. Of course, every Chartered Surveyor understands the building technicalities but, it may surprise you to learn, not all surveyors have deep insurance knowledge and that is why we will only instruct Chartered Surveyors that we feel are competent enough to understand the complexities of an Insurance flood claim.

So long as you are adequately insured (or at least not very under insured), we will negotiate recompense for all your flood-damaged property. Certainly, the Loss Adjuster representing your insurance company will do everything to try to reduce your commercial water damage claim and especially we find when it comes to the re-creation of computer data that may not have been correctly backed up because of the flood. We will argue your case strongly and, it is a very rare instance when we are unable to negotiate a full and satisfactory settlement.

Very often, the Loss Adjusters will try to reduce your claim by suggesting that sensitive electrical equipment at your place of work should not be replaced because the water may not have actually made contact with that equipment. We will argue very strongly and get independent proof that if the humidity at your premises was so high, there is every probability that the equipment will not perform properly and will need to be replaced on a new-for-old basis. that have been affected by the water ingress will be absolutely fine after they have dried out! No, they won’t – and we will insist that all of your water-damaged electronics be replaced on a new-for-old basis.

The Chartered Surveyor we instruct on your behalf will send his specification to three independent, tried-and-tested building companies who have been in business for at least 8 years backed-up with a good set of business accounts so you can rest assured that your chances of instructing a rogue builder to work on your most valuable possession are next to nothing.

Every so often we have clients who wish to instruct their own builders (more often than not a ‘friend of a friend’) and on your behalf, we will carry out a credit check on those builders.  What we very much wish you to avoid is ‘stepping out of the fire and into the frying pan’ by instructing a recommendation from a friend and running a very high risk of experiencing problems with which is the last thing you will need after the awful experience of seeing your place of work under water.

Even if your water-sodden contents are seemingly beyond repair, it is absolutely essential that you throw everything into rubbish bags for later inspection.  If the Loss Adjuster reports back to your insurers that he has not seen anything that you will be claiming for, there is every chance that your insurers will make every effort to try and get out of paying for those items.

Good question, and we hope an equally good answer. It is important to understand that your own insurance company is employing third party insurance claim experts, i.e. the Loss Adjusters, to negotiate any large claim on their behalf. And the reason? It’s because the insurance company does not hold itself out to be a claim negotiator. In much the same way, you, the claimant, would be considered very unlucky indeed if you had to make more than two or three large claims in a lifetime. We, as insurance Loss Assessors, handle 10 or more new and large flood insurance claims every couple of weeks and our experience is second to none. We know our way around the insurance claims industry very well and, in much the same way that the Loss Adjuster is, it could be said, being paid to reduce your claim on behalf of your insurers, we are doing everything possible to get you the highest possible settlement. You would not dream of going to court to defend yourself without a Solicitor, and we hope that you will agree that something as important as a large insurance claim should be treated in expert hands on your behalf, just like the insurance company are leaving it to their experts. Please, do not make the misguided mistake of thinking that the Loss Adjuster has been sent to help you by your insurers. He hasn’t. He is there to represent their interests and to ensure that the extent of their liability is restricted by clever negotiation.

Certainly, our repeat clients (and 60-70% of our clients are either repeat or recommendations) would not use us if we achieved a lower settlement than they could get themselves! The fact remains that if we achieved much the same as you could get yourself, we could argue that the time we have spent handling and negotiating the claim leaving you to do what you are best at is good value in itself. However, we know for a fact that we are able to achieve an average in the order of 20-30% more than you as a non-insurance claim expert would be able to achieve yourself and as we have said previously, we are totally incentivised by how much we can get you. The more we get for you, the more we take from you and the quicker we get your money, the quicker we get paid! We assure you that there could not be a better incentive for us to ensure you are paid to the absolute maximum. We make no apologies when we describe ourselves as “mercenaries inhabiting the world of insurance”. In fact, it was the London Evening Standard that described us in this manner and, we are pleased to say, in a complimentary way!

Certainly, some of the larger insurance brokers do have a Claims Department. However, please understand that the role of an Insurance Broker is to get you the best quality, all-encompassing insurance policy at the keenest possible price. That’s how they earn their money. Certainly, they will help you with your flood insurance claim to the best of their ability in the limited time that they have available for what for them is a non-profit making activity. It may interest you to learn that 65-70% of our business is actually referred to us by insurance brokers. We hope we have made our case.

We charge a small percentage of the claim total and this is dependent on our estimation of the size of the claim. What we can say, is that it is a very rare instance indeed where we are not able to negotiate a far higher settlement than you can yourself. We haven’t been around for 35 years because we get people less than they can get themselves! Think of us as mercenaries (but nice ones!) The more we get you, the more we will charge you and the quicker we get your claim settled the quicker we will be paid. We assure you that there could be no better incentive for us to ensure you are paid to the absolute maximum.

Even if we have not been instructed at the start of the claim, we are still prepared to help you get a better settlement. However, our fee structure is different and instead of charging you a small percentage of the total claim we will charge you a higher percentage but only on any difference that we achieve. In passing, it is a rare instance where we cannot get an extra payment from insurers.

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