DOMESTIC FIRE INSURANCE CLAIMS

A severe fire is perhaps the most distressing and traumatic experience. The immediate priorities are often the making of arrangements for alternative accommodation, salvaging your remaining belongings and, of course, securing the protection of your property against further damage.

Your insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying you out your full entitlement. Salmon Assessors have successfully settled thousands of fire claims in the last 30 years, and no other firms of loss assessors are more qualified to help you through such a disaster.

At Salmon Assessors, we have dealt with thousands of domestic fire 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 Fire Claims

Fire 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.

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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 FIRE CLAIMS

Even with a small fire, which has apparently caused little physical damage, you often find that the acrid and corrosive effects of smoke can linger for months and can present a health hazard in addition to destroying your contents and decorations.

So often, fire damage creeps into areas that you cannot see, soot finds its way into electronic equipment. Corrosion damage is not visible at the time you are making an inventory of your damaged goods and this corrosion only becomes obvious perhaps a year or two later when your electronic equipment fails and it’s too late to put in an insurance claim.

Salmon Assessors will ensure that all of your electronic equipment is fully tested and cleaned inside even although there may not be any sign of external damage. Indeed, the cost of cleaning the inside of a television can often be more expensive than purchasing a new one.

It is vital that you call Salmon Assessors immediately after the fire and not to wait until after the Insurance Loss Adjuster has visited you. Indeed, the first couple of days after a fire are often critical to the making of a successful domestic fire insurance claim.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Before calling your insurers, do everything you would do if you were not insured. So, get a damage control company to come over and secure any broken windows and fire damaged doors to ensure that your home remains secure. Also, try to retrieve anything of sentimental value including photographs and any other irreplaceable items that have not been damaged by the fire. If the fire happened at night and the house is inhabitable, then go to a local hotel to ensure that you and your family are safe and, at this stage, do not give a worry as to the cost.

The following morning is the time to telephone your insurers to report the incident and it is vital that you take the name and department of the person you speak to. They will employ a Loss Adjuster to meet you at your home and to advise you initially about plans for alternative accommodation while your home is being rebuilt/refurbished/redecorated. Do not make the mistake that over 90% of claimants make in believing that the Loss Adjuster has been sent to meet you by the insurance company to help you make and compile your claim. For the avoidance of doubt, it is vital that you understand that the Loss Adjuster is being employed by the Insurance Company to represent their interests, although under charter, they are purportedly independent. Regretfully, that independence will quickly prove to be one-sided.

Initially, telephone the claims department of your insurers and it is vital that you take the name and department of the person you are speaking to. However, because you are reading this it is more than likely you have already contacted your insurers and they have instructed a Loss Adjuster to visit you. We very much advise you to telephone a reputable firm of long-established insurance Loss Assessors (hopefully us!) and, in all likelihood, we will visit your home before the Loss Adjuster gets there in order to give you impartial advice and not governed by how much the insurance company is going to save by your getting something cheaper. Our only interest is you, the insured and to put you back in the same position you were in before the house fire.

A good 60% of our clients are repeat business and many of them have used us since the inception of our company in 1983. More often than not, repeat customers telephone us before telephoning their insurers and we are on call 24/7 in the case of emergencies.

You are also likely to find what are commonly termed “ambulance-chasers” outside your home, all vying to get the Loss Assessing business. We have never indulged in this business and find the thought of listening in to the emergency services on shortwave radio, despicable. The only way you will employ us is by perhaps a friend giving you a recommendation or searching the internet for Loss Assessors or fire insurance claim etc.

You don’t, we do all of the negotiations. Please be mindful that we will not accept any offer of payment from insurance companies without your explicit approval in writing. Our function is to make an easily and acceptable formatted Schedule of everything that has been damaged in the fire. Also, be mindful that micro-particles of soot can be found all over the house and just because a room does not look as though it has been affected, there is every possibility/probability that there is some contamination.

Our first interest is to ensure that you and your family will be safely accommodated in a hotel for the first few days while we negotiate with your insurers as to the quality of alternative accommodation to be provided. It is vital that you/your family are accommodated in a similar type of property, in terms of area and square footage/meterage. A common “trick” (we make no apologies for the use of the word because it is a trick) is for a Loss Adjuster to suggest that you are living in, for example a 3-bedroom property but surely you won’t have any problem relocating for a few months to a 2-bedroom apartment. Let’s get it straight from the start. If you are living in a good quality 4-bedroom detached home then your insurers’ liability is to ensure that you are given a property in a similar neighbourhood and the same inside area. However, if, for example, you decide that you are indeed prepared to move into a smaller property. We will negotiate on your behalf to ensure that a goodly percentage of what you would’ve had to pay for the large property will form part of your claim.

We are not “yes men”. If we think that the Loss Adjuster is acting unfairly in his handling of your insurance claim (more often than we would expect!) we will tell them so. Our function is to get you the highest possible settlement due under the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Fire insurance claim negotiation is, sadly, never a quick and easy matter and we find that the average time that a major fire takes to settle can be up to 12/18 months. However, this does not mean that you will have to wait that time for the settlement monies insofar that we will keep tabs on every penny that you spend and we will make sure that your insurers pay you out an interim payment on a very regular basis.

One of the reasons that fire claims take such a long time to settle is because, more often than not, Loss Adjusters have a very heavy workload dealing with lots of very small claims. This also results in it often taking “an age” to respond to your calls and vitally, come back with an offer. Salmon Assessors circumnavigate this by only taking on claims of c. £15,000 (yes, we go into the millions as well!) so we are never overloaded and, if we are, we take on new staff. (Also note that we do not have any junior staff whatsoever).

The whole purpose of insurance is to indemnify. That’s a fancy word for putting you back into the same position you were in prior to the fire. On the proviso that you are not very underinsured, we are likely to get payment for everything that has been fire damaged. However, and importantly, this is often all down to getting the correct valuations. If you and your wife and family have expensive clothes in your wardrobes that have been damaged by the fire or heavy soot contamination, we will not be fobbed off with a second-hand value if your insurance policy states clearly that you will get “new-for-old”. This also applies to household linens. For some strange reason, we find that many insurers use Tesco or Primark as their base for valuing damaged clothing! Of course, that’s no problem if that’s where your clothes have been purchased from. However, if your clothes are designer led we will not accept anything other than a settlement for designer clothes. Now is as good a time to mention to you that one of the very easiest of ways for the insurance loss adjuster to suggest that you are underinsured is to check your wardrobe. If much of what you purchase is high-end designer fashion then it really does not take long for the total to mount up leaving you very under-insured. In cases where there is gross under-insurance, your claim is likely to be “subject to average”. In short, if you are insured for £50,000 when you ought to be insured for £100,000, i.e. 50% underinsured, the loss adjuster will discount your claim by 50%.

Also, avoid the mistake of thinking that the loss adjuster is going to pay you out whatever you think of the valuation of whatever has been burnt or damaged.

Good question, and we hope an equally good answer. There’s a lovely old saying that goes, “The strongest doesn’t always win the fight and the fastest doesn’t always win the race, but that’s where the smart money goes”. In short, we do not do anything other than negotiate insurance claims. We don’t sell insurance. We are simply master insurance claim negotiators… nothing more and nothing less. 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 5-10 new domestic fire claims every couple of weeks and our experience is second to none. We know our way around the insurance claims industry very well and understand the “ins and outs” and the often complications with a fire at your home. Remember, the more they knock your domestic fire claim down, the more they earn and the slower they take then that’s more money in the insurance company’s bank.

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! In short, the more we get you, the more we get paid. The quicker we get your claim settled, the quicker we get paid. There just couldn’t be a better incentive. 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. (Isn’t it strange how the vast majority of insurance claims are worth far more than minor court claims but one seeks expert representation for the minor court claim but, more often than not, does not seek expert representation to help them get the largest possible settlement). 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.

REQUEST A CALL BACK.

Would you like to speak to one of our Loss Assessors? Just submit your details and we’ll be in touch shortly. You can also email us if you would prefer.