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On 31st March 2015 we received a property insurance claim from RSA for a house that had been badly fire damaged in Barnsley.
The fire was caused by a gas fire and there was extensive damage to the home. The entire kitchen was completely ruined and there was smoke damage in the lounge, lobby, bathroom, stairs and porch.
For the policyholders, Mr & Mrs Sykes, this was obviously devastating.
From the start, this home insurance claim was a case study in how loss adjusters and contractors should work together for the benefit of the customer – to minimize the customer’s stress and effort needed to get their home back to normal.
As the customer later said:
“The last thing we wanted while we were still traumatised by the whole event and what we had lost, was to be involved in a drawn out process of competition and bidding; we needn’t have worried.”
The RSA loss adjuster, Lesley Jacklin, was keen to use our contractor, PJ Lilley. So we quickly appointed PJ Lilley to the job and a joint visit was arranged.
The scope of the works and the costs were approved by 22nd April, pretty impressive for such a large job. Lesley Jacklin and PJ Lilley had managed to cover all of the major issues during the joint visit and so the costs, totalling £14,000, were approved very quickly.
As a result of this great teamwork and communication, works started on this property insurance claim on 29th April, just one week after authorisation.
The works were extensive and included:
> a completely new kitchen and gas fire with surround,
> replacing bathroom sanitaryware,
> replacing ceilings and insulation,
> replacing flooring, doors and other woodwork,
> new plasterboard for the walls and replastering,
> new PvC windows, and
> retiling and redecorating the affected rooms.
By the end of July it was clear that further costs would need to be incurred. Additional costs of almost £13,000 were required for a new boiler and related plumbing, additional brickwork and other works.
Because the loss adjuster and contractor were working together and communicating so well, the costs were quickly approved by RSA and the works continued uninterrupted.
The works were finally completed by 5th August, and Mr & Mrs Sykes had their home back:
“Our house is reborn and amazing; thank you.”
At this point the delighted policyholders wrote a wonderful letter of thanks to PJ Lilley to express their “sincere and heartfelt gratitude and admiration”.
They also emailed Lesley Jacklin to express their gratitude too:
“…[we] have been supported throughout and felt the weight lifted off us from day one..”
“..the house is looking stunning.”
Customer satisfaction maximised
Mr & Mrs Sykes had this to say in their letter to PJ Lilley:
“…every single member of your workforce that we met, or had contact with, were the most professional, genuine, pleasant and helpful ‘team’ throughout…”
“[Pat’s] knowledge, expertise and professionalism in terms of his trade were exceptional, but [his] people skills were equally exceptional..”
And to Lesley Jacklin they had this to say:
“..can I just repeat again our total gratitude at the way in which both our claim and the repairs have been managed by everyone involved.”
This claim is a perfect example of how a property insurance claim should be. The customer started the process traumatised and stressed, but turned into a relieved, loyal and returning customer for the client.
Having one lead contractor working with the loss adjuster simplified the claim for the customer. Mr & Mrs Sykes didn’t have to chase up the insurer or any other third party because there was clear accountability and communication with the customer.
The property insurance claim progressed quickly and wasn’t held up by queries over unexpected variations, or handovers between third parties.
Well done to everyone involved!