Any Policyholder that has made a claim for Water Damage, or indeed Fire Damage, under their buildings insurance policy, may have received a call or a visit from a Building Validation company. Building Validation companies work on behalf of insurance companies and they are appointed to settle claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible.
We recently received a call from a Policyholder, who had made a claim against his buildings policy, following water damage to his property. A pipe in the Bathroom had leaked behind the toilet in the en-suite, causing water damage to the en-suite and the Dining Room below. In the en-suite, the water had damaged areas of the plastered wall behind the wall tiles and indeed the floor tiles. The En-Suite needed stripping out to address the damage and this included the large walk in Shower, the Bath and the vanity unit with two-sinks. Wall tiles and floor tiles need removing. The damage in the Dining Room was to the ceiling and the walls. The ceiling was lathe and plaster and still had the original Cornice in place along with a ceiling rose. The ceiling need to be removed and the damaged plaster to the walls hacked off. In all, a lot of reinstatement work.
The insurance company’s solution to this was to appoint a Building Validation company. The representative visited the property which is located in a High Net Worth area of London, and offered £1300 for the reinstatement works as a “cash settlement” (Please see “Cash Settlement” Blog). Due to the age of the property, the quality of the recent refurbishment and the specialist cornice works required, the Policyholder was shocked by this offer. The Policyholder called Tangible Building Solutions to establish if we were able to help as the insurance company had no interest in the Policyholder’s concerns regarding the Building Validation solution put forward by their representative. We are pleased to say we could help, being specialists in insurance claims reinstatement works and FCA Regulated to deal with such claims ,and the concern over the settlement offered.
Once the Policyholder had appointed us to act on his behalf we visited the property to inspect the damage and our FRICS qualified Surveyor carried out a detailed inspection and put together an in depth Schedule of Works. We also asked a specialist plaster works company to review the cornice work as this needs to be replicated. The detailed Schedule of Works was submitted direct to the insurance company as we felt the Building Validation company was not qualified or interested in dealing with this claim professionally or indeed in line with the policy wording. One search of the internet, searching building validation companies, confirmed our concerns.
The insurance company finally took on board our concerns, despite supporting their building validation company, and appointed a firm of loss adjusters to act on their behalf. A visit was carried out by the loss adjuster and our proposed Schedule of Works was agreed. A further offer was then put forward by the loss adjusters of £8,500 Plus VAT for the reinstatement works, six and a half times the original offer! We then challenged the loss adjusters on this figure as to how they were proposing settlement under the terms of the policy wording; the response was extremely vague and rather surprising from a firm of chartered loss adjusters. We then escalated this matter again to insurers and after many phone calls and negotiations insurers agreed our Schedule of Works at £14,500 Plus VAT, eleven times the original offer!
You may be alarmed by the activity of the insurance company, their Building Validation company and the Loss Adjuster, I am afraid however this activity is going on daily throughout the UK, Insurance Companies are forcing “cash settlements” on people day after day and the policyholders simply cannot get the works done at these rates, despite what the insurers say. Insurance companies are simply not treating their policyholders fairly!
If you are struggling to know what to do following a visit from a Building Validation company and have been offered a “cash settlement” by either the insurers of the Validation Company, PLEASE CALL US NOW 0800 328 4188 WE CAN HELP