A recent article in The Telegraph has highlighted the plight of hundreds of homeowners affected by the flooding last Christmas. After facing the devastating effects of the floods many are still living in uninhabitable conditions or in rented accommodation as they wait for insurers to make good with their insurance payouts.
Tales of insurers offering low cash settlements and “trying to do the least amount of repair they can get away with”, has left many frustrated and angry at not being able to receive sufficient compensation to carry out adequate repairs to their homes.
Unfortunately this tactic is an increasingly common problem within the industry. In a bid to settle a claim quickly and cheaply, insurers offer claimants a cash settlement that is normally lower than the cost of work required. Out of desperation to bring about repairs quickly, many homeowner opt for this choice.
Insurers then persuade homeowners to use their own contracted building companies. More often than not these contractors are not local and provide a lower quality of work for a cheaper cost.
This puts the claimant in a catch-22 position. They can use the insurers’ recommended contractor to carry out repairs to the low value of the cash settlement. Or they can choose their own local contractor, who is very likely to come in at a price higher than the cash settlement that then leaves the claimant out of pocket.
Whilst not all insurers are guilty of this practice, this does appear to be a trend among the low-cost insurers you find on price comparison websites. In order to offer enticing policies, these budget insurers are likely to be looking to recoup costs where they can. This is often at the expense of the value of the cash settlements they offer and quality of remedial works.
We support the call for the insurance industry to learn from past mistakes in dealing with flood claims and to review how these are handled in the future.
We also urge homeowners to ensure their home and buildings insurance makes adequate provision for flood damage. If they are in the unfortunate situation of having to make a claim we strongly recommend that they appoint their own surveyors to assess the damage and likely cost of repairs. (Not the insurers loss-adjusters who may be under pressure to make savings for the insurer). As well as push to use their own contractor to ensure remedial work is carried out to a high standard.
Should you be in the process of making a flood damage claim Tangible Building can help. We removing the stress from making a claim by dealing with the insurers and their representatives on your behalf. We then carry out repairs using our network of local building professionals.
We visit your property to carry out a professional assessment of damage and ensure a speedy claims and repairs process to reinstate your home.