Discussing the principal of indemnity and loss adjusters
This is Graham Pretty of Your Claim, and I’m here in lovely Lincolnshire, and I’m reminded by a conversation I had with a prospective client and they asked me, “Why would you use an independent loss management, loss assessing company?”
It brought me back to a fire-damage project that we have ongoing in Lincolnshire. It was a chip-pan fire. Quite a simple claim and on the first meeting, we had with our insurance company’s loss adjuster, he was adamant of two things:
Firstly that independent loss management companies, loss assessors, only put cost on to the job, on to the claim.
And secondly that in his opinion the indemnity was really limited to what was a new kitchen and some decorations.
Everybody in the room sort of stood back from that because it was quite clear the damage was far more extensive. Now, he may have had his own reasons why he said that, none of which I think are satisfactory conclusions.
We allowed the process to play out and eventually, we assessed the damage at four times the cost, four times the indemnity, four times the liability of what the loss adjusting company had first proposed.
This caused tremendous delays. I can’t honestly believe that there was inaccuracy in their findings. As I say he may have had his own reasons why he was doing it.
However it does bring me on to the subject of “Loss assessors just add cost to the job.”
Well the reality is as an independent, as a client, it’s not our responsibility to measure the indemnity, or the liability for insurers, that’s the insurers job right?
Because they hold the policy. They hold the indemnity.
So, we’re only ever going to propose and assess up to the value of insurers’ liability. Nothing else is going to be agreed. Nothing else can be.
Once insurers set their limit of liability, that’s it. So I’m really just reflecting on those two points.
How and why a loss adjuster can get it so dramatically wrong, and secondly the accusation that loss management, loss assessing companies add value to the job which clearly they don’t.
It just leads me to the conclusion that if you’re a client, if you’re a landlord, if you’re an insurance broker, looking for premium renewals, why would you not get an independent review of a property damage claim? The stakes are just too high, they just really are too high.
Can you afford not to get an independent assessment? That’s what I would be asking. Just to make sure you’ve got a second opinion, and you reach the correct figure. The correct figure for the client, the correct figure for the insurance company, that enables everybody to move forwards and make progress.
So there we are, anyway just some thoughts.
Graham Pretty from Your Claim, thank you.