Flooded bed centre, overturning insurer’s refusal to accept liability
After torrential rain in December 2015, the river Irwell in Rossendale, Lancashire, burst its banks and caused widespread flooding. One of the buildings badly affected was Lamberts Mill, which housed a bed centre on the ground floor. The water rose to three feet throughout the premises and the entire stock of beds and bedroom furniture was destroyed.
John Booth, who ran the bed centre, knew what he faced in making an insurance claim: “I had to make a very similar claim a couple of years ago and I was chronically ripped off. We lost out on a lot because we didn’t know what we were doing. We needed someone who could stand up for us and ensure we received everything we were entitled to.”
Mr Booth asked a friend, who works for an insurance company as a loss adjuster, if he could recommend a firm of loss assessors. He suggested Morgan Clark.
Morgan Clark took over the claim for Mr Booth. At first, it seemed it would be very straightforward, covering the stock, business interruption while not trading and a small amount of contents.
But then the process hit a snag. The insurer claimed that Mr Booth had failed to disclose he had previously been involved with an insolvent company and this therefore nullified the insurance policy. However Mr Booth was adamant that he had answered every question put to him honestly when he took out the cover.
Morgan Clark doggedly argued Mr Booth’s case during protracted negotiations with the insurer and their investigator. Eventually the insurer changed its mind and accepted full liability.
The full extent of the claim was paid by the insurer, which totalled £19,000 stock, £6000 business interruption covering loss of gross profit, and contents of £1200. According to Mr Booth, “Morgan Clark did a really good job”.
While waiting for the insurance claim to be settled, Mr Booth moved into new premises – this time on the first floor – which makes it unlikely that he’d have to make another flood insurance claim. But he says that “if we were ever in the same situation I would call Morgan Clark again, and I’d say to anyone else to use them. They came in, took it over, and told us what we could and couldn’t do. That is exactly what you need when you face something like this.”