Flooding at kitchen worktop manufacturer: £1.2 million claim
Stoneworld is a very successful manufacturer of quartz and granite kitchen worktops, importing expensive materials from across the world and using sophisticated precision cutting machinery. Based in Kendal, Cumbria, it distributes its high-end products through outlets across the country.
In December 2015, its two buildings were flooded with almost four feet of water, completely destroying the machinery and writing off most of its stock. According to Shama Collins from Stoneworld, “when it happened we were overwhelmed. December is a peak time as we have to meet Christmas orders, but we came to a complete standstill. We realised we faced an enormous insurance claim. But we don’t know how the insurance world works and it just would have been too much to do it ourselves on top of what we already had on our plate. So we turned to Morgan Clark.”
Morgan Clark recognised that the most important thing was to restart manufacturing as quickly as possible. However to do this the company needed to replace the expensive precision machinery which had been ruined by the flood. Cash flow was also critical. Even though there were elements of under-insurance, Morgan Clark immediately negotiated a substantial allowance for the damaged stock. The company could then pay for replacement machinery and stock, despite premium prices caused by the critical timescales, and manufacturing resumed.
Stoneworld overcame the tremendous challenges it faced and started trading again very quickly. At the same time, Morgan Clark successfully negotiated a total insurance claim of £1.2 million, comprising £550,000 plant and machinery, £250,000 stock and £400,000 business interruption. The BI claim covered not only loss of gross profit but also increased cost of working which included the significant amounts of overtime staff had to work to fulfil the order book.
According to Shama, “Throughout this whole terrible episode, if there was one decision we got right it was using Morgan Clark. They understood from day one where we were coming from: they appreciated our commitments to clients and the losses we would incur if we didn’t move quickly. They realised the importance of getting back on our feet rapidly, otherwise not only would we lose customers but also it would cause huge damage to our company’s reputation.
“Morgan Clark saved our company. It would have taken us so much longer to get on our feet without them and we would never have achieved the same results. I would advise anyone facing an insurance claim to get a loss assessor because they really know what they are doing – and as far as insurance is concerned, we don’t.”