£500,000 house fire - rejected claim overturned by Morgan Clark
Read more about this in The Observer
When Drew Thomson’s work relocated him to the USA, he decided to rent out his six-bedroomed property. The house was then wrecked by a major fire: the roof was destroyed and there was significant internal and external damage. The total claim was valued at £500,000.
Mr Thomson started to handle the insurance claim himself from the States and was liaising with the insurer’s loss adjuster, who pinpointed the probable cause of the fire as faulty electrics. The tenants then claimed there had been outstanding electrical issues before the incident. As a result, the insurers refused to accept liability and engaged solicitors to investigate Mr Thomson’s claim.
A considerable period had now elapsed since the fire and during this time Mr Thomson still had a mortgage to pay and was not receiving any rental income. In addition, the tenants were seeking damages for loss of their possessions. Mr Thomson knew that, unless the insurer paid the claim, he faced financial ruin: “Initially we hired a solicitor, but it quickly became obvious that we couldn’t handle this situation ourselves from so far away and we needed expert help. Following input from our lawyer and a review of the company’s capabilities, we reached out to loss assessors Morgan Clark.”
Morgan Clark took over the claim. They tracked down all records of electrical repairs over many years and speeded up the many different enquiries being carried out by the insurer’s solicitors. They also organised protection from further damage for the house, which the insurer insisted Mr Thomson arranged personally at his own expense.
According to Mr Thomson, “The insurer’s lawyers were becoming aggressive as they looked for any opportunity, any reason to reject our claim. Morgan Clark’s experience in truly understanding the legal aspects of an insurance claim was invaluable as they represented us efficiently through the lengthy process of dealing with the insurer’s questions.”
After exhaustive scrutiny of all relevant documents, Morgan Clark proved beyond any doubt that Mr Thomson had complied with all electrical regulations. As a result of Morgan Clark’s dogged determination, the insurer eventually conceded and accepted the claim.
Morgan Clark then rapidly sent in its team of expert surveyors and contractors to repair the extensive damage, which had been made worse by the delays. The insurers initially refused to pay for any damage caused by these delays but Morgan Clark successfully argued to overturn this decision.
Finally, the insurers accepted full liability for the insurance claim of £500,000 for restoring the property and £30,000 for damaged contents: “Everyone signs up to insurance policies in good faith but, when it comes to making a claim, all that may count for precious little. If we hadn’t had expert help, I don’t know how we would have got through it. Morgan Clark knew what to look for and understood policy wording, which was vital in getting the insurer to accept liability.”