Fire in semi-detached house - overcoming challenges to buildings and contents claim
Mrs Pearce was visiting a friend when fire broke out in her semi-detached house in Lancashire. While the blaze was quickly put out, there was significant damage throughout the property.
At first Mrs Pearce thought she would be able to handle the insurance claim herself – but it very soon became clear to her that this was going to be impossible: “The next day we tried to find someone to sort the kitchen out, but I felt so tired and completely stressed that I just couldn’t do it. The chief fireman recommended talking to Morgan Clark, and when I did I realised that this was the help I needed.”
Despite the extensive damage to the house, initially the insurer did not believe there was any need for a surveyor. However Morgan Clark challenged this decision and successfully had it overturned. Specialist chartered surveyors were then brought in to ensure all damage was identified and that the house was restored properly; in addition, specialist restoration and building contractors were appointed, all working under the supervision of Morgan Clark.
The insurer then challenged the costs of the reinstatement but Morgan Clark submitted further proof that the work was needed and finally the full costs were accepted. The insurer also made harsh reductions to the contents claim for wear and tear but Morgan Clark challenged this and successfully achieved a fairer settlement for Mrs Pearce.
Other elements of the claim included emergency funding to pay for clothes and other essential items in the immediate aftermath of the fire: Morgan Clark itself made an advance payment of £2000 to help Mrs Pearce while waiting for payment to come through from the insurer. They also arranged temporary accommodation for Mrs Pearce and ensured that the costs of putting her cats into a cattery were covered by the claim.
In the end, a total settlement of £77,000, covering the reinstatement of the property, contents and alternative accommodation, was agreed with the insurer. According to Mrs Pearce, “Morgan Clark made such a difference. I wouldn’t have been able to cope without them: they took everything out of my hands. I was in such a state I would have had a nervous breakdown without them.
“Using the whole Morgan Clark team of surveyors and contractors made things so much easier. It meant that, if they hadn’t been up to scratch, then I would only have needed to tell Morgan Clark and they would have dealt with it. But they were up to scratch anyway!
“I would say to anyone in a similar position to definitely use a loss assessor. Morgan Clark completely put my mind at ease. Goodness knows what it would have been like without them.”