Flooding claim in 2003 and again in 2014 for the same homeowner
In December 2003, Lynne Walters woke one morning to find her home ankle-deep in floodwater. Her bungalow on Friary Island in Wraysbury, Berkshire, was one of many properties overrun when the Thames burst its banks after a prolonged period of rain.
Mrs Walters contacted her insurer, who responded slowly but eventually sent in dryers and removed the sodden carpets. After that “everything went pear-shaped. I felt like I’d been put on the back burner and that I wasn’t at the top of their list of priorities”.
The house was uninhabitable and Mrs Walters and her son moved into a caravan in the garden – and were to stay there for another 18 months. For the first six months after the flood, she went through a series of frustrating experiences with her insurer, their loss adjuster and the contractors they sent in.
Mrs Walters faced delays and lack of response, and then finally when some restoration work was carried out it was of a completely unacceptable standard: “The contractors had no idea about the work they needed to do. They even put in a new floor which was too high for any of the doors to shut. It was just terrible. And trying to communicate with the insurer and loss adjuster was almost impossible.”
Everything changed when Morgan Clark took control
Matters became so bad that Mrs Walters engaged a solicitor. Letters went back and forth between him and the insurer, but he could see that progress was going to be very difficult. So he suggested to Mrs Walters that she employed a loss assessor to take over her claim, and recommended Morgan Clark. “I was at my wits end and can’t find the words to really explain the difference they made. Everything changed when I spoke to Marc Ross at Morgan Clark because now I had someone who was fighting my corner. It was such a weight off my shoulders: he was just fantastic and took the stress away from me.”
Morgan Clark handled everything. They brought in chartered surveyors to produce a revised scope of works and specialist contractors to carry out the reinstatement of the house. This included ripping out the faulty work of the previous contractor. The insurer agreed to pay the complete claim including this remedial work: “One thing Marc made me realise was that I was perfectly entitled to have the final say on how the house was restored.”
Eventually, 20 months after the flood, Mrs Walters moved back into her home.
2014 – the return of the flood
Eleven years later, the same thing happened again: the Thames burst its banks after unprecedented levels of rainfall, and Mrs Walters’ home was once again flooded. In the intervening years she had changed her insurer and thought at first that this might make a difference to the response she received – but she soon realised she was wrong.
She called the insurer repeatedly but couldn’t get any kind of appropriate response. Eventually a ‘personal claims specialist’ arrived but, after speaking to her, Mrs Walters had no confidence in the likely outcome of her claim.
As the days went on, the water receded but there was still no real progress: Mrs Walters felt she had just got lost in the system. She was promised dryers, and also told she would be moved into temporary accommodation, but nothing happened. She made a verbal complaint but that made no difference.
Then the flood waters returned and her home was flooded as badly as before. So she picked up the phone and called Morgan Clark. “And I was so relieved to find that I was put through to Marc Ross again and he then arranged to come and see me. Everything changed again: I’m just totally relying on him.”
Now, according to Mrs Walters, she feels that something is happening: “I’ve moved into rented accommodation and the house is being looked after by a specialist restoration company brought in by Morgan Clark. If anything needs sorting out, I know that I just have to ring up Marc and he will take this all away from me.”
A time when you really need someone on your side
“I’m 11 years older, I’m now retired, and I’m even less able to cope than I was the first time. It’s such a relief to have Morgan Clark on my side and I would recommend them wholeheartedly to anyone, with no hesitation. I’d say to someone in the same position to have no qualms about it: just give them a ring and they will talk to you, visit you, reassure you, and take away the stress and strain. They are always there at the end of the phone, at a time when you really need someone on your side.
“I am so relieved that Morgan Clark will now fight my corner and that I’m not doing it alone. I know I’m in safe hands.”