House fire – £199,000 buildings, contents and alternative accommodation claim

Location Surrey

Customer Mr Lucas

Mr & Mrs Lucas had just completed a refurbishment of their three-bedroom house in Surrey. They had installed a new kitchen, and only eight days earlier had laid a new wooden floor. While this work was carried out, they had stored a significant amount of clothing plus skiing and photographic equipment in the loft.

The loft was then destroyed by an electrical fire, and the first floor was gutted.  In addition, water from firemen’s hoses and subsequent rain infiltrated the ground floor, ruining the new floor and kitchen.

In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the Red Cross came to the house to help the family. They immediately advised Mr Lucas to engage a loss assessor to handle what was obviously going to be a complicated claim. Mr Lucas initially dealt with the insurer’s loss adjuster himself but, faced with constant questioning, he turned to Morgan Clark.

The claim

The loss adjuster immediately challenged the high value claimed for the goods stored in the loft. To prove its validity, Morgan Clark meticulously sifted through the damaged items to put together supporting evidence.

The loss adjuster also proposed that the existing kitchen units could be cleaned: Morgan Clark argued that, because of likely long-term damage caused by water infiltration, they should be replaced. This would also extend the time the family needed to stay in temporary accommodation, which would need to be covered by the insurer.

Morgan Clark engaged specialist contractors to compile a comprehensive specification for the work needed, including repairing any hidden damage from water infiltration, and presented a claim for £199,000.

The results

After protracted and heated negotiations with the insurer’s loss adjuster:

  • A full claim of £199,000 was agreed by the insurer.
  • Full replacement value for all loft contents were agreed.
  • Specification was accepted and the house was reinstated to it’s previous condition.
  • Full replacement of the new kitchen and wooden floor.
  • Extended temporary accommodation while the house was repaired.

Plus a loft conversion was economically carried out at the same time as the reinstatement.

More Case Studies


Fire damage in thatched cottage

"Mr and Mrs Hampshire suffered a fire at their thatched cottage, which started in the middle of the night when the family were asleep. The accidental fire was caused by a lighter being ignited, which resulted in blankets and pillows catching fire and ..."

Read more


Flooded bakery in Kendal: £100,000 insurance claim for machinery, st...

"Ginger Bakers is a very successful specialist cake producer based in Kendal, Cumbria, supplying commercial outlets across the country. When Storm Desmond wreaked havoc across the north of England in December 2015, the bakery’s leased premises were ..."

Read more


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 produc..."

Read more


Using Morgan Clark a second time for flood insurance claim

"When the river Eden flooded in Carlisle in 2005, water poured through David Allen’s substantial five-bedroomed semi-detached home. There was extensive damage throughout the downstairs which was likely to result in an insurance claim of around £100..."

Read more


Flooding – £630,000 business interruption claim

"In 2007, the town of Doncaster was hit by two floods in very quick succession. A large trading estate was very badly affected, including a successful steel processing and stockholding company. Three of its industrial units on the estate were contamin..."

Read more

South Wales

Residential college fire – £1.5m buildings and contents claim

"When an electrical fault caused a major fire at the UWC Atlantic College in South Wales, one of the school’s boarding houses was almost completely destroyed. The College’s immediate priority was to re-house the 52 students who lived there, so it ..."

Read more