Property claims management: Homeowner FAQs

Property claims management: Homeowner FAQs

If you’ve experienced a fire, flood, escape of water, or other disaster in your home, chances are your biggest concern is getting your life back to normal as soon as possible. Second to this, it is important that you receive the full payout you are entitled to from your insurance company, in order to carry out any repair works to the highest possible standard, and replace any lost or damaged items.

However, achieving these things can be very difficult if handling an insurance claim singlehandedly, which is why many people enlist the help of a property claims management professional, known as a Loss Assessor, for help. Enlisting an experienced Loss Assessor to manage an insurance claim on your behalf takes away the burden of having to deal directly with your insurance company and their Loss Adjuster, which speeds the process up, and results in a fairer financial outcome.

This guide has been produced to provide answers to some frequently asked questions relating to the role of the Loss Assessor in the property claims management process.

Why do I need a Loss Assessor to manage my property claim?

An experienced Loss Assessor will take over full responsibility of your insurance claim from start to finish. This will include compiling and presenting the claim and dealing with the insurer’s Loss Adjuster on your behalf, whilst protecting your best interests every step of the way. By enlisting the services of a Loss Assessor, you will receive the best settlement under the terms of your insurance policy, and get back into your property in the shortest time possible.

Won’t my insurance company help me do this?

Many insurers will help you in the early stages of your claim, however further down the line, when more stressful and time consuming elements need addressing, it pays to have a professional on your side. While Loss Adjusters are supposed to remain impartial, it is worth remembering that ultimately they are paid by the insurance company, so it is in their financial interests to keep your settlement figure to a minimum. Conversely, a Loss Assessor will work to ensure you receive the highest settlement figure possible within the terms of your contract.

Will appointing a Loss Assessor annoy my insurance company?

A reputable insurer should have no issue with you appointing a Loss Assessor to help manage your claim – a policyholder can only claim for what is legally within their insurance contract, after all. Additionally, some insurers prefer to work with an experienced industry professional as it makes the process easier for them. However, should you find yourself in a position where an insurer is challenging your decision to appoint a Loss Assessor, it may hint to an unwillingness on their part to allow you fair representation throughout the claim.

If I appoint a Loss Assessor, how long will it be before I can move back into my property?

There are many factors that can determine this, including the complexity of the claim and extent of the damage caused to the property. However, an experienced Loss Assessor will ensure the claim is resolved in the least amount of time possible, and provide time estimates throughout the claim, meaning you can plan for your return home from the beginning.

How much will it cost to have someone manage my property claim for me?

Loss assessing fees will vary depending on which company you use, however here at Morgan Clark we provide two transparent fee options for homeowners and landlords.

The first option is free, providing you are happy to use the Chartered Surveyor and building contractors we introduce to you. In this case, the insurance company pays one of the experienced contractors we introduce to carry out the work on your property, and in turn they pay us a management fee. This means we would not have to charge you a penny for our services.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to use your own builder or take a cash settlement, we will charge a small percentage of the value of your claim to cover our costs. You will still be assigned a Loss Assessor, Chartered Surveyor and any other experts required, whilst receiving the very best service.

What happens if my claim is rejected?

It is rare that a property insurance claim gets rejected, but it can and does happen. When you take out an insurance policy with an insurer, you are entering into a contract, and if you break that contract then the insurer may not have to pay out on your claim. Some common reasons for a property claim being rejected include (but are not limited to):

  • Negligence – If the policy stipulates that your property must be maintained to a certain standard, and a failure to do so results in an incident occurring, then the insurer may point to negligence and refuse to pay out.
  • Dishonesty – If you were not truthful when applying for the policy in the first place, it can lead to your claim being rejected.
  • Insufficient cover – If your property is worth significantly more than your policy covers you for, it could lead to you having to find extra money to make up the difference, as your insurer will not pay out any more than you are entitled to. In exceptional cases, an insurance company may reject a claim based on insufficient cover.

Having a claim rejected is never a good experience, but there are steps that can be taken if you feel the decision was unfair or unjustified. Appointing a Loss Assessor to review your policy documents is a good start, as they will know exactly what to look for, and may be able to help to reverse the decision by liaising directly with the insurer.

You are also within your rights to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you feel you have been treated unfairly, but this step can only be actioned following either a ‘final response’ from your insurance company, or a failure to respond after eight straight weeks. If you appoint a Loss Assessor, they will be able to help you do this.

Can you provide some examples of successful property claims you have managed?

Yes, some examples of successful property claims we have managed over the years can be found here.
For further information about property claims management, and to find out more about the role of the Loss Assessor, visit our other advice pages or contact us today.

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