Insurance Claim and Occupancy Clause on Household Policies

Water damage insurance claim

Before you make an insurance claim on any insurance policy you have, it’s essential to read through all those fine-print clauses. Yes, it might be boring, but not nearly as bad as being hit by a restriction you weren’t expecting when you try to make a claim.

A case in point is the Occupancy Clause.

Most home insurance policies, and the majority of policies for commercial properties, include a clause that addresses the “occupancy issue”. The exact wording will vary from policy to policy, but what they all say boils down to stipulating a maximum length of time the property can be left unoccupied, if you need to make an insurance claim is usually 30 days.

If you’re intending to leave the property unoccupied for longer than this, the Insurer must be notified, preferably in writing or by email, and specified actions must be taken by the Policy holder. The most common are that the heating must be kept on, bi-weekly visits must be made, and that an alarm must be installed.

However, it’s vital to check exactly what your policy says and make sure you know what needs to be done, in addition to informing the Insurer if the property is going to be empty for more than 30 days.

This can apply to any circumstances when the property will be unoccupied, but it’s particularly relevant to anyone letting out a property. The landlord must notify the Insurer as soon as the tenant has moved out. In many cases, the landlord will be making repairs or decorating before the new tenant moves in, and this can easily stretch out beyond 30 days so watch out if you are about to make an insurance claim.

Whether your insurance is for a domestic or a commercial property, make sure you know your obligations under the Occupancy Clause. If you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll be left without a penny if you have to make a claim.

Property Insurance — Building or Contents?

HouseFire
If you’re sensible, you’ll have both building and content insurance for your home, and that should cover any loss caused by fire, flood, criminal or accidental damage. But do you know what’s covered on which policy?

All too often, homeowners and tenants are unclear about this, and there are cases when the Insurer’s Loss Adjusters refuse to pay out on a claim, on the grounds that the item isn’t insured.

So why is that?

It usually comes down to defining whether or not an item is a fixture or contents, and this can be open to interpretation. If your fitted carpets, for instance, are damaged by fire or water, it may depend on whether they were in place when you bought the house, or whether you’ve had them laid since then, in which case they’d be classified as contents.

On the other hand, there’s no guarantee of this, and Loss Adjusters may also define carpets as contents even if they were in place at the time of purchase. There’s no rule written in stone on the subject.

Laminate flooring ought to be more straightforward. It’s glued together and fitted under the skirting boards, so it should be regarded as a fixture. Most Loss Adjusters do use this interpretation, but occasionally even laminate flooring may be ruled as contents, and therefore ineligible under the buildings insurance policy.

This kind of uncertainty can apply to a range ofthings in your house, not just flooring. Items varying from antennas on the roof or fitted units in your rooms could be fixtures or contents, depending on the Loss Adjuster’s interpretation.

If you want to be sure whether your possessions are correctly insured, you need to study the policy or ask the Insurer to clarify. Even better, use an insurance broker in the first place, who’ll make sure everything’s in place.

Can My Insurance Broker Help With My Claim?

Can My Insurance Broker Help With My Claim?

If you take out an insurance policy, the only person you have much contact with is the insurance broker who arranges it. So it seems to make sense, if you have to make a claim, to turn to the broker for assistance, but can the insurance broker really help?

The Insurance Broker

The short answer is yes, they can. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option.

An insurance broker’s role is to find you the best possible policy in a market place fraught with choices and dangers. This is a complex and highly skilled job that takes up a good deal of time, and may not leave them with the capacity to take on a different complex and highly skilled task.

Think about it. If you needed repairs or renovations for your home, would your first thought be to go back to the estate agent who arranged the sale? If they’re a good company, they might try to help, but this would probably just involve referring you to someone who’s expert at the job in hand.

And that’s exactly what your insurance broker will probably do.

The Expert

The expert your insurance broker will most likely recommend is a Loss Assessor, an independent professional whose role is to negotiate with the insurance company’s Loss Adjuster on an equal (if not greater) level of expertise. Having got you the best possible settlement for your claim, many Loss Assessors, including Allied Claims, will then project manage the entire process and bill the insurance company directly. You’ll have little to do except watch your property being restored to its appropriate state.

Insurance brokers and Loss Assessors make perfect allies. Both are there to make sure you get the best deal possible, but at different stages of the insurance process. The insurance broker does it by knowing the market place, while the Loss Assessor does it by knowing how to deal with claims and insurers.

At Allied Claims, we often work closely with the client’s insurance broker, pooling our knowledge to ensure the best possible outcome for the claim.

Call Now

So the answer is yes, your insurance broker can help you with your claim — by putting you in touch with us. But you don’t have to wait for that. Call Allied Claims now and let us help you with your claim from the beginning.

Call 0800 999 5679 now and discover how Allied Claims can help you in your emergency.

Can I call a Loss Assessor After Submitting a Claim?

Can I Call a Loss Assessor After I Have Submitted a Claim?

You already know, hopefully, that the best way to manage your insurance claim for property damage is to appoint an independent Loss Assessor, who can steer your claim through the often confusing process. But when is the best time for it? Can you be too late, or too early?

The Earlier the Better

The ideal time to contact a Loss Assessor, such as Allied Claims, is as soon as you’ve reported your claim to the insurance company and received your claim number from them. Although you could theoretically get in touch before this, there wouldn’t be a lot of point. You couldn’t appoint us as your Loss Assessor at that stage, and we’d be unable to act for you.

As soon as we have your claim number, we can swing into action straight away. We’ll contact the Loss Adjuster appointed by the insurance company to find out how they’re viewing the claim. If that’s less than ideal, we’ll argue your corner with at least as much professional insight as they have.

At the same time, we’ll be organising quotes and dealing with the companies involved, and then project manage the repairs and renovations and submit invoices to the insurer when it’s done. Best of all, as you probably know, it won’t cost you a penny.*

Can I Call Later?

You’re completely entitled to appoint a Loss Assessor at any stage during your claim, and if for any reason you haven’t done so at the beginning, by all means put that right as quickly as possible.

There are definite disadvantages to leaving it late, though. By that time, you’ll have probably dealt with the Loss Adjuster yourself, whereas you’re better off if the Loss Assessor negotiates with the Loss Adjusters. It’s far better having a professional interpreting the fine print and the various clauses in a policy as early as possible.

If you do come to us late, after your claim has been thrown out on a technicality, we’ll do our best to renegotiate it. But that will be considerably harder than if you’d contacted us right at the beginning.

Call Us

Why take the risk? For peace of mind, call 0800 999 5679 the moment you have your claim number.

* Your Policy Excess always applies.

Who Can Use a Loss Assessor?

Who Can Use a Loss Assessor?

Are you trying to make head or tail of your insurance claim and wondering what resources you can or can’t use? You may have heard of Loss Assessors like Allied Claims, but you’re not entirely clear about what they do and whether your claim is suitable. What kind of claims does a Loss Assessor take?

Can I Use a Loss Assessor?

The simple answer is yes, as long as you have a claim relating to property being damaged. It doesn’t matter whether it’s personal or business property, or issues to do with business operations —if you have damaged property, you can appoint a Loss Assessor, no matter how it happened.

Most claims relate to fire, water, criminal or accidental damage, but other disasters can occasionally happen to property. Don’t worry about how bizarre the incident was, we’d love to hear from you.

Can I Still Use a Loss Assessor if I’m a Business?

Most Loss Assessors can help with both personal and business claims, although there are differences between them. Insurance policies for business property often include clauses covering business interruption, loss of profit and reinstatement.

This makes business claims a specialist field which requires careful management. Allied Claims has extensive experience managing both business and personal claims, though. Whatever type of property has been damaged, we can deal with it.

What If I Can’t Afford a Loss Assessor?

You might think you’re barred from using a Loss Assessor because you don’t have the funds to pay anything up front. In fact, there’s nothing to worry about. In most circumstances, a Loss Assessor’s service shouldn’t cost you a penny, and certainly nothing in advance.

The Loss Assessor will arrange and manage the work that needs to be done and then bill the insurance company. All transactions are between the Loss Assessor and the insurance company.

Call Us

Call Allied Claims now on 0800 999 5679 for all property and business related claims.

Do You Know How to Talk to a Loss Adjuster, and What They Are Looking For?

Do You Know How to Talk to a Loss Adjuster, and What They Are Looking For?

If you need to make an insurance claim for fire, flood, accidental or criminal damage to your home or business, one of the things you’ll need to do at least once is to meet the Loss Adjuster, a professional employed by the insurance company to look at the claim.

Assuming you’ve chosen a reputable company (and most insurance companies are reputable) the Loss Adjuster isn’t going to try and cheat you out of your money. On the other hand, no insurance company is in the business of handing over money it doesn’t need to, and if you fail to make a good case to the Loss Adjuster for your claim, you could find it reduced or even rejected.

The Problem With Loss Adjusters

The real problem with Loss Adjusters isn’t that they’re out to get you, but that they’re experts and, I presume, you’re not. An insurance claim can be complicated, and it’s essential to be sure none of the hundred and one details that could derail it apply to yours.

Have you overlooked an essential piece of information that would prove your point? Have you phrased something poorly to make you seem negligent, or that the circumstances were outside the terms of the policy? It’s very easy to do, but it’s the Loss Adjuster’s job to pick up those anomalies.

There’s a Choice

Would you like to handle all this yourself — probably having to take time off work for the meetings, since Loss Adjusters normally work office hours? Would you like to have to negotiate all on your own with a professional whose job is to find faults in your case? Would you like to lose your claim in the end because you didn’t realise how some apparently trivial detail would come over to a Loss Adjuster?

Or would you prefer to have a professional on your side, who could handle the meetings, the proposals and negotiations? Someone who could approach the Loss Adjuster from a position of at least equal expertise?

That’s what a Loss Assessor does. A Loss Assessor is an independent expert who works for you, to ensure that you, the Policyholder, receive a fair and just settlement, and that the property is reinstated to the same position as before the damage occurred. And the best thing is that it won’t cost you a penny, since the Loss Assessor bills the insurance company as part of the claim.

Call Us

If youdon’t have the time or dread facing the Loss Adjuster or Insurer, call Allied Claims on 0800 999 5679 to find out how we can help you.

Do Loss Assessors Only Take on Big Claims?

Do Loss Assessors Only Take on Big Claims?

Making an insurance claim is far easier if you use a loss assessor, who can use expert knowledge to negotiate with the insurance company and organise the best available companies to do the work. Hopefully you know that — but what if you can’t get a loss assessor?

It’s a sad fact that some loss assessors will only take on high-value claims, and you might find a relatively small claim turned down. The problem is that the amount you’re claiming may be small to the insurance industry but significant to you as the claimant, and you still need the same professional help to ensure you get it.

The Exception

Allied Claims, unlike some other loss assessors, don’t refuse cases because they don’t involve big sums. Why should we? After all, a claim for £1,000 will almost certainly involve far less work than one for £100,000. you have the peace of mind of your claim being professionally handled.

That’s not to say we’ll take on any claim we’re asked to, but that has nothing to do with the value. We’ll only turn down a claim if we don’t feel it’s in the client’s interest to pursue it.

Reasons for Not Representing Claims

There are various reasons why we might decide not to represent you in a claim. It may be that the excess on your policy is so large that it wouldn’t be worth your while to go through a claim (and perhaps risk higher premiums in future) for the sake of a tiny pay-out or none at all.

Perhaps the most common reason, though, would be if an examination of the policy showsthat, even with our help, your claim is unlikely to succeed. This would probably be because the specific damage or cause isn’t included in the policy.

It’s unlikely this is because the incident is too bizarre and unexpected to be foreseen. It normally happens when the policy has been selected on the internet, rather than using a broker. You might seem to be saving money at the time but, in our experience, using a broker to set up the policy is as vital as using a loss assessor to make the claim.

Call Us

Call Allied Claims on 0800 999 5679 if you’ve been turned down by another loss assessor on the grounds of a small claim — or, even better, call us first to save time.

What Does a Loss Assessor Cost?

What Does a Loss Assessor Cost?

An expert service like a loss assessor, who manages your insurance claim and makes sure you get everything due to you, has got to be expensive, right? Wrong. If you take the full service from Allied Claims, it won’t cost you a penny.

There are various choices, depending on what kind of service you prefer.

A Full Service from Allied Claims

A loss assessor like Allied Claims can deal with every aspect of your claim for fire, water, criminal or accidental damage, from meeting the insurance company’s loss adjuster and arranging quotes to project managing the work and administering the invoices. If you sign a mandate at the outset of your claim to authorise this, the service is entirely free to you.

If you take this option, you won’t have a thing to do. The loss assessor will deal with all appointments, quotes and negotiations from a position of expertise in both the small print of insurance and what to look for in a good contractor. They’ll arrange everything from getting emergency work done right away to temporary relocation if you’re a business, so that you lose as little as possible. And they’ll project manage all the work that’s required, before presenting the invoices to the insurance company.

Under this option, the loss assessor takes payment from what the contractors receive, meaning you won’t pay a penny. The service is free to you.

What if You Don’t Want a Full Service?

There may be reasons you don’t want the loss assessor arranging the quotes or project managing the work. Perhaps you know a builder you trust and can get a good deal from. That’s fine, and we can still handle all the negotiations with the insurance company. We’ll work just as hard at making sure nothing owing to you slips between the fine print, but you’re free to hire who you like to carry out the repairs.

In this case, the loss assessor isn’t entitled to receive a share of the settled invoices, so you pay an agreed percentage of the final claim. Or, if you prefer, you can be invoiced at an hourly rate and receive the full claim yourself.

Which Is Better?

Allied Claims would always recommend that you take the full service. It allows us to make sure you get the best possible work done, while it’s absolutely free to you. If you have a good reason for only taking a partial service, though, you’ll still get first-class value for your money from us. Call Allied Claims now on 0800 999 5679 to discuss your claim.

Why Use a Loss Assessor?

Why Use a Loss Assessor?

If you have to make a claim on your insurance for fire, water or accidental damage, do you really need one more person to deal with? Well, that depends who it is. A loss assessor is there to take the hassle away, not add to it.

Can’t I Keep Control of My Claim?

Of course, if you prefer to keep the whole process in your own hands, that’s entirely up to you. You can control filling in endless forms. You can control phoning around endless builders or decorators to ask for quotes, and then staying in for the appointments they make. You can control meetings with the insurance company’s loss adjuster, trying to argue points on which he or she is an expert.

And, since these appointments will normally be during working hours, you can control taking all that time off work, either losing money or cutting into your holiday entitlement.

Alternatively, you can put it into the hands of an independent loss assessor, who’ll negotiate with the loss adjuster from a position of equal expertise, take full responsibility for arranging quotes, and even manage the work when it’s finally agreed. It’s up to you.

Surely I Know Best About My Claim?

You might know more about your own situation than a loss assessor, but that doesn’t mean you know more about how your claim will look to the insurance company. A reputable company won’t be setting out to cheat you, but they’re not in the business of paying money they don’t have to, and even a minor error in your claim could invalidate it.

Much like a lawyer if you have to go to court, a loss assessor is someone with at least as much technical knowledge as the people you’re dealing with, and who speaks the same language, but with it all put at your disposal. Why would you want to do without one?

What If I Can’t Afford a Loss Assessor?

If you’re making a claim, that may not be a good time to take on extra expense. The good news is that appointing a loss assessor won’t cost you a penny.* Their fee is included in the claim, so they’re paid by the insurance company when, and only when, you receive what you’re due.

So How Can I Contact Allied Claims?

You can call us on 0800 999 5679, check out our website, or watch the video above. But call as soon as you know you have a claim.

* Excludes policy excess.

When to Call a Loss Assessor?

When to Call a Loss Assessor?

If you’ve suffered damage, whether it’s from fire, water or accident, you’ll need to make a claim on your insurance, but at what stage of the process should you call a loss assessor?

The answer — as soon as possible.

Why Do I Need a Loss Assessor?

If you’ve ever made an insurance claim, you’ll know all about the long forms and small print. A reputable insurance company will play fair with you, but they’re not in the business of handing out money they don’t need to. If you lose your way in the maze, you could find your claim rejected.

A loss assessor, such as Allied Claims, knows all about how the insurance industry works and how to avoid the pitfalls. Unlike the loss adjustor, who works for the insurance company, the loss assessor is wholly and completely your advocate and has a vested interest in getting you the best pay-out possible. If you don’t get paid, nor does the loss assessor.

Isn’t It Better to Try by Myself First?

Some people assume they can deal with the claim themselves and only fall back on a loss assessor if they run into trouble. That’s not a good strategy, though. If you make a mistake in your claim and it’s rejected, it would be difficult for even a loss assessor to sort it out.

The time to get the loss assessor involved is the moment you know you’re going to be making a claim.

Can’t I Save Money by Doing Without a Loss Assessor?

Quite the reverse. The service is completely free to you*, since the loss assessor is paid by the insurance company as part of the settlement.

In fact, by using a loss assessor you’re likely to save money. Quite apart from the risk of having your claim rejected and being faced with the repair bills, doing it yourself means setting up meetings with both the loss adjustor and anyone offering a quote. This is likely to be during working hours, so you may have to take time off work.

Alternatively, you could have your own loss assessor doing all that, leaving you free to get on with your life while your claim is being put through by an expert.

So How Can I Contact Allied Claims?

You can call us on 0800 999 5679, check out our website, or watch our video. But call as soon as you know you have a claim.

* Excludes policy excess.