Dam or be Damned – Whaley Bridge – Special Bulletin
All of us in the insurance industry have been bracing ourselves in case the news from Whaley Bridge confirmed our worst fears. We were all relieved to learn that residents have been able to return home now; and businesses will now be starting up again and hoping they can make up for the down time.
As BIBA accredited claims advocates, we usually only hear about insurance claims that have gone wrong. However, early signs are that some insurers are going the extra mile to help policyholders even where the policy promises no benefit.
We heard about the ever-cheerful staff at Bridge Bakery who were clearly relieved to be back at work. They demonstrated something of the Whaley courage and positive attitude that has been so evident to the rest of the country.
We are currently preparing a report for BIBA to include examples of good insurance practice, and episodes of insurers rising to the occasion. The situation at Whaley Bridge may serve as timely examples of good will by insurers that have,
made payments to recompense alternative accommodation
agreed to pay business interruption claims of those businesses necessarily evacuated
offered payment for miscellaneous out of pocket expenses
We anticipate that, in almost every case, ex gratia payments will have been made even though a strict interpretation of the policy would provide nothing. For example, policyholders would not normally be compensated for their losses arising from an anticipated flood; only damage actually caused by a flood. We were delighted, for instance, to hear that Bridge Bakehouse bakery’s claim for business interruption is being dealt with by a clearly sympathetic loss adjuster who soon appeared on the scene.
We need your stories
Fortunately, the immediate disruption, although distressing, was short-lived. What we do not yet know are the as yet unreported effects of the disruption and this is something we would like to hear about from you if you discover anything.
As you will all appreciate our industry has a golden opportunity, before the watching country, to serve the Whaley community in a spirit of goodwill and generosity; at far less cost than if the flood had happened. We want to collect these stories to make sure that insurers’ goodwill and good practice is recorded.
Speak to our local man, Mike Wilson, based in Macclesfield – call either our broker support number on 0203 972 6440 to leave a message or to reach him direct his mobile 07973 303 570. He would like to hear your stories and will happily visit you if you have particularly good examples.
This event could not offer a better opportunity to show the good faith of our industry in a time of adversity.
What does the future hold for your clients affected by such events?
We will be preparing a separate report for brokers to consider the special demands and needs of clients affected by this event or who may be affected by similar events. If you want to be sure not to miss it just write to firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.