Fire damage insurance claims triple

3rd July 2018
Repairing a fire damaged kitchen cupboard unit

The industry has reported that the average cost of a claim involving fires and explosions has increased by a third in two years, with fire damage the most expensive of all claims. Here we look at what insurers’ can do in order to drive down costs whilst maintaining customer satisfaction.

The industry

There are continuing reports in the press from disgruntled home owners with allegations that insurers are challenging aspects of their claim and seeking to limit pay-outs as much as possible.  Head of insurance at Plastic Surgeon Chris Edwards explains:

“There is a great deal of press coverage surrounding insurers and how they assess damage and what is a suitable pay-out. Similar to EOW claims the option to repair rather than replace is rarely considered.

“In our experience, there are a great deal of opportunities that are missed as many people involved in the claim don’t have the expertise to understand what areas of the damage are repairable”.

Plastic Surgeon predict that upwards of 50% of fire damaged elements in the home are repairable, and if insurers were to instruct a repair company to work alongside them, costs would reduce considerably, and customer satisfaction would increase due to shorter timescales and more realistic repair and replacement costs.

The repairs

Chris continues: “We see a range of damaged items in properties caused by fire damage, it may be just be slight damage to a UPVC window, at this time of year this is quite often down to factors such as barbeques and outdoor fire pits, or it may be more severe damage to fascia’s and soffits caused by an extensive house fire.”

Plastic Surgeon report that there is a real myth in the industry that UPVC is largely unrepairable.  In a recent report released by the hard surfaces repair company, out of all of the UPVC claims that they assessed only 16% were unrepairable.

Chris adds: “Many believe that UPVC cannot be repaired but as the figure above shows in most cases it is.  The other myth in the industry is that smoke damage to UPVC must be replaced as quickly as possible to avoid further discolouration – at Plastic Surgeon we are able to repair this damage years after the event”.

Plastic Surgeon also see more serious damage, caused by larger scale house fires.  Damaged kitchen units and work tops being particularly popular repairs,

Chris adds: “Again many companies will automatically recommend for a new kitchen to be installed as it may be deemed unrepairable – which may be mainly down to the fact that the kitchen is particularly dated and new parts may be unavailable.

“The work that our finishers can carry out with smoke and heat damaged units is truly fantastic.  They take it back to its former glory quickly and effectively, at a fifth of the cost of the replacement cost and reducing the claim lifecycle by about a tenth”.

“We can work alongside loss adjusters, surveyors and your claims teams to assess damaged properties and put an appropriate programme of works together. In addition, we are also able to provide a one stop solution, managing the entire claims process and, where required instructing our clients larger supply chain”.

“We guarantee that we are able to assist insurers with driving down the costs associated with fire claims.

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