FAQ’s For Property Damage Repairs and Home Insurance Claims

FAQ's For Property Damage Repairs and Home Insurance Claims

We’ve put together a list of FAQ’s for property damage repairs and home insurance claims, to help with any questions you may have. We know dealing with an insurance claim can be overwhelming and confusing. So if you’re making a claim for the first time, don’t worry, IC Assist are here to help.

Our Claims Manager will not only talk you through the whole claim process. But he will also discuss what to expect from everyone involved in settling your claim and restoring your property. He will also read through your policy wording and explain what your policy covers you for.

 

Please feel free to have a browse through the below list of the most commonly asked questions about IC Assist’s service and about making a claim. Should you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to give us a call on 0800 4337 290

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING A PROPERTY CLAIM:

My insurer asked me to get several quotes – do I really need to do this?

Most insurers don’t usually request several quotes once they have reviewed IC Assist’s detailed quote. Mainly because our quotes are very professional with precise measurements and include high quality pictures of the damage. Should your insurer request additional quotes, we can arrange this for you. With high value/large claims such a major house fire or flood, your insurer may go through a tender process.

Why is my insurer asking me to get several quotes?

To save money – insurers make you do all the running around to get several quotes, just so they can choose the cheapest one! It can also save them the cost of sending out a Loss Adjuster. As they can offer you a cash settlement based on the quotes you send to them. In our experience, the cheapest quote is often missing a lot of repairs. Why? As general tradesmen aren’t experts in insurance and don’t check your policy wording to ensure you get the repairs you are entitled to.

What is a Loss Adjuster and why do insurance companies appoint them?

Normally insurance companies appoint Loss Adjusters on claims over £1,000 to act on their behalf. Typically, their role is to visit the property to assess the damage, validate your claim and agree the lowest possible settlement.

My insurer is offering me a cash settlement – should I take it or can I decline their offer?

You should consider your options carefully if you are offered a cash settlement, because your insurers liability ends once you accept their offer. It’s important to make sure the settlement covers all repair costs. It should also include (where necessary) any specialist fees such as: party wall/structural surveyors and asbestos sampling/testing/removal (as these are quite costly).

How long will it take to process my claim?

Claim timescales largely depend on your insurer/Loss Adjuster and the volume of claims they are dealing with and how efficiently they process your claim. Most insurers can take 7-10 days to acknowledge our quote. However, it can be longer during surge events like major flooding or storms. We know you want your property repaired as quickly as possible, so we’ll chase them regularly to progress your claim.

I’ve got water damage. Which section of my policy should I be claiming under – ‘escape of water’, ‘flood’ or ‘accidental damage’?

Quite often, we get calls from customers looking for help with a ‘flood damage claim‘  – as water damage claims are an area of great misconception. Once the customer explains what’s happened, it becomes apparent that they actually have an ‘escape of water claim‘. So how do you know what you should be claiming for? IC Assist will advise you what section of your policy you should be claiming under.

Food damage occurs as a result of water entering your property from an external source. For example from heavy rainfall causing a river to burst it’s banks.

An escape of water claim however, is defined as water that’s escaped from fixed pipework inside the property. There are many plumbing related issues that would fall under this category. For example, a leaking or burst pipe feeding a bath, sink, tap, shower, toilet, boiler, radiators or water tank. Leaks from appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers or water filter systems etc are also covered under this section of your policy.

Claims for accidental damage involving water damage could be as a result of: accidentally hitting/drilling into a pipe, spilling a bucket of water, water overflowing from a sink or bath, a child leaving a tap on during the middle of the night etc!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION MANY HOMEOWNERS AND CONTRACTORS DON’T KNOW:

My plaster ceiling is damaged – do I need to worry about disturbing Asbestos while repairing it?

Occasionally, Asbestos can be found underneath plastered ceilings (sandwiched between the layer of plaster and the original ceiling plasterboard.) Plastering over old Artex/textured coatings on ceilings is a common way to modernise properties. However, it can potential pose a risk, if the old coating isn’t tested before disturbing it. IC Assist do not carry out any repairs to ceilings that could potentially contain Asbestos without testing it first. As cutting/drilling into the ceiling could release dangerous Asbestos fibers. We can arrange for independent sampling and testing. If detected our HSE licensed contractors will safely remove and dispose of any contaminated materials.

What building materials could contain Asbestos and should be tested before disturbing/repairing them?

Asbestos was widely used in many building materials until it was banned. However, the most common materials we come across that could contain Asbestos are:

Artex/textured coatings on ceilings – widely used during 60’s, 70’s and 80’s as a cheap and durable decorative finish (can also look like wood chip wallpaper).

Underneath plastered ceilings – old ceilings were plastered over to hide unfashionable Artex.

  Marley tiles and adhesive – usually found when lifting up damaged floor coverings.

QUERIES ABOUT IC ASSISTS SERVICE:

I have submitted my claim to my insurer – is it too late for you to help me?

IC Assist can help at any stage of your claim. Although it would be easier for you, if you instruct us to manage your claim right from the outset. Once you have logged your claim with your insurer, you don’t need to do anything else – just leave it all to us!

What is the difference between IC Assist and the Loss Adjuster working for my insurer?

Our team care about you and work for you – not your insurer! Which means we’ll protect your interests and ensure the damage is thoroughly assessed. We’ll also instruct experienced contractors to restore your property to its former condition.

Do you have any customer reviews I can see online?

Some of our customers have taken the time to leave us some reviews online. Please click the links which will take you to genuine customer reviews on  Google, Facebook and MyBuilder. You can also see handwritten customer testimonials and customer satisfaction surveys that we’ve scanned in.

Can I see examples of insurance repairs your contractors have carried out?

Currently we have over 35 albums showcasing some of  before, during and after pictures of claims we’ve managed on our Facebook Page. Please feel free to have a look through the albums.

Do you provide a free quote if I don’t want you to manage my claim?

Unfortunately, we don’t just provide a free quote. However, if you would like us to manage your entire claim and complete all the repairs, you will get a FREE survey and a FREE detailed quote as part of IC Assist’s free claims management service.

Why don’t you provide just a free insurance repair quote?

Quotes are only provided for customers who want us to manage their entire claim and carry out all the repairs. Mainly because IC Assist’s surveys and quotes are very detailed. As a result, it can take several hours to survey the damage and produce a detailed schedule of works. You can find out more by visiting our insurance repair quotes page.

If your service is free, why do I need to pay my policy excess?

When settling a claim, your insurance company will deduct your policy excess (if you have one) from the payment they issue to settle the claim. (This is standard practice with insurance policies. Therefore, you’ll need to pay your policy excess and would be applicable no matter who you choose to carry out the repairs).

Is there a catch? How are you able to offer a completely FREE Claims Management service?

There is no catch. We do not charge you or your insurer for managing your claim (provided IC Assist carry out the repairs and manage your claim to completion). We work just like any other building company. Our profit is made from the contractors we instruct to carry out the repairs.

Why should I choose IC Assist to help me with my claim instead of a general builder?

Most general builders will only be able to provide you with a quote for standard property repairs. They are not trained in insurance and won’t be able to give you advised based on your specific policy wording. IC Assist however, specialise in insurance. Therefore, we’ll make sure your property is repaired in line with the terms of your policy and that your insurer doesn’t overlook any repairs.

Also, most general builders don’t have the knowledge or experience to professional dry and restore a property affected by a flood or an escape of water. IC Assist on the other hand specialise in water damage restoration. We also have state of the art Dri-Eaz drying equipment to ensure you property is adequately dried (before carrying out any repairs).

What can IC Assist do with my claim that I can’t?

Our Claims Manager will carefully check your policy wording and policy exclusions to ensure your insurer covers the costs of all the repairs you are entitled to. We’ll also make sure that nothing gets missed off the settlement offer from your insurer. We are very thorough and have the experience and equipment to identify hidden damage that often gets overlooked by other builders, insurers and Loss Adjusters.

For example, IC Assist were called in to assess damage to a kitchen and bedroom following a leak from the flat above. The proposal from the Loss Adjuster and all previous building companies that assessed the damage was to just stain block and paint the affected area. However, our surveyor suspected the damage was a lot more significant and required a lot more work than the Loss Adjuster anticipated.

After taking moisture meter readings and removing the kitchen plinths, it was evident that the plasterboard and insulation in the ceiling and walls were totally saturated and moldy and required replacement. More worryingly, the water had rotten structural timber frame of the building. As a result, significant structural repairs were required to both flats. It’s shocking how easily these major structural repairs were overlooked by all other professionals who attended prior to us!

You can see pictures of the damage to the ceiling caused by a leak from flat above on IC Assist’s Facebook page. Please feel free to take a look at the pictures showing the true extent of the water damage to the walls. There was a significant amount of mold and moisture behind the plasterboard and kitchen units.

Also, where necessary we can instruct; structural surveyors, party wall surveyors and fully licensed asbestos sampling, testing and removal firms.

Why do I need IC Assist – won’t my insurance company help me with my claim?

Insurers and Loss Adjusters main concern is to limit their liability and settle claims for the lowest possible amount. We care about you and will ensure that your insurer or their appointed Loss Adjuster/surveyor/ claims validation company doesn’t overlook anything. We will liaise with them so that you get all the repairs you are entitled to under the terms of your policy.

What will your Claims Manager do for me?

Your dedicated Claims Manger will be your one point of contact and will keep you updated throughout your claim. He will meet and liaise with your insurer/Loss Adjuster to agree all the necessary repairs. Once they authorise your claim, he’ll instruct our contractors and oversee all repairs through to completion.

Why did you set up IC Assist?

To help property owners successfully claim on their insurance following damage to their property – without all the hassle stress that usually comes with it! As most home owners aren’t experts in insurance or repairing property damage, we feel it’s important to:

  • help customers understand the claims process
  • have someone to help and support them throughout the entire process
  • professionally represent policyholders and ensure their interests are protected
  • not let insurance companies offer inadequate settlements – just because many homeowners don’t have the technical knowledge to challenge their offers.

From the feedback we’ve received over the years, these are some of the most vital and beneficial aspects of our service.

Organising and overseeing the repair work can also be a daunting and time consuming task. Most people just don’t have the time to book in multiple different tradesmen and project manage their work. Finding reliable contractors that deliver a high standard of work is also very difficult. But don’t worry, we have built up a carefully selected team of tradesmen who we trust to professionally restore your property.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

We feel a great sense of achievement when we successfully overturn wrongfully declined claims and inadequate settlement offers from Insurance companies. (Which unfortunately, seems to be coming a common problem these days!) Knowing you have helped a customer get what they are entitled is what we thrive on. After all, why should policyholders be treated unfairly – just because they aren’t experts in insurance? They pay their premiums – so they deserve to get their property restored properly.

Although we have the knowledge and experience to justify anything they have missed, challenging them can be time consuming and takes a lot of perseverance. But it’s worth it when you see how happy our customer is, once the insurer agrees to cover all necessary costs and authorises us to proceed with the repairs!

My property has water damage – do you offer a property drying service?

Yes, we have Dri-Eaz industrial drying equipment on hand to help get your property dried as quickly as possible. Where appropriate, we can install industrial strength dehumidifiers and air movers during the initial survey. The aim here is to stabilize moisture levels and prevent mold growing whilst waiting for your claim to be approved. It also helps you fulfill your obligation to mitigate your claim and prevent secondary damage to your property.

Can you help me if my property is outside of your area?

If your property is outside of IC Assist’s service area, please feel free to get in touch. We are more than happy to have a chat and offer you help and advice. IC Assist frequently receive calls from all around the UK including: Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, Bradford, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton and surrounding areas. So if you need some support with your home insurance claim, just give us a call on 0800 4337 290 to see how we can help.