Saturday 21 September 2019

Get in touch with insurer immediately if you need to make a claim

Kilcorney Church in Cork had a section of its roof blown off. Picture: Mark Condren
Kilcorney Church in Cork had a section of its roof blown off. Picture: Mark Condren

Householders and businesses will be picking up the pieces this week after the havoc wreaked by Storm Ophelia.

If you find you need to make a claim, it is important you make immediate contact with the insurer or your broker.

The Irish Claims Consultants' Association (ICCA) advises that you secure your property from further damage.

Do whatever temporary repairs are necessary to ensue there are no leaks or no dangers from the likes of exposed wires. Get professionals to do this. Most insurers will cover the cost of this emergency work.

Remove wet or damaged contents. But Jim Flannery of the ICCA says you should not dispose of this material off site.

Take photographs of the damage so you can prove what has happened in case your insurer or its loss adjuster decides to dispute the cost. It is also important to make an inventory of all the damage.

A good idea is to appoint a loss assessor to help you with the claim.

An assessor works on your behalf and will negotiate with your insurer to settle your claim.

This includes negotiating the settlement figure offered by the insurer if you feel that it will not cover the losses you have suffered.

Insurers use loss adjusters to assess the damage, but they act for the insurance company and may not assess the damage to the satisfaction of the claimant.

Having an assessor will ensure that the claim covers all damage and that something does not go wrong after the claim has been settled.

They can also take some of the stress out of the entire process as they deal directly with the insurer.

Loss assessors who are members of the ICCA are regulated by the Central Bank.

Irish Independent

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