Authored by Alison Williams, Managing Director, Prestige Underwriting
As property owners we buy home insurance for that layer of protection just in case something happens. While spilling paint on your carpet or damage caused by a small leak from your washing machine can be an annoyance, it is relatively easily dealt with without too much disruption to family life. But, if the worst happens and a home is significantly damaged by a fire or flood and your home is uninhabitable, what happens? Whilst an insurer appoints a loss adjuster to provide on-the-ground support, they are likely to be dealing with a number of large losses at any one time so may not be able to provide the level of support or guidance that a customer needs.
Imagine the trauma of suffering an event that leaves your home uninhabitable and then seeing contractors in your home removing all your damaged furniture and possessions. Unfortunately, this tragic series of events was a recent case for a customer of Prestige Underwriting who suffered a significant fire claim, had to leave their home for 10 months and found the entire experience overwhelming. To the appointed contractors, it was just damaged furniture but to our customer it was their home being dismantled. A dining table damaged by a fire is the table they sat around every evening eating dinner, shared family Christmases, sat and helped their children with their homework.
As a business we place huge value on feedback from our Brokers and policyholders. We are always looking for new ways to evolve our products and services and to go the extra mile. The above case study led us to reviewing if we could provide a more rounded service to our policyholders, who suffer a large loss. The result of that review is that we have partnered with Qlaims Insurance, an Insurtech MGA, provides clients who experience a loss with their own claims specialist to prepare and manage their property claims.
The embedded service could be described as a “claims concierge service”, someone who is on hand for the policyholder at every step of the claims process, supporting and assisting whenever necessary. They appoint an independent adjuster who provides empathetic and personal support with practical help and advice to reduce the stress and time dealing with a claim.
By introducing this cover within our Thatched Home and Coverall proposition for NI and GB Brokers, customers can be sure that they will have support every step of the way should they need to submit a claim which exceeds £20,000. Any claim event is traumatic, and those larger claims even more so. Therefore, we want to make sure that policyholders are supported every step of the way and take the pain and stress away from them. Qlaims provide a personal service which aims to provide practical help & advice to policyholders to reduce the stress in the event of a claim, but also to reduce the time in dealing with a claim by ensuring timely settlement with insurers.
Recent delays on building materials, as a result of a ‘perfect storm’ of external influences including COVID 19, the Ukraine War & an increase in the frequency & severity of weather events causing a backlog in claims, means that claimants can often feel detached from their insurer throughout the claims journey. Policyholders have struggled with delays in settlement and a lack of communication.
Other recent case studies, for example from the large Freeze event in December, have highlighted that delays in claims assessment from insurers and loss adjusters due to the backlog of claims, were resulting in secondary damage occurring in properties, e.g. mould, collapse of floors etc, therefore increasing the severity of claims and also increasing the claimants time spent in alternative accommodation. Due to the speed in which Qlaims can react, secondary damage can be minimised & temporary arrangements can be made to ensure families spend less time in alternative accommodation.
Prestige Underwriting is committed to helping and supporting policyholders in whatever way possible and believe that the new relationship with Qlaims can significantly help policyholders when they need it most.