This will relate to claims where there have been damages caused to your property (buildings, contents or stock) from a one-off event such as water (burst pipe), storm (rainwater, wind, hail etc), fire, burglary, impact or some other form of accidental damage.
What you can do - 'Make Safe Works' (temporary repairs)
Immediately after an event, under the terms of all insurance policies, there is a ‘Make Safe Works’ provision which allows you to undertake temporary works to ensure peoples’ safety and prevent further damages. You don’t need your insurer’s consent when undertaking these works. As long as the costs are reasonable and the claim is accepted, these costs will be covered under the claim.
What you must not do
All policies state that you must not undertake any permanent works/repairs without the insurer’s consent. This does not apply to the Make Safe Works as explained above.
There is a notable exception to this; If you are attempting to mitigate the loss of income to your business as the result of an event, an argument can be made for you undertaking works promptly if able to do so. As long as the costs are reasonable, and you can show it prevented or minimised the business income loss, the insurer should accept this.
Causation – Reports (what caused the damage)
If you are undertaking any work, it is important that the attending trade provides a detailed report on how the damages have occurred. This should include photos. The cost of these reports are covered if the claim is accepted. The insurer needs this to determine if the damages are coverable under your policy or not. Without this, they will be unable to assess the claim and therefore may not cover the claim.
Quotes & Invoices
If you are undertaking work or getting suppliers to quote, it is important they are providing enough information for the insurer to assess if the costs of the work are fair and reasonable. Without this, they may not be able to assess your claim and they may withhold cover.
Each quote or invoice should include:
- areas affected, including measurements – if multiple rooms are affected, each room needs to be listed separately with separate measurements for each.
- material costs – each material item should be costed individually for each separate area (room) affected.
- labour costs – how many people, the time required to complete the work and the hourly rate.
What is needed for a claim to be lodged
For each and every claim we will require:
- the date the damages occurred or were first discovered
- how the damages occurred e.g., water, fire, impact, accidental damage etc
- what has been damaged
- invoices for any temporary Make Safe Works undertaken
- quotes for remaining repairs
If you are unable to get anyone to undertake the temporary repairs/quote, or don’t have any trades you have a relationship with, all insurers do have panel builders who can undertake Make Safe Works and provide quotes for the insurable repairs.