Archive for March, 2012

Business owner deflated by sinister claims tactics – part II

Posted by 27 March, 2012 (0) Comment

This is the second part of a two part blog about another dirty little secret of insurance. The attempted application of this one even shocked me, and I’ve had 21 years experience of exposing their secrets. You can read part one here.

Read on to find out how this scenario unfolded, how the secret affects both businesses and families, and what you can do to avoid being kept in the dark.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button at the top right of this page. You will find out about top insurance tips, latest posts, updates, events, promotions and other things we’re doing to help you or your network identify key risks to your organisations.

Bicycle Theft Leads To Flat Service – Part 2

Having carefully selected the appropriate policy for a client whose family relied heavily on their bikes, it was a big headache when an excessive deduction was presented by the insurer, when our client’s bikes were stolen. This large deduction was not in the policy wording, which is of course a contract between insurer and their policyholder. Rather been dealing with the claim validators, we went straight to the management of the insurance company claims department. We know where they hide (whoops, I mean hang out!).

Case Study of one of our clientsThe claims department agreed that the deduction was not in the policy wording and fair wear and tear would be 20 percent. New bikes were ordered and a long argument avoided

The bicycle suppliers were instructed to send the new bikes directly to the client who was happy that he didn’t have to fork out an unreasonable amount to put himself back to where he was before the theft occurred.

Making sure that people are not financially affected by the unexpected is the main priority for us. Keeping inconvenience to a minimum is an important part of our service.

Deductions are plain wrong as they mean claimants do not get the return they were promised when they were prudent and invested in insurance. Avoiding reduced settlements is not easy, as it seems that staff in insurance claims departments are trained to make claimants feel uneasy.

Free Insurance Healthcheck

Cynics might say that insurance companies purposely make it uncomfortable for people trying to get their valid claims settled. By making them stick to the letter of their own contract these hurdles can be overcome.

An amicable discussion about fact and contract is the way forward.

 

I personally have 20+ years of experience in dealing with claims department and actually help them stick to their procedures whilst getting claims settled. I also agree with the use of new technology, including lie detecting to sniff out fraudulent claims. If you have nothing to hide, it’s fine.

Wrap up: Thousands of business owners are still waiting for their damage and lost profit claims to be settled following the London riots last year. It is prudent to assess if there are risks to your way of working because of the actions of others.

Top Tip: If you have already been given a bike by your employer or company under the bike to work scheme make sure adequate cover is in place. When it comes to finding a replacement the bike should have been insured by the company or the rider. If a road accident is caused by a cyclist’s wobble who pays for the resultant damage and injuries?

Who to share this with: Business owners or bicycle users.

 

Categories : All Risks Insurance,Business Insurance,Company Insurance,Customer Service,Liability Insurance,Litigation expenses insurance,Personal Insurance Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Business owner deflated by sinister claims tactics – part 1

Posted by 9 March, 2012 (0) Comment

This blog is about another dirty little secret of insurance. The attempted application of this one even shocked me, and I’ve had 21 years experience of exposing their secrets.

Read on to find out how this scenario unfolded, how the secret affects both businesses and families, and what you can do to avoid being kept in the dark.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up using our orange RSS button at the top right of this page. You will find out about top insurance tips, latest posts, updates, events, promotions and other things we’re doing to help you or your network identify key risks to your organisations.

Bicycle Theft Leads To Flat Service – Part 1

We often protect the personal assets and reputation of clients who have already instructed us to look after the very same for their business.

One such client contacted me just before Christmas after bicycles were stolen from his property, even though they were securely chained and anchored to cement.

Shattered Glass

A determined thief will get past any security. I recently shared a photo on twitter of a smashed jewellers window on Oxford Street when a Christmas shopper had helped themselves to a 100% discount.

In this case I knew that cover was in place for the bicycles because we had specifically addressed this requirement, as well as other specifics, before the cover was arranged.

 

Why don’t insurance companies want to deal with claims?

A lot of insurance company’s outsource their claims. It’s supposed to save them money. Their PR people say it makes them accessible for clients. In my experience it causes delays, and outsourced companies reduce settlements because they think it’s what the insurer wants them do. We deal with all these people on behalf of our clients because the service is so poor it would frighten the most legitimate claimant.

I knew this client used his bike to get to and from work which gave him a degree of flexibility and helped maintain fitness. The other bikes were used by his wife and children and an extended lack of such an amenity is not good for any family.

Cutting losses is fine, yet not when it breaches a contract

The first sign of trouble was when the insurance company used two separate companies to validate the claim. They argued over who was responsible for contacting the client. We were able to jump straight on this, and a series of daily chasers was placed in the diary to ensure the situation was managed effectively.

After daily chasing, the claim companies advised that they were going to reduce the settlement by 80% because they were entitled to make a deduction for wear and tear. So much for the “new for old” cover the insurance company promoted in their literature! They have hundreds of similar lines of small print to clarify the “cover” they describe in their sales spiel. An 80% deductions is outrageous and supports the myth that insurance companies avoid paying out. Which is not 100% true.

Sign up to our RSS feed or return here to find part two of this blog later this month and find out how we got this ended up.

Top Tip: Businesses are taking advantage of “bike to work” schemes because it is a tax efficient way to keep employees healthy. However, who owns the bikes? It’s a grey area. Having a healthy workforce reduces absenteeism, disciplinary procedures and subsequent increased costs of recruitment and training. Yet ownership of the assets can cause complications when an accident happens. Who is responsible if they were at work or on their way to work?

Wrap Up: Keep in mind that public transport in London is going to be problematic during the Olympics so you might want to “mobilise” your workforce as a way of maintaining business continuity throughout the games. Contact me if you would like details of excellent schemes.

Who to share this with: Business owners that are bicycle users.

 

Categories : All Risks Insurance,Business Insurance,Company Insurance,Customer Service,Personal Insurance Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,