Business Safety Week (September 6-12, 2021), organised by the National Fire Chiefs Council and supported by the Fire and Rescue Services, aims to prevent fires at the premises of small and medium-sized businesses, by making SMEs aware of their fire safety responsibilities.
Fires not only endanger lives within businesses but can also result in extensive property damage. Fire insurance claims can be complicated, regardless of whether they occur in homes, offices, warehouses, shops or community or leisure buildings.
As employees start to reoccupy business premises after months of working from home, there are likely new challenges to consider. Some staff now potentially lack fire safety training. After a prolonged absence, others may have forgotten good fire safety practice. Where staff continue to work from home under hybrid working agreements, there could be too few on-site staff trained in fire policy evacuation procedures.
Fire safety measures and insurance claims
There are many factors which could have an impact on a claims outcome within a commercial setting, such as poor storage of flammable materials, or failure of electrical appliances.
Fire safety systems, which may have skipped a scheduled maintenance appointment during lockdown, must be working effectively. Under the terms of many buildings and contents insurance policies, fire safety systems often have to be maintained and be fully operational, in order for the policy cover to be valid. Should an insurer’s loss adjuster have any reason to believe this was not the case, a fire insurance claim could be reduced or declined.
It is important that key material facts are correctly declared when taking out your policy and Aspray urge customers to speak with an insurance broker when taking out or renewing their policy.
Fire claims: having a loss assessor on your side
There are many elements to consider when dealing with a fire damage claim and doing this without specialist support from a loss assessor, such as Aspray, could prove difficult if you are unfamiliar with insurance terminology.
Not only can a loss assessor speak the same language as a loss adjuster and interpret policy terms within the required insurance framework, but they are also better equipped to challenge the offer if they feel it is not a just figure.
A loss assessor will provide moral support, alongside practical claims negotiation assistance. They can also make sure no corners are cut after a fire, ensuring hidden as well as visible damage is addressed and the impacts of smoke and soot are taken into account, whether those relate to odours in furnishings and carpets, corrosive damage within the structure of the building or the clogging of air conditioning systems. Specialists and surveyors can be brought into the claims process, to offer their expert view on hidden damage.
Furthermore, an Aspray loss assessor can manage both the claim and the property reinstatement from start to finish, using vetted and trusted contractors. If appointed to handle the property reinstatement, Aspray typically charges the policyholder nothing for their loss assessing service. However, any excess stated within the policy will still apply and is payable by the policyholder.
So, this Business Safety Week, consider how to keep fire risks under control and reduce the probabilities of a fire. However, should your best efforts to prevent a fire fail, Aspray is just a call away for any business requiring assistance with their fire insurance claim.
If you require our expert property claims and property reinstatement assistance, please call us on 0800 077 6705.