Desktop assessments ‘a fantastic idea’
Brokers are finding it easier to encourage their property owning clients to set suitable sums insured on buildings thanks to innovative new desktop rebuild cost assessments offered by Insuranceshortfall.com.
Mark Horgan, Director of West Midlands based brokers Morrison Insurance Solutions, told us: “In the past, a lot of clients never wanted to pay the costs of a valuer to go out on site. Insuranceshortfall is a great solution where you can go online and basically get a proper valuation of reinstatement cost very easily. It is a fantastic idea and very cost effective as well.”
Mark added: “We’re also finding it sets us apart from our competitors, because underinsurance is a big issue in the industry and we're providing our clients with a really simple solution.”
London based brokers Hall Insurance are also finding competitive advantage in using Insuranceshortfall.com’s InsurTech approach to tackling underinsurance.
Director Andrew Trace told us: “It’s a very cost effective and very efficient way of doing it. That has been the selling point really. No one has to go out, it can all be done remotely without causing any disruption, so a lot of people have bitten our hands off because when you phone a local surveyor and he says it's going to take half a day at a cost of at least £500 plus VAT, who wouldn’t want something that’s far more straightforward and very simple?”
Andrew admits that utilising the desktop approach hasn’t been without it’s teething problems: “Some have flagged up some serious amounts of underinsurance, which have led to a few awkward questions from clients. In one particular case an experienced property manager queried the assessment so we both sat down with one of Insuranceshortfall.com’s Chartered Surveyors, who explained the rationale behind what we thought was a high cost per square metre. He covered many other associated costs such as suspension of parking bays, inaccessibility to getting materials on site and so on, which helped resolve everything. The service has been excellent.”
Lynne Wright, a property specialist and Senior Account handler at Churchill Insurance Consultants, now regularly arranges Rebuild Cost Assessments through Insuranceshortfall.com.
She told us: “As a broker you need to make the client aware of the consequences of being underinsured? Isn't that all part of the FCA and the Insurance Act and so on?
“Whether it’s a desktop or a full blown survey, it can help put the clients mind at rest, and now we can offer both at a much lower cost. As a broker it’s never good having to deal with a claim where underinsurance has been identified. I have one right now involving a Grade 2 listed building. On a positive note, the client has eight properties altogether and we’ve now been able to do valuations on all of them so we can avoid similar issues in the future. To be honest, we’ve uncovered a problem on most of the properties, with one being insured for just over £500,000 when it should have been £1.6m. It's a big difference.”
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