Crawford & Company continues to update insurers on its claims’ response after the devastating floods caused by Storm Desmond on 5-6 December.
Every customer who requested a visit has been seen by a Crawford adjuster, and the team has been working closely with a number of clients.
Clive Nicholls, Crawford CEO for UK & Ireland, said that alongside the process of managing claims, the market should be aware of the ongoing challenges that face homeowners, businesses and the industry.
“The biggest challenge is always finding the right alternative accommodation for everyone,” he said. “We have prioritised the most-vulnerable people, but regions like Cumbria have relatively few options—so the choices are hotels, holiday lets, short-term tenancies, and staying with family and friends. Caravans are a risk because of space and the potential for further flooding down the line.”
Following initial assessments, Crawford adjusters have set reserves against many claims. These will accommodate a number of potential variables, such as an anticipated rise in the cost of and shortage in materials and labour.
“In view of the event’s size, we will probably have to bring contractors into the area, and this will inevitably attract a premium,” said Clive. “We will closely manage these costs and ensure that they are paid at a level to make their response viable.”
Crawford experts have also noted that some at-risk properties have undamaged contents that could become damaged.
“Moisture levels are high, the weather has been unseasonably warm (8 degrees Centigrade above average), and without adequate ventilation, mildew and fungal growth can spread,” Clive said. “We are providing suitable advice to customers and disaster-restoration companies, whilst assisting them to ensure security is maintained to protect valuables.”
Conversely, if temperatures fall to sub-zero throughout the winter months, there is an increased risk of burst pipes in unoccupied properties, which could cause damage to remaining contents. “We recommend that water is drained to help protect properties,” added Clive.