Most people know that Loss Assessors are very busy every time there is severe weather, but they forget that fires happen all year ’round. Unfortunately there are fires in homes and commercial premises every day of the year.
Every year in Ireland there are almost 30,000 fire brigade call-outs, with on average 9,500 domestic fires each year. Some of these may be caused be a small electrical appliance, a fuze board or a candle fire that are contained fairly quickly. The picture above shows damage caused when a candle caught fire to a curtain, causing a serious fire in the bedroom. Sadly, other fires get out of control and can cause complete destruction. Sadly, approximately 40 people die in house fires in Ireland every year. 80% of businesses that suffer fire damage cease trading within 2 years.
Even with a ‘small fire’, the smoke damage can get into every crevasse, nook and cranny. Balcombes get called out to assess the damage and know exactly what can be salvaged and what is a ‘write-off’. We know when experts are needed to be called in. We prepare estimates for repairs and replacement and handle all the claims paperwork and negotiation with the insurer or their appointed loss adjuster. We act exclusively for the property owner. Our role is to “protect the policyholder’s position” and to ensure the full entitlement is obtained under the terms of the insurance policy.
Most insurance policies are underwritten on a ‘new for old’ basis. If an item cannot be cleaned or restored to it’s condition when new, the policyholder is entitled to a replacement. Many policies cover Fire Brigade charges, yet we are very surprised to see in the media recently that there are huge arrears owed to local authorities for un-paid fire brigade charges. Perhaps people do not know that their policy covers the cost.
We deal with several fires every week. Thankfully the people who appoint us to deal with their claim usually have a successful outcome and go on to thrive. They are happy to recommend us to friends or colleagues who find themselves in that situation.
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