Case study: commercial property fire damage claim hinged on cause
Published 14 September 2021
The devil is always in the detail of the terms of any insurance policy, as the case of an industrial dryer bursting into flames illustrates. While the business owner escaped a worst case scenario as only the dryer itself was destroyed, with no further damage to plant or premises, the cause of the fire was the critical factor in this commercial property claim.
The insurance assessor attributed the likely origin of the blaze to the dryer having spontaneously combusted. Since this cause of damage was specifically excluded under the terms of our client’s property damage insurance cover it looked as though the owner would have to carry the cost of replacement - until the Gallagher claims advocate took extra steps to ascertain the exact cause of the fire.
In order to confirm whether the insurer’s assertion was accurate the Gallagher claims advocate reviewed the documentation and reports prepared in relation to the claim case file. Applying knowledge of the policy combined with attention to detail, the claims advocate identified that in the repairer’s report they had indicated that while the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion, it was the clothing inside rather than the dryer itself that combusted.
With the cause of the fire being the clothing catching alight rather than the dryer itself, the exclusion didn’t apply in these circumstances and the claim to the value of approximately $11,000 was paid in full.
The Gallagher difference
Focusing only on the cause of the loss rather than looking at the particulars of the case, it can be too easy to make a false assumption. By leveraging the repairer’s report the Gallagher claims advocate was able to have the claim accepted and the loss covered for our client.
We pride ourselves on our claims service
Part of our commitment to building business confidence is fighting for what’s right, and supporting clients through claims is one of our key pillars of business practice.
Gallagher claims expertise and 17 case studies are outlined in the Gallagher Advocacy in Action report where you can read more about this oil production claim in detail and other examples from professional indemnity to corporate travel.
Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and benefits consulting services for clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance and/or risk management perspective.