Property Damage & Recovery

 

Concerned about your property damage claims portfolio?

We understand the current issues affecting insurers, brokers, property developers, property owners, as well as residential and commercial landlords within the property damage space.

Property Damage E-Zine

Escape of Water Fraud 

Escape of water claims fraud can be both domestic and commercial. So, if you’re an insurer, what are the key fraud indicators that you need to watch out for, both when a claim is submitted and during an on-site investigation? At BLM, we are regularly involved in advising insurers on escape of water claims and helping them navigate the claims process where fraud indicators are present.

Building on the best practice we developed in conjunction with Zurich and based on our experience, we’ve created our Key fraud indicators for Escape of Water Interactive Tool to help insurers identify where insurance fraud might be present. Click the image below to access our tool.

Property Damage Task Force

We have formed a new industry-wide property damage task force, bringing together insurers, brokers, loss adjusters, legal specialists and corporates to identify emerging issues in the property claims sector and to help drive change. To find out more, click the image below:

Escape of Water

Escape of water claims are consistently the most expensive for insurers, with the number and cost of these claims rising. The Association of British Insurers believes that members pay out approximately £2.5m every day on escape of water claims. In 2018, the ABI say that the industry dealt with 287,000 EoW claims at a cost of £950m.

A high number of these claims, both domestic and commercial, have been found to be fraudulent. IFIC Forensics have estimated that “EoW claims represent approximately a one in eight fraud opportunity”.

Escape of Water case studies: Find out how our expert team has helped our clients ►

 

Fire

The ABI suggest that fire is one of the most expensive categories of property insurance claims, with £1.3 billion being paid out to customers during 2018. 

There have been a number of significant, high-value claims in recent years regarding timber frame-constructed properties. We expect to see more if the government and the market continue to see timber framed construction as a solution to the housing crisis.

Insurers will need to adapt accordingly, as this method of construction poses a particular fire risk, given the presence of cavities within the finished structure, both during construction and thereafter. 

Fire case studies: Find out how our expert team has helped our clients ►

Flood

Legal & General suggest that the average cost of flood damage to a home is calculated to be £30,000. Dealing with repairs during the social distancing restrictions required by COVID is likely to increase costs for insurers.

The impact of extreme weather events on businesses will exacerbate an already difficult time for insurers, home owners and businesses alike. Damage to homes and businesses across the UK has been extensive in recent times and property insurers are now beginning to count the cost of their exposure arising from these extreme weather events.

Flood Re reported that for their financial year 2019/20 they incurred claims at a gross cost of £160million - ten times higher than the previous year - in the wake of Storms Ciara and Dennis. Climate change is making storm and flooding events both more frequent and more devastating, meaning we could be on course for further costly years for insurers in respect of flood claims. 

Looking to the future, extreme weather events only seem likely to increase. Flood Re’s research suggests that if climate change is proceeding on a two degree Celsius line then by 2039 the number of homes at risk of flooding will have increased by nearly 30%. Insurers also need to be alive to the fact that the increased financial distress caused to businesses and individuals by COVID-19 may serve as a driver for fraudulent activity.

Flood case studies: Find out how our expert team has helped our clients ►

How BLM can help

Our property damage dispute resolution practice is one of the biggest names in the property sector. We have a well-established and respected team that has vast experience advising some of the UK’s largest insurers, specialist Lloyd’s underwriters and corporates within the property sector on all types of property damage claims, on issues such as:

  • Liability defence

  • Coverage expertise

  • Policy drafting

  • Policy interpretation

  • Advice on the scope of cover

  • Breach of policy terms and conditions

  • Fraudulent claims

We also have dedicated in-house fraud experts, technology, advanced analytics and intelligence resources which offer insight and assistance to both aid prevention and identification of all property damage fraudulent claims. Read more about our tools, Foresight and Fraud Edge.

In addition, the team have considerable experience of managing bulk low-value property damage and liability claims recovery schemes and operate highly efficient subrogated recovery schemes for a large number of insurers and corporate policyholders.

To find out more and how we can help, contact the team opposite.

Who to contact


John O'Shea

John O'Shea

Partner and head of property damage,
London




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Testimonials


“Sedgwick and BLM have worked together closely for a number of years, providing a high level of service to their mutual clients, following all types of major property damage losses. BLM’s in-depth knowledge and technical expertise, combined with a deep understanding of the insurance market, is invaluable in helping to deliver excellent results time and again.”

Senior Major Loss Investigator, Sedgwick Loss Adjusters

“We have developed a strong partnership with the property damage team at BLM over a number of years. They are a trusted adviser, providing guidance and support with large and complex claims. They work closely with us and other key strategic partners to help provide customers with prompt decisions on policy response, and to ensure recovery opportunities are maximised. A high level of technical expertise sits alongside their pragmatic approach, which puts both the customer experience and wider commercial considerations at its core.”

Property Technical Claims Manager, Ecclesiastical Insurance

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Property Damage & Recovery Team

Philip Adamis

Philip Adamis

Partner,
London


Mark Aitken

Mark Aitken

Partner,
London


Jacob Broughton

Jacob Broughton

Solicitor,
Manchester


Garrett Cormican

Garrett Cormican

Partner,
Dublin


Daniela D'Agostino

Daniela D'Agostino

Associate,
London


Rachel Eardley

Rachel Eardley

Associate,
Birmingham


Cormac Fitzpatrick

Cormac Fitzpatrick

Partner,
Belfast & Derry


Katrina Gray

Katrina Gray

Partner,
Belfast


Elizabeth Harvey

Elizabeth Harvey

Associate,
Birmingham


Caroline Kane

Caroline Kane

Partner,
Birmingham


Yuling Kao

Yuling Kao

Associate,
Birmingham


Rachel Keenan

Rachel Keenan

Partner,
Belfast


Maria Kidd

Maria Kidd

Partner,
Manchester


Warren King

Warren King

Partner,
London


Catherine Mangham

Catherine Mangham

Partner,
Manchester


Related contacts


John O'Shea

John O'Shea

Partner and head of property damage,
London