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Fire – Electronic Component Factory – Munster

Case Study 1

A fire developed within the electrical installation, spreading to the roof of the factory premises, and causing extensive damage to the building and machinery within.

The Insured were compelled to make several business recovery decisions quickly. Fortunately, they had engaged Owens McCarthy in the immediate aftermath of the fire. Our Major & Complex Loss team were on-site within hours, advising the Insured in relation to the protection of the premises; queries from customers/suppliers; concerns raised by employees; and immediate recovery steps.

We conducted a full policy analysis and scrutinised the warranties and conditions to ensure that any policy coverage issues were identified early and addressed.

Following the appointment of loss adjusters by the Insurer, we created a claim pathway that accounted for each of the loss headings, e.g., buildings, machinery, computers, stock, and crucially, business interruption. Working with Consulting Engineers, Surveyors, and the Insured’s Legal Advisors, we designed a comprehensive statement of claim.

A significant interim payment was agreed in order to ease the Insured’s cash flow burden, and we made swift progress in agreeing the scope of repairs/replacement and the agreed cost of works. The Insurer had suggested that there remained a large ‘salvage’ value within the Insured’s machinery and had sought to make swingeing cuts to the claim payment as a result. Owens McCarthy successfully negotiated the true ‘salvage’ value on the items, resulting in a vastly improved settlement offer that provided the Insured with the level of control they required in order to deliver the rebuilding works on time and to secure the future of their business and the jobs attached to it.

Lesson Learned: Major losses such as these often result in the Insured’s life work, literally, going up in smoke. We are acutely aware of the sensitivities involved not least because such businesses are often important sources of employment locally. Catastrophic fires are a cause of anxiety and stress for many different stakeholders. In order that the business is positioned in the very best way, to allow it to recover and thrive, it is important that negotiations are handled by experienced claim professional throughout. One wrong step, one word misspoken or one detail incorrect can derail these complex claims, causing delay and confusion which might imperil the survivability of the business.