The main principle of insurance cover is to put you back in the position you were in before the loss. If the declare insured value is inadequate, in the event when the building is destroyed by a fire where the building is under-insured, insurance company will only compensate the amount insured (subject to average clause) and in such circumstances the owner will suffer financial losses in compensating the shortfall.
It is important to ensure that the insured value is the correct sum, sufficient to compensate an insured party if the asset is destroyed. It the sum insured party if the asset is destroyed. It the sum insured insufficient and the building destroyed by a fire the insurance company will only pay on amount up to the sum insured, leaving the owner to make up any shortfall.
From our experience that unless an organization or owner has recently had an insurance valuation, the sums insured will be inadequate and are often only 55-70 per cent of the correct amount. But what does this mean? In the event of a loss, and your assets are undervalued, only a fraction of the actual cost of replacing your assets will be paid.
There are of course exceptions and occasionally we come across cases of correct or overstated values, but these amounts to less than 15 per cent.
Disappointment will arises when the victim realised that they ‘’should have’’ revalued their property assets. This continuing asset protection process in crucially important to ensure continuity of the business and stability of ownership.
a) The most common reason is client always used to adopt the common method of taking the market value of the property and deduct the land value. There are some other clients who has just simply add 10% to the last years sums insured as to hedge the inflation, in which the earlier two methods are unable to reflect the actual value of the insured property.
b) In the case of new acquisitions, the previous owners sum insured are adopted without seeking the nature of their origin and/or initial sum assured.
c) When the declared values were determined ‘’in house’’, the insurer’s adjuster will need to conduct his own investigations through his own sources, which can and invariably does, take considerable time. In almost 80% of losses the client is found to be underinsured!
Should there an insurance claim, whether it is a partial or total loss, your insurers will appoint a loss adjuster whose perform the loss survey, inspection and assessment of the reported incident on behalf of the insurer and perform a “due diligence”. As the onus of proving the liability is always the insured, therefore, during the loss survey, you will be called upon to answer two key questions:
a) can you substantiate the present declared value?
b) can you validate existence, ownership and location of assets within the area of loss?
Experience shows that it is the client’s perception their insurance policy would respond to an insured loss and that it would be a straightforward process to repair a partial damage or a total loss.
The reality is that without an insurance valuation the sum insured will need to be validated by the insurer following a loss and therefore it makes sense to ensure the policy can respond by having in place valid, independent and reliable information in order to avoid disputation or delay.
The majority of these problems can be avoided by arranging on independent review of asset valuations and overall insurance requirements by the competent value and risk consultant.
Client who suffered losses from a repudiated claim, received of unsatisfactory claim settlement or having claim difficulties with the current insurance provider can always reach out to us for their claim consultancy services.
Our in-house property underwriter provide policy analysis and provide an executive summary of the building analysis, risk exposure, insurance cover summary (with details of clauses/warranties/policy description) after received of the insurance policy/proposal from clients.
Risk Surveyor will conduct an in-depth analysis of a building’s habitable condition from the perspective of potential risk & liability exposure. Typical areas examined including common building structure, firefighting system, mechanical and electrical systems, aviation obstruction light, water pump system and etc.
Building will deteriorate further with the passage of time, machinery and parts wear out gradually which contribute to potential unforeseen breakdown. Regular maintenance and reinforcement of the preventive equipment, such as, earthing chamber, water proofing, surge protector, subsidence, etc.