OUR ROLE IN AN INSURANCE PROJECT
Our role in an insurance reinstatement project is key to ensuring our clients’ interests are protected and they can focus on their core business without spending time on building related issues which they may not be familiar with. We are usually appointed directly by the insurers or there is an agreement whereby our clients would be reimbursed through their insurance policy as soon as an invoice was raised, so our advice is fully covered by the insurance claim and does not incur a cost to our client.
We are involved from the initial stages of any incidents such as a building fire, flood, structural collapse, vandalism attack or other damage to a property where we can provide advice on initial clean up, drying out and essential works to put a property into a safe condition. Where needed we will work with Structural Engineers and Environmental Consultants to assess the risks posed by structural collapse, asbestos, chemicals or other risks.
MINIMISING THE IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS
The main focus of our advice is to look at how to minimise the impact on the client’s business, how the initial stages of remediation are actioned quickly and how works can be agreed with your insurers so that they can progress as soon as possible with minimum disruption to occupation.
Once the overall scope of works has been agreed and a procedure agreed with the Loss Adjuster – they would usually require works to be tendered on a competitive basis prior to implementation. We would prepare a detailed specification which would then be tendered, and works completed under a suitable form of building contract.
TYPES OF BUILDING CONTRACT
Our role could vary depending the size and complexity of the project, from an overall Project Management to acting as contract administrator under a full design project. If the project is large and more suited to a design and build format we would act as employer’s agent (hot link terms). In some cases, an insurance company would want to take more direct control over the building project and we could act on behalf of our clients in a project monitoring role to ensure their interests are protected.
WHO PAYS OUR FEES?
In most cases our fees are met by the insurance company. We would agree the scope of our involvement during the initial site investigation and site clean-up and follow on with further design and Project Management of the works required. We would agree fees directly with the Loss Adjuster to ensure there is no risk of certain costs being accrued by our clients.
TYPES OF PROJECTS UNDERTAKEN
We have been involved in a variety of projects, as seen in the case study below. These projects involved a number of large flood damaged premises following the Yorkshire floods in January 2016. This included an industrial estate in Leeds of over 40 occupants and a Medical Centre in Tadcaster which was located adjacent to the Tadcaster Bridge which was badly damaged in the floods.
We have been involved in a number of fire damaged properties including a large industrial premise in Leeds where our careful management of the process allowed the building to remain in occupation throughout the works. This included the full replacement of the roof together with other remedial works.
WHY EMPLOY A BUILDING SURVEYOR?
Many clients do not realise that if they have to make an insurance claim they can employ the services of a Building Surveyor to ensure their interests are protected. By receiving the correct advice, they can spend their time ensuring their business interests are unaffected. By bringing in Bradley-Mason LLP from the onset, we can ensure the initial remedial works are correctly implemented. Keeping a building weather tight and secure or ensuring it is dried out correctly are crucial to the long-term remediation of the premises.
Whenever a building is reinstated there is likely to be some statutory improvements needed owing to changes which have taken place since the building was constructed. There is often a need to negotiate such improvements with our client’s insurers.
We can provide additional specialist services alongside the main project to reduce overall cost and prevent a delay. There is often a requirement for a Party Wall Award where a property is within a terrace of similar properties. Also we may need to undertake an asbestos survey, provide asbestos advice in respect of the works and a member of our specialist design team may need to be involved with regards to Inclusive Access, Fire and Health and Safety (include hot links to each of these).