Client success story: managing moving pieces in an insurance claim

Insurance Insights | July 18, 2018

Client success story: managing moving pieces in an insurance claim


Sarah is a landlord and she rents out commercial spaces to businesses. She was experiencing a challenge with sewer backup at one of her buildings.

The usual process of inspection and repair became disorganized during her claim. She was experiencing delays in addressing the issue: three days passed before she was able to file the claim. Property damage is time sensitive because the damage can worsen over time and rather quickly. The delays occurred because the property restoration companies were backlogged with orders and unable to attend to Sarah’s request.

More delays occurred when the restoration companies discovered storage boxes on Sarah’s property that were in the way. These boxes needed to be moved in order to get a clear view of the damage. They ended up in the laneway next to the property. Because they were stained in sewage and the temperature was rising, Sarah’s tenants complained about the smell coming from the boxes. Once the boxes were moved, it would appear as though the repairs could proceed.

Not so fast. Two different service providers were handling the emergency repairs and restoration which created some additional challenges with coordination. As a result, it wasn’t always clear who was responsible for what and how the costs would be covered. Depending how these costs shake out, the payout on Sarah’s policy will be different, and she may be on the hook for more costs if something is not covered.

For example, the contractors had cut away the drywall, but the wood under was still soaked in sewer water. Was this part of emergency or restoration? Ultimately, the problem was greater than sewer backup alone.

We discovered that Sarah’s property had cavities under the floor filled dirty water. These cavities have not been cleaned. There’s also a wear and tear issue with the drain. Sewer back up present a health concern. It contains a lot of bacteria that will enter the air. Any contamination could get the Ministry of Health involved. Not to mention her tenants may start looking for a new place and take their business elsewhere.

We helped Sarah by locating an inspector to visit her property. Then we coordinated the emergency and restoration work. When the smell issue emerged, we arranged for fans to be installed in Sarah’s building to sweep the smell away. We will continue to work and communicate with Sarah to ensure her business is made whole and complete.

Call us today to get the right protection for your business.