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Covid 19 Tips for Commercial Property Owners

MPIC Tips for Commercial Property Owners

During Spring and Summer months when temperatures are up, dealing with burst pipes is uncommon. However, give the number of commercial properties now vacant due to COVID 19, there is an increase in water pressure in many areas. This increase in water pressure is causing some older fittings to fail and is leading to burst pipes, causing considerable water damage.

Water damage accounts for 20% of all insurance claims.  Burst pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage, now that many buildings are unoccupied due to Covid 19. A crack of just 1/8 inch in a standard water pipe can lead to more than 200 gallons of water escaping daily. If this happens undetected, the damage to floors, carpets, walls and furnishing can be devastating and costly to rectify.

 

How can you prevent water damage?

Daily check-ups to any unoccupied spaces are important, keep a diary of checks completed. This is good evidence of due diligence in the event of an incident. We would recommend turning off your water supply into the building and drain down any tanks during the unoccupied period if possible. That helps eliminate the risk of water damage completely. This is even more important as some insurers are restricting cover to fire only during periods of inoccupancy.

 

7 steps to follow if you suffer water damage to your Property

  1. Turn water off at the main water supply. If this is not possible, call a plumber immediately and tell them it is an emergency.
  2. If water is seeping from the ceiling or walls, shut down the power supply and call an electrician.
  3. Turn off any immersion heater and central heating system to prevent heating the system while it is empty, which could cause damage.
  4. Protect any documents, computer systems and possessions by moving them to a safe location.
  5. Check property for water damage. If there is water pooling or bulging in ceilings, steer clear in case they collapse. If it’s safe, you could make a small hole that will allow the water to slowly escape to a container placed below.
  6. Open the doors and windows to the water-damaged rooms in order to allow drying and hopefully preventing mould and mildew, which can be very costly to remove.
  7. Call Seán on 086 6655155 for a free consultation and to discuss your property loss.

Prepare Your Home for Lorenzo, 8 Things You Need to Do Now

Is your home storm ready? Hurricane Lorenzo is hitting speeds of 250kph as it hurtles across the Atlantic, potentially in our direction. Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy has warned that potentially “ferocious and dangerous” storm surges are expected when Storm Lorenzo reaches Ireland later this week.

All too often, Manicle Property Insurance Claims deal with the unfortunate consequences of the storm damage. With a little preparation you can reduce risk and the stress that storm damage can do to your home.

Here are our top 8 tips:

  1. Determine your risk, keep a close eye on Met Eireann’s and Meta Alert Ireland updates.
  2. Take all necessary precautions to secure your property. Secure moveable objects in your garden, such as trampolines, tables and chairs etc.
  3. Keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear.
  4. Have an emergency kit. This kit should include enough water, necessary medications, important documents and paperwork, a first aid kit, flashlight, and a radio (make sure you have batteries for them too!).
  5. Have you enough of the basic food supplies in your home so that you can be self-sufficient for a few days if the power goes or you cannot go to the shop. And of course, as storm Ophelia proved, stock up on the nation’s favourite food, bread!!
  6. If you are in an area prone to flooding, get ready ahead of time by purchasing sandbags at your local hardware store or you can make your own.
  7. With a storm approaching, don’t forget friends and relatives that might have special needs or medical issues, who made need help.
  8. Understand your insurance cover. Check you have your property adequately insured!! A high percentage of homeowners are under insured and leaving themselves short thousands of euro in the unfortunate event of a claim.

If you suffer property damage you can call me at any time for advice and I will provide a free consultation and advise you on the key steps to take post-loss.

Take care,
Seán

Piotr Jankowski, Ashbourne

Outstanding service, professional approach. Putting customer first and focusing on what’s best for us. After the house fire, Sean has been more than helpful from day one. Provided guidance and support through this difficult time, got involved in the process to get us back to our home in efficient time. Me and my family are very grateful and feeling luck that we met Sean. Thank you Sean, highly recommended.

Luka Slusarczyk, Wexford

I have no hesitation in giving 5 stars rating and recommending Manicle Property Insurance Claims services to anyone. Sean’s professional approach was second to none. We faced a difficult time and Sean managed our insurance claim case entirely through all steps with very good final result. His experience and knowledge go beyond what you may expect. He was fully focused on the best result for us and we felt we were in good hands.

Manicle Property insurance Claims Help Keep Building Cool after Storm Ophelia

Insured peril:  
Storm damage (Storm Ophelia)

Incident:
Large air conditioning unit located on the roof of an industrial building weighing over 350 kg turned over in the strong winds of Storm Ophelia.  The unit had to be removed and replaced at a cost of €20,000.

Insurer’s position:
Insurer’s initially declined the claim on the basis that the air conditioning unit was not installed in line with the manufacturer’s recommendation.  The manufacturer’s recommendations required that the unit in question be bolted into position as per the operation manual.

Manicle Property Insurance Claims reviewed the installation of the unit and, because of the location of the unit, we took the view that bolting the unit in position was not viable as it would have penetrated the water proofing membrane of the roof and, therefore, lead to other problems with the building.

We put the case forward that it was likely the original installers of the air conditioning unit carried out a risk assessment and, during the risk assessment, it is likely they concluded that, to counter the need for bolting the unit to the floor, they used copper pipes instead of flexible pipes to secure it in place and had positioned the unit in a sheltered location.

Our engineer supported this view and our presentation to the insurance company allowed the claim to progress and the policyholder to be reimbursed fully for the loss.  It was a major relief to the policyholder to have the claim covered.

MPIC Help Returning Music to the Community

Location: Galway

Insured Peril: Storm damage

Incident: The church organ warped and buckled causing over €10,000 worth of damage.

Insurers position: The insurance policy for the church specifically outlined that they did not cover damage caused by fluctuations in temperature.  Therefore, they declined the claim on that basis.   The parish priest involved causally mentioned his situation to me and I offered to carry out a review and investigation of the incident in order to independently verify the insurers position. 

MPIC: We discovered that there was a burst pipe incident two months prior to the damage to the organ being discovered.  This led to the boiler and heating system being out of action for a period of time.  This resulted in a claim which insurers paid out on. 

This incident raised a red flag to MPIC and warranted further investigations in relation to the organ damage.   We then commissioned a report from an organ repair specialist and this confirmed that the damage to the organ related to the period of time when the heating in the church was not operational due to the burst pipe.

This in turn directly linked the damage to the organ with the burst pipe incident.  We were then successful in presenting a case to insurers demonstrating this link.  This enabled insurers to reconsider the position and pay the claim in full.  The parish priest and community were very grateful for the works MPIC carried out in facilitating returning the much loved organ back to its glorious self.

Theresa McGinn, Kilkenny Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.

“We recently had a leak in our business premises.  We considered repairing it ourselves as we felt it would be too much hassle to go through the insurance. However we asked Sean from Manicle Property Insurance Claims to have a look at it anyway. Sean immediately assessed the damage, contacted the insurance company, met the claims assessor on our behalf, filled out all the forms and submitted the claim.  All we had to do was sign a form.  A painless experience for us. I was delighted when, within 2 weeks, Sean came back with an offer from the insurance company and within another 2 weeks we received a cheque in the post which will allowed us to repair all the damage caused by the leak.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Manicle Property Insurance Claims to anyone”.

UNDER-INSURED PROPERTIES LEAVE HOME OWNERS OUT OF POCKET – MANICLE PROPERTY CLAIMS

  • Property owners nationally lost approx. €6 million due to under-insurance in 2015
  • Up to one in five people mistakenly reduced home insurance policies in recent years

Householders are missing out on thousands of euro and in some cases tens of thousands when settling an insurance claim due to the under insurance of their property. In the wake of the economic downturn, this is one of the major problems encountered by Loss Assessor Sean Manicle of Manicle Property Claims.

Mr Manicle says, “We have found in our dealings with homeowners that up to 1 in 5 people are underinsuring their property for two main reasons:

  1. A common belief when speaking to clients that their home insurance is related to the market value of their property. However, this is not the case. The insurance value of a property should be related to the demolition and rebuild value including removal of debris and Professional fees (Architect’s/Consulting Engineers etc.)
  2. Some property owners are deliberately underinsuring their property believing they will save on premiums. However, in reality the savings are often minimal but the serious financial consequences are a lot more severe than envisaged.

There are no official statistics available for the level of under insurance in the Irish market, however figures published by Insurance Ireland Fact file 2015 reveal that there were some 52,373 Household Claims made in 2013 costing insurers €180.2million. A further 20,356 Commercial Property claims in the same year cost €109.7 million. Therefore, it can be conservatively estimated from these figures that property owners nationally lost out on over € 6million in claim settlements due to underinsurance.

Manicle Property Claims recently dealt with an oil leak claim outside Dublin where a domestic oil tank leaked and travelled under the entire house. The property was insured for €300,000. The cost of the works to clean up the oil leak was a staggering €200,000 due to the major earth and structural works required. In this case insurers inspected the property and valued it at €400,000 and considered it was underinsured by 25%. This meant the home owner was liable for over €50,000 of the cost of the oil clean-up themselves! Manicle Property Claims successfully managed to have the insurer’s valuation revised to €300,000. It finally worked out, but it did cause a lot of additional stress and anxiety for the home owner dealing with the potentially crippling bill from insurers.

Mr Manicle says, “There is help out there to easily calculate the demolition and rebuild value of a property. We recommend that home owners use the rebuild calculator on the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland website. You need to know the floor area of your property and follow the instructions outlined to calculate the costs. It is important to note that insurers would argue that the SCSI values are the minimum values that you should use in calculating your insured sum of your property.”

Manicle Property Claims offers a complete independent claims management service providing invaluable support, professional help and advice at a time of crisis. Acting on behalf of the home owner, Manicle Property Claims will ensure any claim is settled fairly and as quickly as possible. It’s never too late to contact a loss assessor, as a settlement can be taken over even if an individual has already begun proceedings, or if the person is unhappy with a settlement receive. www.mpclaims.ie

Sean Manicle t/a Manicle Property Claims is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
For further information, consult the Irish Society of Chartered Surveyors rebuilding costs guide.