A teacup in a storm

In the recent storms along the East Coast, many people were seriously affected by the destruction wrought by high winds, lashing rain and falling trees. Houses lost their roofs, trees came down on cars and buildings, and numerous properties were without power – some for many days. The sheer weight of hail falling on western Sydney warehouses caused widespread destruction, and many contract sites were flooded.

Naturally, there were a very large number of insurance claims following these events. It was “all hands to the pumps”. Loss adjusters all along the seaboard have been kept extremely busy, investigating and assessing an extensive number of property damage claims.

Sydney storms. Image: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-25/readers-photos-of-sydney-hail-storm/6422006?site=sydney

Sydney storms. Image: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-25/readers-photos-of-sydney-hail-storm/6422006?site=sydney

As consolidation has occurred in the loss adjusting industry, I’ve heard a constant theme from those who remain: the capacity and the expertise to handle such situations endures.

Well, that’s the theory anyway.

FT Adjusting was approached by two loss adjusting companies – who, for the sake of the innocent (and protecting our PI insurance), shall remain nameless – asking if we could assist them to assess the numerous claims sent to them by insurers. They were drowning (to use an appropriate word) in the flood of claims being made. They couldn’t cope and needed assistance.

So much for the theory.

I have to say this piqued our interest at FT Adjusting. What was happening, and what was on offer?  It’s always good to help out a brother or sister loss adjuster, but not at the expense of our own work and our own clients. The catch, as ever in these matters, was in the detail or, more specifically, the rates.

If the words “peanuts” and “monkeys” sound familiar, you will begin to get the idea.

When you look at the demise of certain loss adjusting establishments (mentioning no names), you have to wonder who will be next, given the apparent rates which are being charged. A charge to bottom seems the most appropriate way to summarise it.

So, thanks very much guys, but we’ll stick with our existing clients and give them the service we know we can provide, not just dream and pontificate about.

The lesson perhaps for us all in the insurance industry is to beware of expansive assertions that can’t be met when the going gets tough. Cheap deal(er)s tend to get hoisted on their own petards.