'Great' response after flood claims experience
Thursday 21 April 2016
That was Ian Russell’s response when asked about his experience of using Simple Landlords Insurance after he made a claim last year.
Torrential rain burst the banks of three rivers on the Wirral in September and flooded one of his rental properties, an ex-council house in Moreton.
“A blocked drain 200 metres from the property helped the water level to rise by three metres,” said Ian. “It came up the hill on to the road and went straight through the front door and out the back.
“The family had to move out the next day because the water was six or eight inches deep. It ruined the fridge, the freezer, all the electrical appliances. It had gone into the walls and the floors.
“One of the neighbours had a rat in their house and it got free – so someone had to sling that out! It was pretty grim to be honest with you. There was laminate flooring floating down the hall.”
A professional landlord since the early 90s, Ian describes himself a businessman first and foremost.
“I have always had different businesses and property has always been a part of that,” he said. “It’s too complicated to sum it all up in a sentence, but I have owned shops, offices, care homes and have been generally involved in property development.”
His first port of call was the Simple Landlords Insurance website
“I only use the website to renew once a year and to add or subtract properties,” said Ian. “You take insurance out on anything, but you only use it when you need it.
“I got the telephone number and rang the call centre. The service there is very good.
“Simple put me in touch with a loss adjuster who contacted us the next day and made arrangements to see the property the day after.”
The damage was estimated at around £25,000 and industrial driers were put into the property for a month.
“It required new kitchen units and the plaster had to be hacked out,” explained Ian. “All the window sills absorbed the water and the patio doors were rancid.
“It was a big job and of course it all had to be rewired because the wiring had been contaminated.”
The loss adjuster immediately appointed a building contractor from an approved list for landlords and was able to authorise work to start as soon as possible.
Ian said: “The loss adjuster and myself came to an agreement about what was needed and we agreed a schedule of work with the builder. I believe he ended up working on three houses on the same road.
“Things slowed down over Christmas, but you have to remember that you are dealing with a range of different trades men who are putting the place to rights.
“The whole property had to be electronically certified.
“It is a long job when you have got a wet house, and it’s a horrible job.”
The house was habitable by February and the loss adjustor also took responsibility for refurbishing the property.
“I could have done it myself by getting my own builders in to take all the rubble and sodden plaster out,” said Ian. “But the point of a loss adjuster is they can nominate building contractors who can do all that for you. They work within an agreed budget.
“You don’t have to do anything - you just hand the key over.
“After that you just tell them what kind of wallpaper you want or what colour you want the bathroom painted.”
Ian, 58, lives with his wife Geraldine in Hoylake on the Wirral, and the couple have two sons, Josh, 26, and Jordan, 23.
“I am dealing with an insurance claim for another property at the moment with a different company and I haven’t even managed to get any paperwork through yet,” he said.
“Simple have been great and I will definitely be using them again.
“I would recommend them – that’s the only reason I agreed to this interview!”
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