The owner of a gift and art shop in London which temporarily closed when the basement flooded, has praised Greenfield Insurance Services for going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ – and for helping her to reopen in time for a key trading event.
Kate is the founder and creative director of 1of1 Designs, located on Teddington High Street, which produces and sells one-off handmade pieces including art, homeware, jewellery and fashion.
In September last year Kate discovered that the basement of her shop had flooded; blocked gullies had caused an overflow which had seeped into the basement area used as both a stock room and a trading area.
The flooding happened very quickly: within minutes the water level rose to six inches so Kate had to work quickly to remove as much of the stock as possible. Kate informed Greenfield, who immediately contacted the insurer, NIG, and NIG then appointed the loss adjuster, who recommended a local builder.
The basement had a granite floor which Kate had hoped could withstand the water; however the damage was too great – there was permanent staining so the floor had to be taken up. The drying out process took a month and in total, the basement area was shut for almost three months.
In the initial weeks following the flood, Greenfield knew that the business could face risks if there was no cash flow and a downturn in trade. So one of the first tasks it undertook was to liaise with NIG and the loss adjuster by providing information on takings and expenditure, and then arranging several interim payments. This ensured the business remained solvent and trading.
Greenfield not only acted extremely quickly to facilitate interim payments and the repair work, but it provided a wealth of practical support and advice on issues such as stock. For example, around 250 items of clothing were damaged by the water escape; Greenfield suggested using a local dry cleaner to ensure the clothes were in a saleable condition, ready for when the shop reopened.
In order to claim for loss of earnings, Greenfield had to give NIG a figure which it was instrumental in helping Kate to work out. The complicated calculation included a comparison of the time period the shop was closed with the same period the previous year, working out how much Kate was short by, factoring in trends and coming up with an amount.
Overall the claim totalled the sum of £46,423. The loss adjuster was happy with both the workings out and the amount so he rubber-stamped it the same day and recommended payment.
From the outset, Kate made it clear that ideally, the shop would fully reopen for its busiest day of the year: the switching-on of the Teddington Lights at the end of November. All of the parties involved – Greenfield, NIG, the loss adjuster, the builder and the client – worked closely to ensure this deadline was successfully met.
James Mant, Managing Director of Greenfield Insurance commented, “We find that most brokers hand over to the insurance company at claims stage and leave the client on their own to deal with the insurers. Our approach is to help the client every step of the way.”
“We believe that the level of support we provided to Kate is what our clients deserve. When the worst happens, we’re there to hand hold and advise from reporting the claim to settlement. I visited Kate several times, which is part of our hands on approach, and it ensures the client receives what they are entitled to,” explained James.
“It was a huge relief when Kate was able to reopen again in time for the Christmas lights event, and we believe that we stood alongside her when she needed it most,” James added.
Kate believes that Greenfield made what was a horrible experience much less stressful. “One of the most important ways in which James helped was by assisting me in working out my loss of earnings. I had no idea where to start or what we were entitled to but James was fantastic.
“I can’t fault anyone involved. The loss adjuster visited a couple of times and was very helpful; the builders were terrific and worked hard so we could reopen on time; and it was Greenfield that recommended a very professional insurance company in the first place. We now have a beautiful new basement and thanks to Greenfield, the whole experience was made so much easier than it could’ve been,” added Kate.“