January started with a bang, as Storm Henk battered large parts of England and Wales with heavy rain and strong winds leading to flooding. Advisory services PwC estimated the storm caused around 2,000 properties and £150m in insured losses – so for some it was not the happy new year they had hoped for.
We helped several clients deal with flood risks and damage, and one recent incident had a branch manager and her family don their wellie boots and get stuck in!
After the flood
Chris Biggs, Farnham Branch Manager and Phillipa Ross, Hereford Branch Manager, recently helped a client who’s home flooded right after New Year’s Day. Our client is widowed and lives alone. But, she has the local Hereford team looking after her car insurance, and the Farnham branch manage her home insurance because the property is liable to flooding.
When flooding hit, fortunately, our client was able to stay with friends in the immediate aftermath, but Chris gave her his mobile number so that she could contact him at any time, with any issues. A loss adjuster then visited the property and advised us that our client was happy to return home. However, at this time, the carpets were wet, and we could not provide an exact date and time when contractors would remove these. We were obviously concerned.
The next week, Chris reached out to Phillipa, as she was able to visit the client in person. Phillipa went round that weekend to assess the extent of the damage in person. Phillipa, along with her husband and stepdaughter Sophie Kerfoot, who also works in the Hereford branch, and her partner, all worked throughout Saturday and actually removed the carpet and cleaned the house as much as possible for the client. They even moved furniture to help it dry out and brought our client a bouquet of flowers to help cheer her up!
Even after this, Phillipa and Chris agreed that our client should not be staying at the property; it was still damp, and our client has breathing difficulties.
Chris paid for our client to stay in a local B&B for the next week, while he and Phillipa could discuss the damage with the loss adjuster further and encourage him to adjust his views on our vulnerable client’s situation.
As of 8th January, the loss adjuster agreed to authorise alternative accommodation, which Phillipa arranged for our client. What’s more, Chris called our client’s daughter, to keep her up to date with what we were doing to get things sorted.
Chris said: “Phillipa and Sophie, and their partners have been absolutely amazing. Our client couldn’t believe that her local Branch Manager and her family all came out to help her on a Saturday afternoon and was extremely grateful for the assistance.
“I know how much it has been appreciated by the client and her family, so much so that when I called her daughter on Saturday evening, she said that although she has never had a policy with Howden before, she feels that she needs to bring all of her policies to us at renewal due to the way we have looked after her mother.”
Divisional Director Darren Hall said: “This demonstrates our value as a broker and really epitomises our values in looking after our clients. Chris, Phillipa and her team have done a fantastic job in helping our client and we are proud of them all for doing so.”
Why we do it
When the worst happens, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. And when it’s your home that’s affected, it can be incredibly unsettling. In that situation, you need someone by your side who isn’t afraid to get stuck in – whether that’s progressing your claim and advocating for the best possible outcome or putting the hard graft and helping clear up.
At Howden, we feel that every client is a VIP. And in a world where prices are rising, it’s more important than ever that you get personal, tailored service for your hard-earned money.
As well as our teams in Farnham and Hereford, our branches across the country are on hand to answer your questions, address any concerns, and help out when disaster strikes. Search Howden Insurance, give your local team a call or pop into the branch to speak with an expert.
You’ll also be able to speak to our branch experts about our new Money Savings eBook. You see, we’re on a mission to not only help you save money on your insurance, but also on your shopping, energy bills and more! Click here to download your copy for FREE.