The Emotional Trauma of a Claim
The Emotional Trauma of a Claim
Imagine the emotions you would experience if your home or business was burnt to the ground. Such an event leaves people absolutely devastated. You will be wondering what caused it? Those precious or sentimental items that have been lost. That great collection you have been accumulating is destroyed and irreplaceable. For a business, thoughts include "I have lost my business", "I can never come back from here" and "I have let my clients and employees down." There is the daunting moment when you suddenly wonder if you were adequately insured. Then there is the physical and mental distress in getting things organised, talking with staff, perhaps even the media, telling people the business is closed at the moment and of course advising your insurer.
"... you begin by calling us ..."
Where do you start? Well you begin by calling us. Depending on the event, we kick things off by arranging for a Claims Preparer (especially for property), advising the relevant insurers, obtaining the insurer's claims form (or whatever that company prefers) and assisting with its completion. However, increasingly we have become a shoulder to cry on. We do understand the emotion felt by such a dramatic loss. There will be many different emotions shared at different times of the claims process. When there is a major loss, there will be many different people wanting to talk to our insured. They can be:
- The Fire service
- The Police
- The Insurance Broker
- The claims preparer we have organised to assist our client in submitting their claim.
But it does not stop there. The next stage of the claim involves:
- The Loss adjuster appointed by the insurer to look at the property and liability areas
- A Loss Adjuster specialising in the Business Interruption side
- Forensic investigator - to confirm the causation of the loss
- The claims handler at the Insurer
Then there could be additional people such as:
- Workplace Health and Safety investigators
- Asbestos consultants
- Environmental consultants
This is before you have even thought about rebuilding, or re-locating or replacing the property lost. Why so many people? The fundamental principle of insurance claims is that there must be proof of loss as well as identifying the proximate cause of a loss. The insurance industry measures the financial loss to our clients but is quite oblivious to the emotional toll they have on our insureds that make a claim.
' ... discovering that you should have insured for more is even more stressful ..."
Very few insurance policies contribute to paying professional counsellors to help them through such traumatic events. It is left to us Insurance Brokers to assist and support them through this period. This is something we do not seek payment for or factor into our fees. We do it because we really do care about our clients. We arranged their insurance in good faith, so it will be there for our clients during such difficult times. The claim process itself is quite stressful. But discovering that you should have insured for more is even more stressful. We can certainly start with trying to make sure that we are taking out adequate insurance cover.
"... the importance of full insurance ..."
All of us in the insurance industry need to constantly remind insured's at every renewal, or at reviews, of the importance of full insurance and the need to review the adequacy of their sums insured or their limits of liability and sub-limits,