Supreme court judgement – QBE business interruption claims

business interruption claimsJeffrey Salmon explains how business interruption claims work and why loss adjustors might not put your best interests first.

We refer to the Supreme Court judgment last Friday confirming that QBE must now accept business interruption claims.

If you are a member of the BID Dentist Facebook Group or the QBE Fightback Whatsapp Group, you are aware that Salmon Assessors were never in any doubt from the beginning of the first lockdown that the QBE policy would eventually ‘come good’. Many insurance claim assessors and loss adjusters did not universally share this view.

We also recommended (against the advice of some loss assessors) that QBE policyholders should not join any ‘Class Action Groups’. At least until such time that the court hearings were finalised. Indeed, up to 50% of any potential settlement is deducted in class action fees.

Salmon Assessors represents most of the dental surgeries who are members of the above groups. along with many other dental surgeries outside of the groups.

We were instrumental in representing just under 300 dental surgeries’ claims with Towergate AXA policies.

And therefore would be delighted to represent your surgery’s QBE business interruption claim. We regret that we are unable to take enquiries from any other policyholders than those with QBE.

Negotiating claims

We are mindful that many dentists may feel that they are more than able to negotiate their claim without insurance claim experts.

But we cannot over-stress the fact that insurers themselves are more than aware that they themselves are primarily specialists in providing insurance cover. They are not expert negotiators.

This is precisely the reason that insurers instruct third party expert negotiators in the form of loss adjusters, to protect their interests…not yours.

We fully expect the loss adjusters representing QBE to be equally as difficult as the Towergate AXA loss adjusters by their ‘interpretation’ of the policy wording. We think they will read it to the advantage of those paying their fees ie your insurers. This relates primarily to purported savings that have been made by the surgery.

Whether it’s by us (we hope so) or one of our competitors or specialist insurance lawyers, we advise you not to negotiate your business interruption claim yourself.

In short you will play into the hands of your insurers. This is precisely what insurers and loss adjusters are happy for you to do.

Who are we?

We are probably the best-known firm of insurance loss assessors in the UK. We only represent claimants, never insurers.

And we have been settling insurance claims for both commercial and residential claimants for 38 years. Our team of forensic accountants specialises solely in preparing and submitting business interruption claims.

After dealing with so many Towergate AXA claims, you can rest assured that this places us in an ideal position to negotiate your claim with our thorough understanding of surgery business interruption claims relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are a family-run company and have traded continuously since 1983. We are fully regulated by the FCA and are one of the very few assessors in the UK with FCA permission to operate a regulated client account (held at Coutts & Co).

Tenacity

Our reputation with insurers and their loss adjusters is one of being exceptionally tough and tenacious but extremely fair.

We are on excellent terms and respected by every insurance company and their loss adjusters.

Please see our online Google and Trustpilot reviews (see below links). These include reviews from many dentists that we represent with Towergate AXA policies.

Further, should you wish to talk to any dentists that we have acted for we will be pleased to pass on their details (with their permission).

It’s a fight!

Liken us to insurance claim mercenaries fighting in your corner.

The bigger the pay-out to you, the more we earn, and the faster we get that payment, the quicker we get paid.

With no apologies for what may sound a mercenary approach, there isn’t a better incentive to achieve the best possible settlement.

Understanding the loss adjusters role

Loss adjusters are not instructed (as is widely misunderstood) to help you prepare and submit your claim. They are not your representatives.

Of course, it’s your prerogative to think that. Because we would like to represent your interests then we would say that. However, we can do no better than repeating the verbatim sentence from Towergate AXA’s email to dental surgeries last May 2020.

It says: ‘We are appointing Questgates Loss Adjusters to represent us in dealing with your claim. These are experts in evaluating and quantifying your claim, subject at all times to our approval.’

We trust you agree that they couldn’t have set out their stall any better.

In short, it’s the loss adjuster’s role to pay claimants the lowest possible amount and protect their employees.

You may consider it of interest to learn what the former insurance ombudsman, James Haswell OBE, said to loss adjusters at their annual convention: ‘It’s easy to understand why claimants are wary of loss adjusters. No matter how many times you tell them how independent you are, they know, deep down inside, that whenever there’s a doubt, it will always be resolved in favour of the insurance company.’

Our fees

Our fees are 10% (plus VAT) of the final settlement, no settlement – no fee. It is a fully tax-deductible expense.


What to do next

For further information please call 020 8346 6060.

Alternatively, please email us the following documents and information to [email protected], and we will contact you promptly.

  • Copy of your full policy wording including the policy schedule
  • Where possible, three years trading accounts
  • The proportion of NHS to private work
  • Denplan contribution to turnover
  • Any furlough savings.

We look forward to being of assistance.

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