Be ready for when the worst happens

  • A major incident such as a flood or fire causes more than just physical damage
  • Zurich has the resources and expertise to put things right – fast
  • Schools need to insure sufficient amounts and take substantial indemnity periods

A major incident at a school can have a devastating impact, both immediately and in the long term.

This was the case at Lytchett Minster School near Poole, when a lightning bolt hit the creative arts faculty in December 2012, causing fire to break out and engulf the property.

“It was a real mess,” says Alan Clark, Regional Senior Claims Service Manager at Zurich Municipal.

“The fire damage was bad enough. But beyond that there was also damage to coursework, pupil trauma and stress. There was an additional workload and overtime costs for staff, as it occurred during the holidays, along with the costs of hiring additional premises.”

From the start, Zurich Municipal was there to make a difference in the community at a difficult time.

Right tools at the right time

“Our major loss team takes case ownership from the beginning,” says Alan. “We were there within 24 hours, organising and mobilising the right team, with the right loss adjusters with the right skills at the right level.

“We arranged the forensic scientists, surveyors and engineers. We were able to engage the full power of the Zurich Municipal supply chain to make sure we were visible and involved.

“Everyone in our major loss team is very experienced. They’ve all worked on other disciplines within insurance and so have the confidence to make decisions quickly on site.”

Key to enabling Zurich Municipal to do its best for the community was the fact that the school had made sure that it had adequate sums insured, with good indemnity periods, which meant the bills would keep being paid right up until the job was finished.

“Headteachers need to make sure that they are prepared well in advance of anything occurring,” says Alan. “They need to make sure that they know what roles and responsibilities each person in the leadership team will take on and define those roles very closely.

“Make sure you assess your key risks in advance and test your continuity plans across a range of scenarios – and share that with us, because we can help.

“We have plenty of literature to help schools plan for events like floods and cold snaps – there’s advice out there if you look for it.

Make sure you assess your key risks in advance and test your continuity plans across a range of scenarios – and share that with us, because we can help

Alan Clark, Claims Account Manager, Zurich Municipal Financial Services

“We are a business that comes together for you at a critical time.”

Customer care

Clive Speed, Regional Senior Claims Service Manager at Zurich Municipal, agrees: “In major losses, customers really see what we are about.

“When something big goes wrong we have considerable experience and a huge amount of resource that can be available immediately; not just to cover the physical damage, but also the financial cost.”

For example, in the event of major flood damage, Zurich can deploy intensive drying techniques that work much faster than standard dehumidifiers, meaning repairs are less disruptive and a property can be re-instated much more quickly.

“The initial costs might be higher, but the long term cost is lower and it’s a really positive PR message for the clients,” says Clive. “It really lessens the impact on the community.

“We are always looking at the community impact and the impact on our customer’s customers.”