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Characteristics of fires and the Dangers of Smoke Residue

The fire triangle- Fuel, Oxygen and Heat are the 3 main attributes of fires. In laboratory conditions these 3 elements balanced result in complete combustion. In the real world of Fire insurance claims, the unequal balance of the 3 elements result in smoke residue (soot) being produced to some degree. If you have complete combustion you have no soot. Therefore, soot is the product of incomplete combustion and in technical terms combustion is the chemical process of burning or changing a solid into a gas via heat.

Oakleafe Claims as the leading Insurance Claims Loss Assessors understand how to identify the Characteristics of fires and how to effectively deal with the components and effects of smoke and heat damage. Oakleafe claims loss assessors understand that in a fire damage event the gases generated are extremely dangerous to individuals directly and indirectly exposed.

The many loss assessors that currently exist within the insurance claims handling industry lack the diverse and technical knowledge to understand the effects of contamination from fire event. A burning structure and its contents produce literally thousands of different gases which generally fall under two categories- Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulphur dioxide.

Characteristics of Claim and how Oakleafe Claims can help

Oakleafe Claims will be able to effectively and competently deal with the secondary effects and damage from not only the fire itself but also the subsequent water contamination from fire extinguishing and suppression. The insurance loss adjuster will expect You the policyholder to mitigate the damage to your property or its contents by taking steps to prevent further damage to contents and building materials.

Oakleafe Claims will be able to draw on its wealth of experience like the Characteristics of fires to ensure the cost of the fire insurance claims are reduced by identifying acid soot residues, implementing moisture control measures to reduce mould contamination and safely remove smoke damaged contents and neutralise acid soot residue.

Oakleafe Claims take seriously their professional responsibilities to be sufficiently knowledgeable and technically experienced in fire insurance claims and the restorative process that follows. Insurance claims for fire damage and the proceeding insurance claims handling must always be performed by a loss assessor who is positive and reactive in the way they are performing their duties- something that Oakleafe Claims and their expert team of loss assessors possess.

If you are unfortunate enough to require fire claim help through the use of an experienced Loss assessor then Oakleafe Claims will draw on their integral tried and tested strategy’s and Insurance claims handling skills to organise and route the tasks and operations required to avoid unnecessary delays and repetition of services. You may know the Characteristics of fires but are you experienced enough to handle the whole Insurance claim by yourself?

Loss Assessors can Identify Characteristics of Fires

Fire damage insurance claims are complex and time consuming and it is therefore imperative that quick decisions are made to prevent long term and costly damage to your property and its contents.

Loss Assessors are independent Insurance Claim experts that can Identify traits of Fires and can take the stress away from your insurance fire claim. They work for you the policyholder, and only you. Using their expertise knowledge of the characteristics of a claim and skills Loss Assessors will aim to get everything you are entitled to.

A Loss Assessor from Oakleafe claims will simplify the importance of a fast response- ultimately saving money, trauma, liability and inconvenience to the policyholder and subsequent fire damage insurance claims.

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In the intricate realm of insurance policies and the claims they are designed to cover, there's an eyebrow-raising statistic that every policyholder should be privy to 1 in 5 insurance claims are repudiated, that is, rejected by the insurer.

Repudiation Definition. What is it?

Simply put, an insurance company can reject an insurance claim by deciding not to honour the claim, often citing various reasons. These could range from non-disclosure of pertinent information to breaches of policy conditions to alleged fraudulent activity. The process leading up to this point can be fraught with misunderstanding and contention, culminating in a scenario no policyholder wants to encounter.

A Closer Look at the Statistics - Repudiation.

The revelation that a startling 20% of insurance claims are denied may seem surprising, but these figures are not pulled from thin air. An annual report published by the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service in 2021 found that they upheld approximately 1 in 5 complaints about insurance claims being turned down. To shed some light on the magnitude of the situation, consider this: millions of insurance claims are filed in the UK each year across various sectors. A fifth of these claims being turned down indicates a considerable volume of denied claims.

Real-Life Example.

Consider the case of Jane (name changed for confidentiality), a proud homeowner in London. Jane had dutifully paid her home insurance premiums for several years. However, when an unexpected fire caused extensive damage to her home, she was shocked to discover her insurer had rejected her claim.

The insurance company argued that Jane had failed to disclose an essential piece of information when taking out her policy — a small, inconspicuous detail about the electrical wiring of her home. According to the insurer, this represented a material non-disclosure, a basis for Repudiation, meaning her claim was rejected. 

Jane disputed this decision, arguing that she had been unaware of the significance of the information and that she had answered all the insurer's questions to the best of her ability when purchasing the policy. Eventually, Jane's contacted us here at Oakleafe, and we took over managing her Claim. We challenged the Insurers and re-presented her Claim, resulting in her receiving the settlement she was entitled to.

Lessons to Learn with Jane's Claim being Repudiated.

Jane's experience underscores the importance of full disclosure when purchasing an insurance policy, but it also serves as a potent reminder of the considerable proportion of claims that insurers deny. The statistic — 1 in 5 insurance claims repudiated — should encourage policyholders to arm themselves with as much knowledge as possible about their insurance policies. Understanding the ins and outs of your policy can be a decisive factor in whether a claim is paid or repudiated.

What to do if your Claim is rejected.

If your insurance company decide to repudiate meaning your claim is rejected, it's essential first to understand why. Review the insurance policy's terms and conditions to ensure the claim is valid based on your coverage. If you believe the claim was wrongly denied, gather all relevant documents, including reports, repair estimates, or any other evidence supporting your claim. Contact your insurance provider for a detailed explanation of the denial and consider seeking advice from an insurance professional such as Oakleafe Claims. While the thought of having a claim rejected may seem daunting, knowledge and understanding of insurance terms and conditions can go a long way in ensuring the policy serves its purpose when needed. Given the present climate, insurers and policyholders need to work towards a transparent and fair insurance claim process to decrease the number of repudiated claims.

Remember, insurance is intended to serve as a safety net, a lifeline in our times of need. Let's ensure it remains that way. If you have been affected by repudiation, contact us, and one of our highly trained team will be in touch to talk about your current situation.

Top Reasons An Insurance Claim Is Rejected

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When you deal with a fire or a burst pipe at your business you probably want the insurance claims process to go as smoothly and as quickly as possible so No More Mistakes With Professional Claims Assistance would be a real achievement. The reality is that the reason the claims process is sometimes difficult or long are several common mistakes claimants make.

Among the many possible insurance claims mistakes out there, under insurance is probably the one that costs the most money. According to ABI, a quarter (28%) of households do not have home contents insurance and professional policies sometimes do not fare much better, especially among small businesses. In this instance, if a fire consumed their belongings, they would have to replace all of them themselves. What seems like saving money on an insurance policy then ends up costing the claimant many times more. However, not anymore thanks to Professional Claims assistance provided by Loss Assessors such as Oakleafe Claims.

Professional Claims Assistance with Under Insurance

Underinsurance means the risk of recovering much less than your actual loss. For instance, having business property insurance without a contents policy would cover any structural damage to the property but not cover any costs of contents damaged during a fire or flood. Things do not have to have high value to add up very quickly and if you’re a coffee lover who loves to buy a cup on the way to work, you probably already know this. Office supplies add up just as quickly.

According to Professional Claims Assistance, another way that a property can be underinsured is if the value contained in the policy is less than the property is worth. For example, let’s say your business is insured for £100,000 and your damages after a fire is £50,000.  The insurance company’s loss adjuster upon inspection discovers that the property value is £200,000. In that case, you are underinsured by 50% and your claim for the fire loss is now worth only £25,000.

To avoid this, you can get your property surveyed on a regular basis, for example when it’s time to renew your insurance. This way you will always know true rebuilding costs which are important because they fluctuate. It’s also important to keep in mind that rebuilding costs can sometimes be more than the original value of damaged property.

Professional Claims Assistance Helping Avoid Common Mistakes

Filing a professional claim can be a difficult process without Professional Claims Assistance and documentation of damage is often the most important issue. The most common business insurance claims are for theft, fire and weather-related incidents. Whatever the incident is it must figure in your insurance policy as a covered event otherwise your claim is likely to be denied. You also must comply with the insurer’s requests for information when filing a professional claim and to make documentation available you need to first have it.

Therefore, photographing damage after any incident is essential and why storing documents such as receipts in a safe place can make a difference in the success of professional claims.

Some other professional claims mistakes are not filing on time and eliminating evidence. Filing on time is essential because the insurance company can deny your claim for an unreasonable delay. Eliminating evidence means throwing away any damaged items, after a flood or a fire for instance, before they were itemized, and the insurance loss adjuster has had time to verify the resulting damage.

Professional Claims Assistance In The Business World

Almost half of all business owners will have a need to file a professional commercial claim at some point, so the risks are quite high. Most business insurance policies cover public and employers’ liability, professional indemnity, commercial property damage, and business interruption. Currently, professional liability claims are quite high. Professional indemnity insurance is the one that protects a business against claims by clients who allege that the service provider has caused them financial loss.

The key to a smooth process in professional commercial claims is to never admit liability and to file on time. Admitting liability can be a reason for the insurance company to deny your claim and secondly not all facts are immediately apparent so this is something no one should ever do. Hiring a loss assessor to help with filing your professional claim can greatly contribute to its smooth processing and seriously shorten the time it takes for your claim to settle. Commercial property damage can usually be resolved fairly quickly but other incidents, such as theft, cybercrime or injury require an investigation, which may extend the time for the claim to settle.

Getting the Right Professional Claims Assistance

Hiring a Loss Assessor such as Oakleafe Claims for professional claims can go a long way in eliminating the common mistakes mentioned earlier because the Loss Assessor, such as Oakleafe Claims, deal with the insurer and make sure all their requirements are satisfied properly. One of the most important things a loss assessor does is to make sure your policy reflects correct values. This is crucial because the insurance loss adjuster works for the insurance company and cares about the benefit to them and not you.

People sometimes tend to undervalue their property to save on policy costs and this is a serious mistake since these savings will pale in comparison to what they will lose if they only receive half of their claim at a time when they will need it most. Accurate assessment of the value in both home and professional claims can mean the difference between having a successful claim that settles fast and having a claim rejected or drag on for months in order to correct inaccuracies.


No More Mistakes with Professional Claims Assistance will translate into smooth processing of professional claims every time. The best way to avoid some common professional claims mistakes is to hire a loss assessor and let those professionals guide you through the insurance complexities no one has time for.

What you want is to get your business up and running again instead of trying to understand insurance small print speak so that you can avoid some crucial mistake which might cause your claim to be rejected or undervalued. The services of a loss assessor will give you much more than an expedited claim – it will provide peace of mind.

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You may be a good negotiator but are you an expert in insurance? 


If you have been declined whilst trying to claim on your domestic or commercial insurance, we can help. We can also help with professional services, for example, Brokers, VAR Valuations and Managing Agents.