There are several critical factors all businesses consider when assessing the relative merits of insurance offerings.
Coverage, a provider’s financial strength, and competitive premiums usually top the list. The likelihood of a catastrophic loss and how it will be managed by the insurer and the broker rarely get appropriate weighting but, ultimately, the test of any insurance product is how it responds to a major loss.
Will the insurer procrastinate or, worse, seek ways to avoid paying the claim? Will the broker be there when they’re needed the most?
Fortunately, most of us can hypothesise about the “promise” and never suffer the misfortunate of having to find answers to these pivotal questions.
However, when JMD Ross director John Davaine’s mobile phone rang at 5.30am on 25 September, he immediately knew the client on the line had suffered a significant loss and was facing the stark reality of needing the right answers to those questions.
Fire had destroyed business premises and part of an attached home, leaving James and Hayley Collicoat, owners of Pyrenees Premium Cuts in Avoca, regional Victoria, homeless and without premises to operate their retail butchery. The Collicoats were preparing for AFL Grand Final BBQs and the peak Christmas trading period when the premises were gutted.
With five young children asleep in the property, it is a miracle no one was hurt.
But the family’s business lay in ruins and speed of response was imperative.
John Davaine focused on ensuring the Collicoats were fully engaged throughout the claim process and claims manager David Millar ensured assessors were appointed and had contacted the family that day.
Within days, John flew to Melbourne and drove for three hours to Avoca to personally visit the scene and provide direct advice and updates to the Collicoats.
In a bittersweet moment, Pyrenees Premium Cuts was declared Victorian champion in two categories at the Australian Meat Industry Council Awards just days after the loss. (JMD Ross is the preferred insurance broker for AMIC members.)
Hayley Collicoat said: “We are so grateful for the cover JMD Ross had arranged for us. John and David were available for us over the long weekend and to receive a personal visit was more than we expected.”
After John’s visit, the investigation was fast tracked and approval granted for the claim to be settled. Hayley and James are now planning a rebuild with a view to re-opening in 2019.
While premium consideration is an undeniable factor that impacts on all businesses, it is important to remember “the proof is in the pudding”.
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