In a post-earthquake environment, Matt says there’s one piece of advice he has for commercial property owners, ‘you’ve got to have an insurance broker in your corner’.
As chair of a property syndicate, Matt inherited relationships with an insurance broker and insurer, and a whole heap of problems after the Canterbury earthquakes damaged the syndicate’s two storied, multi-tenanted commercial building in 2011.
While the building was technically habitable, the property required significant remediation and repair work. But that’s not quite how the insurer and its engineers saw it.
Matt says after 3-4 years of getting nowhere with their insurer, and an insurance broker who seemed surprised the syndicate would call on him for claims support and advice, a colleague recommended Stuart Speirs from Abbott Insurance Brokers.
‘What a world of difference!’
Matt said Stu was the exact opposite – incredibly proactive, knowledgeable and tenacious. He took over the syndicate’s business and at no charge, got stuck in to help resolve the claim spending hours and hours reviewing wordings and reports, and attending meetings.
‘Engineers talk their own language but Stu could understand it – he asked valuable, pointed questions. His technical knowledge was superb.’
After two years of Stu’s involvement and claims advocacy, the insurer tabled an offer that at over $2 million was four times the initial settlement offer.
Matt’s experience is proof not all insurance brokers are created equal.
‘You want brokers who know their stuff and who are prepared to get in there for you; one who does more than just take your premium, someone who will get involved and be proactive every step of the way.’