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Introduction

Information concerning losses must be collated and presented to insurers in a prescribed way. The Insurance Section assists departments with the preparation of claims and the claims process through to settlement.

Claims over £5,000 are usually investigated by a loss adjuster; claims below this level are processed by a desk-bound claims handler. Whatever the size of the claim, it is important that we provide a clear picture of how the loss occurred and the value of the loss but, most importantly, that we inform insurers that a loss has occurred as quickly as possible.

The following notes are provided to guide you through the claims process.

claims procedure

Reporting the loss and completing the claims form

During working hours (9am-5pm Monday to Friday) you should immediately telephone the Insurance Section and explain what has happened.

Insurance Section - 01223 332216 or 01223 339659

Out of Hours Emergencies, you should contact the Loss Adjusters (Crawford- THG) using the emergency alert telephone number below (24hrs/ day, 365 days/ year). Emergencies should also be notified to the University Control Centre.

Loss Adjusters - 0870 4000 400
University Control Centre - 01223 767444

Depending on the nature of the incident, other parties such as EM will need to be informed. Departments should follow the departmental emergency procedures in place.

Claim Form: Initially, the departmental administrator will need to gather information from all interested parties. For example, in the case of a fire, all users of the damaged building should be asked what equipment they have lost. Once a list of lost or damaged items is available, the claim form (download from the Insurance Section website) can be completed.

Record Keeping: If there are subsequent similar incidents (e.g. further leaks) or if further consequential damage (i.e. an infrequently used machine found to be damaged) these must also be reported to the Insurance Section and a separate record of the dates held in the Department.

Informing Other Parties: Depending on the nature of the incident, other parties will need to be informed. For example, EM must be informed in the event of damage to buildings; the Safety Adviser for a chemical spillage; the Security Adviser in the event of a break-in on University premises.

Evidence of Loss

Damaged Items: Damaged items should be retained by the Department for inspection by the Loss Adjuster. Do not allow another party to remove items away from the University or commence any repairs without the agreement of the Loss Adjuster.

Photographic evidence of the loss: Whenever possible, photographs of the damaged area and the lost or stolen item should be provided with the claim form. For example, a photograph of a building before and after storm damage provides an instant account of the loss. Likewise, a photograph of a stolen item can be of great use when estimating the cost of a replacement.

Where a claim is made as a result of a fire there may be little remaining physical evidence of what has been lost. In such cases Administrators will be expected to produce a list of lost items or forfeit replacement.

Preventing further loss

Sensible action should be taken to minimise further losses; the following list is not exclusive.

  • Clean or mop up the affected areas.
  • If necessary, turn off gas, mains water stop cock, but do not switch off the electricity supply unless clearly advised by a qualified electrician that circuits are unsafe.
  • Arrange for emergency supply of refrigeration and freezing appliances to reduce loss of material.
  • Identify items lost and prepare lists for costing. The Department should expect these lists to be closely scrutinised. No action should be taken to replace or repair damaged items until agreed by Loss Adjusters.
  • Try to protect key/critical equipment from further deterioration: retrieve important documents/items.
    NB: It may not be cost effective to salvage computer keyboards or dumb terminals/VDU's with damage to casing or scratched screens, but all system units/base units should be salvaged. No items should be disposed of until Loss Adjusters have given approval.
  • If possible, copy any salvaged CDs to new CDs to prevent contamination and/or further damage.
  • Ensure safety checks are made of power and light circuits before turning the power back on and arrange for safety checks of equipment. Retain all evidence of safety testing, dated and signed.

Loss Adjusters

Loss Adjusters will inspect losses over £5,000. In all cases the Insurance Manager will attend the inspection to provide support to the department. All arrangements will be made by the Insurance Section.

Approval from Loss Adjusters must be obtained before repairs or replacements are made. If you replace before approval, this is done at your own risk.

What can be claimed for and dealing with accounts

Contact the Central Accounting Team within the Finance Division on UFS_GL_CODES@admin.cam.ac.uk to set up a cost centre (i.e. 'claim account') to consolidate all expenditure relating to the claim. Use source of funds BMRC and the appropriate transaction codes.

Once approval has been given by the Loss Adjusters, place the necessary orders for replacement or repairs. Ensure that separate orders are used for different categories of loss (see below for examples). Cross-reference all orders/invoices/payments against original agreed replacement list.

Please note for computer loss insurers use a specialist firm for all purchases - details will be provided by the Insurance Section.

Categories of Loss  
Damage to Buildings EM will act as surveyor, advisor and contractor. They will advise the department of the damage to the building, arrange for the repair to be carried out and invoice the department accordingly. EM will work with the Loss Adjuster.
Damage to Contents
  • furniture and equipment (including laboratory equipment)
  • patterns, models, moulds, plans and designs
  • computer records and manuscripts
  • chemicals
  • specimens
  • animals used for research
  • other consumables
Additional Cost of Working
  • additional costs of obtaining, occupying and equipping temporary premises
  • salaries of additional staff
  • overtime remuneration of staff
  • additional travel costs of relocated staff
  • removal costs
Research and Development Costs Salary costs of re-working projects e.g. repeat of experiments or studies.
Loss of Revenue
  • loss of sponsorship grants
  • return of sponsorship grants for non-performance
  • loss of hire fees - conference/banqueting facilities
  • on-going rent for leased premises
  • loss of consultancy fees

Salary costs may fall into the different categories listed above i.e. Additional Cost of Working or Research and Development Costs. A detailed record should be kept of the number of days/weeks worked in the different headings listed below:

  • salaries of additional staff
  • overtime remuneration of staff

All claim expenditure must be reasonable (e.g. no upgrades in respect of replacement equipment), be in consequence of the original damage or loss and agreed with the Loss Adjuster and/or insurers. One individual in the Department should have final approval/rejection authority to achieve consistency in any claim involving a number of research groups.

Keep copies of all accounts, including invoices, collated according to the various categories.

NB. Only costs directly arising from the incident should be charged to the cost centre.

What cannot be claimed for

The following costs are not covered by insurance

  • Administrative time involved in preparing the claim.
  • Photographs in evidence of the incident.
  • Any costs identified by Loss Adjusters as being outside the scope of the insurance policy.

Recovery of claim costs caused by third party

One of the main factors affecting insurance premium costs is the level of claims against the policies. Therefore, it is in the interest of the University that insurers use their legal right to recover any claim costs paid to the University from a negligent third party. Any evidence gained which may assist in proving third party negligence is vital and Departments are asked to provide as much help as possible in this respect.