What is the difference between a Loss Assessor and a Loss Adjuster?

Loss Adjusters are appointed by the insurance company to manage an insurance claim on their behalf. Loss Assessors are appointed by claimants to represent them in making their claim against the insurance company. There are always grey areas in an insurance claim and Loss Adjusters, since they work on behalf of insurers, will be biased towards Insurers, while Loss Assessors who only work for claimants will want to ensure that the claimant receives everything they are entitled to under the terms of the policy.

Why can’t I rely on my insurance broker?

Insurance brokers receive a commission which is designed to recompense them for broking activities e.g. to understand your requirements, research the market and advise you on the most appropriate policy for your needs. If you don’t make many claims, the commission earned will probably be sufficient to enable your broker to give you some help on small and straightforward claims. However it will not be sufficient to enable him to devote the time required to do justice to larger and more complicated claims.

Secondly, brokers specialise in broking. Argument over policy cover after a claim and negotiation with Insurers requires different expertise.

Why is it likely that HDA will get me a better settlement than if I represent myself?

We represent claimants professionally. We understand policy wordings and entitlements. We know how to deal with the various parties involved in an insurance claim We have dealt with Insurers and Loss Adjusters for years and understand how they work and where their bias lies. We count among our clients a number of claimants who have tried to make the claim themselves, relying on the Loss Adjuster to represent their interests as well as insurers, only to come to us when it’s all gone wrong. At the very least it will cost the claimant more to have us get the claim back on track. In some situations the claim may be impossible to rescue.

When should I call HDA?

Call us as soon after the Insured event as possible. We will advise you on first steps and talk you through what you can expect to happen.

You can also contact us outside of office hours and we will respond as soon as we can.

What information will you need to evaluate my claim?

We will want you hear from you a description of the Insured event and the damage or loss caused by it. We will need to see a copy of your policy schedule (specific to you) and the policy document (general detailed policy wording or booklet). Before we can act for your we will ask you to sign a standard mandate by which Insurers recognise our involvement and our Terms of Business Agreement which then forms the basis of our business relationship.

It is always a good idea to take photos / videos of insured property (ideally before an insured event) and to hold on to purchase receipts or other evidence which can be used to prove ownership and substantiate value in the event of a claim.

We may agree on a free on-site consultation before you have to decide on appointing us.

What are HDA’s fees?

HDA charges claimants a percentage of the claim i.e. all monies paid out by Insurers in connection with the claim. The level of the fees will depend on the size of the claim, the nature of the damage and crucially, at which stage we are engaged. We charge less when instructed soon after the insured event, but if the claim has progressed it is likely to be more complex and we have to charge more. Our charges are subject to disbursements and VAT at the prevailing rate.

When are HDA’s fees payable?

We will invoice you as insurers make payments, except in relation to emergency interim payments paid early on in the claim.

What fees will Insurers pay?

Insurers pay fees to Loss Adjusters to deal with the claim on their behalf. Insurers do not see it as their responsibility to pay for the claimant to have their own representation, so they will not pay our fees.

Most policies cover the fees of a suitable buildings professional e.g. Surveyor or Structural Engineer, if their involvement is warranted by the claim. Where this is the case we will press for their appointment at Insurer’s cost.

Why does HDA handle client money?

Our FCA authorisation entitles us to hold client money in a client bank account. This protects you in two ways. Firstly, contractors will not hassle you for money. Secondly, contractors are advised at the outset that they will only be paid by us once their work has been signed off as satisfactory, typically by a Surveyor or Structural Engineer. This will give you confidence in the quality of the reinstatement.

HDA will account to you for all payments in and out of your Client Account.

Who holds the money if not the Loss Assessor?

Not all Loss Assessors are authorised to hold client monies. In this situation the Insurance Company pays the Contractor directly and the quality of the reinstatement is signed off either by an employee of the firm of contractors, or by someone appointed by the Loss Adjusters. Clearly in these instances you have less control over what happens to your home or business premises.

What is a retention and why is it so important to have one?

In addition to the safeguard of reinstatement work being independently signed off, we keep a retention, which means that contractors are paid the amount of each invoice minus an agreed percentage. Usually half of the retention is paid to the contractor when the reinstatement is finished, and the other half is retained by us for up to 6 months to ‘encourage’ the contractor to return to site and deal with snagging. Without keeping money in retention, the contractor is less likely to return.

What sort of claims does HDA deal with?

We deal with material damage claims affecting all types of property except motor vehicles. Claims such as fire, flood, escape of water, storm, impact, business interruption, subsidence. We do not deal with liability claims.

Who regulates HDA?

Negotiating an insurance claim is a regulated activity and Henry Dony Associates is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our firm reference number is 309651 and further details can be seen on the website of The FCA Register.

What should I do if I have a complaint?

In the first instance direct this to Henry Dony Associates. If you have received a final response letter from Henry Dony Associates and you remain dissatisfied then you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service whose details can be found here: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/contact/index.html

Does HDA employ Building Contractors?

No. Building Contractors who are selected as being appropriate for a particular reinstatement are appointed following an assessment of their price competitiveness. Over the years we have made introductions to numerous firms of Building Contractors, Surveyors, Structural Engineers, Restorers, Valuers etc and we continue to source experts from our broad network. Naturally each firm and situation must be evaluated on its own merits.

As claimant, what will my involvement be in the claim?

We will work with you to obtain a certain amount of information dependent on the type of claim. You will be required to make decisions during the course of the claim but we can be flexible amount the degree of your involvement. Please click on The Claims Process for more details.

Do I need to be a policyholder in order to make a claim?

No. It is usually the policyholder who makes a claim, however where Insurable Interest can be demonstrated and the permission of the policyholder is given, a claim may be made by someone who is not the policyholder. A common example would be the Long Leaseholder of a flat in a block of flats who has to make a claim on the Buildings Insurance, where the policyholder is the owner or management company of the whole block.





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