With over 33 years’ experience in the building industry as a licensed builder and contractor, Morse Building Consultancy’s director Andrew Morse (pictured) says being meticulous is critical when it comes to investigating and reporting on insurance claims.
“If there’s one thing I have learned from my years working in the building and insurance industries, it is the importance of being meticulous as the devil really is in the detail,” Morse said.
“It doesn’t matter if the cause of the claim relates to fires, floods, storms, cyclones or any other everyday event, we all know that all insurance claims must be appropriately investigated to facilitate them being resolved in a cost effective, timely and accurate manner for both the insured and the insurer.”
According to Morse, investigating, gathering information and evidence both on and off site is also critical when reporting on claims. Being thorough and accurate, he says, around the basics of “what, where, when, how and who” ensures the company can provide detailed reports for their clients.
“Reports require a level of detail that can not only provide the information required to determine an outcome and stand up if disputed, but also aid in the reduction of additional loss, damage and/or costs caused by delays in being able to get a decision on a claim,” he said.
Morse is adamant that the benefits of working with independent building and engineering consultants “shouldn’t be underestimated” as it not only ensures all reports and scope of works are being undertaken without bias or a predetermined outcome, but also “eliminates the insured and AFCA questioning the impartiality of the decision.”
Morse says that this factor is vital when it comes to the reputation management of any insurance company because of the increasing presence of online reviews and social media commentary that leaves companies vulnerable to aggrieved claimants to “unleash on their insurer due to a lack of understanding of the process.”
He also says that claimants could question the impartiality of the loss adjustor handling their claim.
“While there are industry standards and practices to follow when investigating an incident, length of time in the industry is also a critical factor of getting the detail right as nothing can compensate for experience,” Morse continued.
“A personable approach is also important as our role requires clear communication with the client to explain what our role is, throughout the process.”
The use of technology, Morse says, is becoming an increasingly important part of site investigations in the industry – especially drones.
“While drones are being touted as a cost saving measure in some areas, there is no substitute for industry knowledge and being on the ground to potentially save costly mistakes further down the track. When there is a need for a drone at an inspection, we can provide this service, with the benefit of it being piloted by a licenced builder with extensive experience in the building industry,” he said.
Morse continued by saying Morse Building Consultancy provides “unbiased, independent, qualified and experienced licenced building and registered engineering consultants to assist with any kind of claim from the everyday to CAT events.”
“Our scope of works are detailed enough to nearly be, a bill of quantity, providing insurers with detailed information for tendering which in turn allows the claims staff or assessor to obtain a reserve which is realistic,” he said.
“By having a thoroughly detailed scope of works it also reduces the likelihood of cost overruns and/or builder variations ensuring the reserve set by the claims staff is maintained.”
Morse says the company has expanded into Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania to better support their clients with local services.