CRL on Alpha fallout: "It's been a bruising experience for everyone"

Construction insurance specialist goes around the country to talk to customers

CRL on Alpha fallout: "It's been a bruising experience for everyone"

Construction & Engineering

By Terry Gangcuangco

Construction insurance specialist CRL is doing all it can to make the fallout of Alpha Insurance’s collapse a less painful ordeal.

“We are working tirelessly with the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) and the Trustees for Alpha’s bankruptcy estate to facilitate a satisfactory solution, as it’s not only in the consumers’ best interests but also in CRL’s,” stated chief executive Steve Mansour (pictured, second from left). “We are also endeavouring to be very competitive on requotes, because we understand the frustrations of the situation.

“Nobody is winning from this unfortunate affair. It’s been a bruising experience for everyone.”

CRL, the third largest structural home defects cover firm in the UK, said it is striving to protect nearly 30,000 affected customers and reinstate cover to properties. One likely solution is a portfolio transfer.

At the same time CRL’s leadership team is conducting a series of town hall meetings across the country to address the concerns of its customer base face-to-face. The above image was taken during a town hall meeting in Shrewsbury.

“These are not easy conversations, but we have learned how important it is to keep listening and engaging with our customers,” said the CEO. “Customers are our best advocates, so every builder’s problem that we solve is a powerful supporter of our business long term.”

Meanwhile Mansour lamented the impact of the Danish insurer’s “completely unexpected” demise.            

“The fallout of the Alpha bankruptcy has meant considerable reputational damage to the CRL brand,” he noted. “Many people assumed that it was CRL that had failed. Even when it was clear this wasn’t the case, they quite reasonably said ‘We gave you the money, so you’re responsible’.

“The truth is that it is Alpha that is liable, and their liabilities are being largely assumed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, under the terms of their protection scheme for policyholders – but we still got caught up in the fallout.”

CRL, however, is taking its share of the responsibility as it recognises the lessons from the underwriting failure – among them, spreading risks over a number of insurers.

“We are truly sorry that our customers find themselves in this situation, and our message for the future is both CRL and BCR are in the market for the long haul; we have learned from many issues created by Alpha’s collapse and are continuing to improve all aspects of the business to ensure that the products and services offered to our customers are as strong as possible going forward, while we continue to provide the highest level of service possible to our customers,” said Mansour.


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