How we helped a flooded school and won a Customer Care Award

10 July 2018

St. Michael’s on the Wyre is a primary school in Lancashire with 128 pupils. In December 2015, they experienced severe flooding causing damage to their classrooms.

Ecclesiastical Property and Technical Claims Manager Sarah Cox visiting St Michael's on the Wyre C of E school to check progress following the flood
Property and Technical Claims Manager Sarah Cox was assigned the case and arrived at the school the same day to assess the damage. Recognising our customer’s immediate need to replace educational equipment, Sarah authorised the payment of £5,000 for essential stationery and workbooks. With the power out, Sarah had to sign the cheque by torchlight and hand it over to the relieved headmistress.

The value of business interruption insurance

On first assessment, we knew the school’s business interruption cover would need to come into force. It would take some time to restore the classrooms, the race began to create a space where pupils could carry on with their lessons until repairs could be finalised.
 
We pulled together a specialist team. From the first meeting, building project managers and disaster restoration experts were on site, providing immediate assistance and solutions in an incredibly difficult situation. 
 
By working closely with the school, we were able to agree on a suitable location for the temporary classrooms. Sarah negotiated terms with a local college. In exchange for the use of the plot, we agreed to leave the site in a state fit to build a carpark on when we were finished, an economic solution to a complex problem.

A quick turn around

The date of loss was 5 December. The temporary classrooms were assembled and in use by the third week of January.

The careful management of this case meant a significant reduction in the school’s costs based on the hire period of the temporary classrooms and length of interruption.

We also helped the school to mitigate the risk of flooding in the future. They were given a government grant to install flood defences, so we made sure this work could be carried out alongside the school’s restoration.

The school returned to a fully reinstated building following a reduced period of works enabled by the project-management of the buildings solution.

Cathy Brough, St. Michael’s Headmistress:

“I cannot thank you enough for all that you did following the flooding of the building.
 
I will not forget my sense of relief the day after the floods, when you told me not to worry and that there was a clear plan of action.
 
All is going well for us here at Myerscough. We are delighted with the Portakabin facilities and it is amazing to think that we have only been here for 3 weeks.”
 
We are proud to say that the success of this case was recognised at the Post Claims Awards 2018, where Sarah received the award for Customer Care – Individual.