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CASE STUDY

Managing multiple issues on a complex claim

Another example of a complex property claim with multiple issues managed by MA Group’s Technical, Large and Complex team.

Oil leak

In June 2022 Mr & Mrs W noticed a rather nasty smell in their home and a stain on the party wall. They discovered that the next door neighbour’s domestic heating oil (kerosene) pipe had leaked, so they got in touch with their insurer and the local Environmental Health Officer.

MA Group’s Technical Large and Complex (TLC) team were appointed and they quickly pulled together a team of specialists. It became clear that this was a complex property claim project that included:

We appointed Revival Thames Valley and a specialist in oil spill response and remediation called RSK Raw.

MA Group’s Health, Safety and Technical Manager was also appointed to the project and he provided invaluable help and guidance throughout this complex property claim.

Health risk

Due to the nature of the leak there were health concerns for the homeowners – Revival advised that the strong odour throughout the property made breathing difficult. So the insurer arranged for Mr & Mrs W to go into long-term alternative accommodation.

In July 2022 RSK visited the property and carried out a comprehensive site investigation and report, detailing the levels of contamination and the remedial works necessary.

Prior to starting remedial works, RSK excavated the kerosene-impacted shallow soils to a maximum depth of 1.3m below floor level.

Then RSK took soil samples to determine the concentrations of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes and naphthalene. They then had a clear picture of the extent of the contamination and the necessary structural remedial works.

The drinking water was also tested and no petroleum hydrocarbons were detected so a very low risk was determined.

Following remedial works RSK also took samples of the ambient air to ensure that there was no significant risk to human health before the homeowners moved back in.

Remediation works

There was significant kerosene contamination of the building structures so the impacted internal walls, concrete slab and cement screed needed to be removed and replaced.

The concrete floor slab of the lounge was broken out over approximately 2.8 sq m and the kerosene soaked party-wall brickwork was replaced over an area of approximately 5 sq m.

Temporary works were required including props and needles put in place to support the whole structure.

Substructure works involved new reinforced foundations and the excavation was backfilled with clean, inert materials. A new concrete slab and cement screed were poured, and the party wall was reinstated (below).

All contaminated materials were disposed of in accordance with the waste management regulations.

Technical, Large and Complex services

The property was reinstated by one of MA Group’s suppliers, Nationserv, after which RSK carried out a second air sample in the lounge to ensure it was safe for Mr & Mrs W to return home.

MA Group’s TLC team managed this complex property claim very well. It was delivered within budget and to the timeframe originally predicted, and the client and customer are delighted with the service.

Mr & Mrs W gave a customer satisfaction score of 10/10 and said:

“RSK Raw were professional and completed the work to a high standard. Graeme West kept me informed of what was happening and answered any queries I had. A pleasure to work with.”

This is just one example of the increasing number of complex claims that MA Group manages. We believe that no other organisation within our sector has such a strong combination of insurance knowledge, building repair expertise and business management skills as well as a detailed understanding of customer service excellence.