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University of Stirling
 loss adjuster case study

The resultant flash flooding overwhelmed the drainage system, causing c£20m damage. Teaching facilities, accommodation blocks, various sports halls and even a castle were affected.  Contents, including expensive IT infrastructure and laboratory equipment, were also damaged.  Despite the scale of the loss, we enabled the University to function throughout repairs.  

We immediately deployed an experienced team from Sedgwick, one of our panel loss adjusters, and implemented a collaborative project management approach to ensure all stakeholders were involved.  Sedgwick’s Major Loss Regional Manager attended site the following morning, along with representatives from the University and the brokerage, Gallagher.  The sheer scale of damage was likened to ten interdependent major losses, and there were serious challenges to overcome:

  • key facilities had suffered significant damage
  • different forms of construction
  • no uniformity in the pattern and distribution of damage 
  • imminent graduation ceremonies 
  • the need to maintain occupation and use of buildings 
  • presence of asbestos 
  • buildings with listed status 
  • short time available to complete repairs.
It was vital to agree initial areas to prioritise.  The most pressing was the graduation ceremony that day.  A major clean-up operation was undertaken, with unaffected buildings converted into temporary halls.  We also recognised that communication, creative thinking and collaboration were the keys to success, so we agreed to speak daily and meet weekly.

Working closely with all stakeholders, we rapidly agreed a series of innovative solutions, including:

  • accelerated purchasing programme 
  • early introduction of specialist contractors and consultants 
  • accelerated drying techniques 
  • focus on restoration over replacement 
  • an appropriate contractor for each building based on its construction 
  • phased approach to repairs – cosmetic repairs were deferred 
  • out of hours working to minimise disruption 
  • student timetable altered to optimise use of undamaged areas.
Understanding the scale of the damage, we made an early interim payment of more than double the requested amount within a couple of days to cover the first phase of work. Working collaboratively with our loss adjusters, we co-ordinated more than 100 specialists including major loss adjusters, restoration consultants, project surveyors, building contractors, asbestos specialists, IT and environmental adjusters and business interruption accountants.  We also contracted a listed building consultant to work with Historic Environment Scotland to pre-empt its recommendations and prevent delays. Our approach ensured the university was fully operational within just nine weeks, in time for the new academic year.  
Alasdair Tweedie, Director of Property Management, University of Stirling

"Allianz quickly mobilised a major loss team led by Sedgwick.  Shortly after the flood, the major loss team visited our campus.  They worked with us to develop a recovery plan which included prioritisation of business-critical areas of the university.  Allianz and Sedgwick promoted a collaborative approach and ‘can-do’ attitude to supporting the university to reinstate the damaged areas of the estate.  Working closely with the university’s estates team, its supply chain and other departments, their combined response was fundamental in minimising the impact on student experience and our day to day business."

Graham Gibson, Chief Claims Officer, Allianz

"The complexity and scale of this case made it one of - if not the - most challenging major loss case our team has faced to date.  Its success would not have been possible were it not for the willingness of all parties to collaborate so closely and do everything in their power to bring about the best outcome for the customer.  Their innovative approach and determination to make this a success resulted in exactly that.” 

Iain Binning, Loss Controller, Gallagher brokers

“A plan of action was formed where the worst affected key teaching rooms and areas could be targeted for stripping out, controlled drying and reinstatement as quickly as possible.  The regular meetings with all parties allowed the progress of the reinstatement works to be closely monitored and managed.  Any problems or issues were dealt with promptly.” 

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