TV coverage brought home the enormity of October’s flooding on the Isle of Man.
Major and complex claims consultant Phil Sheridan knew customers lives were being turned upside down and rapid action was crucial.
When I saw the images of the streets filled with water, I quickly found out which customers we have on the Isle of Man. Once we made contact with them, we found alternative accommodation for everyone who needed it.
Weekend flights were quickly arranged, and I was onto the island talking to each customer about their situation in detail and establishing the full extent of the damage to each property.
Torrential rainfall meant the Laxey River was extremely swollen. Water burst through a gap in a river wall that was being fixed.
Residents of the island hadn’t seen anything like it.
Phil knew each customer would need an individual action plan to deal with the damage and upset to their lives. He worked closely with one family with two young children, aged three and five.
The ground floor of the family’s home was completely ruined. It was impossible to live in. They had temporary accommodation, but desperately needed to return home.
Phil had lots of things to consider in the plan he created for this family:
Safety is always the number one priority. Once we know people are safe, we need to come up with a solid plan to get their life back in order. We deal with all aspects of their lives. Like making sure children can continue to go to the same school or nursery and families can still make their way to work.
“I knew this family would have a very difficult time if they couldn’t get back into their home quickly. The parents were extremely distressed.
But after my initial assessment of the damage and establishing their needs, we had a plan in place within hours that would mean they could go back to their home.”
The ground floor was far too damaged to live in, but Phil proposed creating a temporary apartment on the first floor. There were four bedrooms. He suggested one could be converted to a living area / play room and a second into a temporary kitchen.
“Everyone got on board with the plan and I put the contractors in place to deliver it. We created a clear sequence of events, saying exactly what needed to be done.
The work involved putting up temporary walls to keep the children away from unsafe areas. And because it was a basic, temporary kitchen, we also made arrangements so the family could eat out at times.”
Phil continues to be in regular touch with the family and the other customers he supported after the Laxey flooding.
As well as flooding bringing substantial damage to buildings and contents, it also causes confusion, stress and worry to our customers. Knowing they are happily back in their home really matters to me. Each customer has an individual set of circumstances. A bespoke plan of action addressing their needs is so important.