The MP for Glasgow Central has urged the Prime Minister to step in over a perceived lack of support from insurance companies for those affected by the fire that spread through Glasgow School of Art.
The blaze took hold almost two weeks ago, leaving the building in need of repairs that could cost up to £100m.
The GSA and O2 ABC buildings are still unsafe and remain cordoned off. Many residents and local businesses have not yet been able to return to their surrounding properties.
However, because these buildings have not been directly damaged, and some companies’ policies may not include business interruption cover, many of those affected have been left out of pocket.
Alison Thewlis MP said: “This is a very difficult and frustrating time for residents and businesses affected by the fire. People have been displaced from their homes for nearly two weeks with little by way of support from their insurance companies.
“Through no fault of their own, residents are having to pay for alternative accommodation and have no access to their belongings. Some have even indicated that it would have been easier if their homes had been damaged because then they would have a clear entitlement to payment.
“It’s time for insurance companies to step up and provide the support that my constituents deserve.”
It is unusual for insurers to step in when there has been no damage, with local authorities or landlords and housing associations more likely to foot the bill for alternative accommodation.
In response to the ongoing situation, the ABI has issued a statement, which reads:
“In situations where people are unable to get to their homes because of an emergency closure or evacuation, it is the norm that the relevant local authority will provide alternative accommodation, with private landlords and housing associations also stepping in. It is rare for individuals’ property insurance to come into play when their home is not damaged.
“Commercial customers may be able to get compensation if they have bought denial of access cover as part of their insurance.”
The ABI has been pro-actively engaging with MPs and local bodies over the past week, Post understands.
On Twitter the ABI promised to look into any claims that Thewlis felt were not "being handled well", but added that it had not yet been made aware of any.
Hi Alison. Know this is a difficult situation for those affected. We are happy to look into claims with our members that you think aren’t being handled well. Not been made aware of any yet. In this situation, it is of course the norm for LAs to provide alternative accommodation.— ABI (@BritishInsurers) June 27, 2018
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