Crawford adjuster thanked at school re-opening with Prime Minister

Crawford & Company Loss Adjuster Margaret Chow was recently invited to the opening of Glendowie Primary school’s new buildings, with Prime Minister John Key as a distinguished guest.

Margaret was invited in recognition of her work on a major Contents claim at the school after a suspected arson caused extensive damage in January 2011. The fire, which occurred during the school summer holidays, completely destroyed eleven classrooms and smoke-damaged a further four. Teacher resource rooms, the art room and the music room were burned down, and the library and computer room suffered smoke damage. With two weeks to go until the new school year, Glendowie Primary were faced with the loss of their entire Junior Block, five of the classrooms in their Intermediate Block and a vast amount of teaching resources.

The claim was entrusted to Margaret Chow, who gained the confidence of the school administrators within a short period of time, which was crucial with the new school year beginning in just two weeks. Within this short timeframe, Margaret needed to work with the school to ascertain which resources needed to be replaced immediately and which could be done at a later stage.

“When the school year began, we had to work closely with the school to see what was needed first and foremost – ordering resources was important. The school had to ‘shuffle’ some of their other classrooms to cater for the students. I recall that the Ministry sent old prefab classrooms for the school to use within two weeks, so it was our job to ‘furnish’ these with resources, bearing in mind that these resources were eventually going to be used in the long term and not just on a one-off basis.”

Establishing the extent of damage was a complex and lengthy process involving multiple methods of verification and qualifying of the loss. This included resources that teachers had spent their own time and money purchasing and developing over the years, which meant that the value was difficult to ascertain.

Despite the challenges, and with many man-hours contributed by the school team, the claim began to fall into place. The significant turning point for Margaret happened about six months in, when replacement of school resources was progressing well. There was still a lot of work to do, and the clam remained open for some time, but by October 2012 a settlement was able to be reached for all outstanding items, enabling the school to move on from the fire and look to the future.

The opening ceremony for the school’s new buildings was a proud moment not only for the students and teachers of Glendowie Primary but also for Margaret, who was able to look back with pride on what had turned out to be the biggest claim of her early career. “The real value is knowing that not only did you give your best on the claim (and receive a thank you from the school) but to see where the school is at now, compared with at the date of loss. You can’t put a price on that.”

Back to News