Fire, flood, storm damage - attendance / reinstatement

Issue date January 2017


There will be a time charge fee payable for service providers (SP) attending site during or immediately after fire, flood or storm damage to a county council property.

Work arranged by the SP immediately after the occurrence will include:

  • assess the damage and works required immediately to make the property safe
  • ensure that a photographic record is carried out of all damaged areas of the property where safe access is possible and provide a report to all interested parties to detail the extent of the damage, cause (if known), work required to make the property safe and allow where possible partial use of the site.
  • arrange for temporary fencing and other safety measures to be carried out by the term contractor
  • arrange for mechanical and electrical services to be isolated
  • give advice on health and safety considerations including asbestos and take appropriate action
  • co-ordinate the requirement for temporary buildings (if required). Oxfordshire County Council Corporate Landlord (OCCCL) will normally place the order directly for any hired units that are required.
  • to allow, where possible, unaffected parts of the property to remain in use.
  • to arrange for a property recovery company to attend site and remove any contents or other items to be checked and cleaned.

The SP may also be required to attend a site meeting with the loss adjustor, Insurance Team, OCCCL and the establishment concerned to assess the damage and agree the way forward.

All work arranged to make the property safe, to enable the property to resume operation fully or partially, or to reinstate the property is subject to the fee provided in the contract between OCCCL and the SP.

Hazardous Waste Regulations

In the event of a fire resulting in the need for more than 500kgs of hazardous waste to be removed then, unless exclusions apply or the site is already registered, the premise must be registered with the Environment Agency before the waste is removed. Guidance is available from DEFRA.


The procedures listed below are for arranging building reinstatement and provision of replacement of council owned buildings following fire, flood or storm damage:

  1. SP to appoint a lead person for the duration of the project.
  2. SP to provide an assessment of the areas capable of reinstatement and the area requiring replacement, together with estimated costs for reinstatement, replacement and consequential loss. These are to be provided within one month of the incident occurring.
  3. Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) Insurance Team to deal with the insurance claim and the negotiations with the loss adjuster seeking advice from and involving the SP and OCCCL in the negotiations as necessary.
  4. OCCCL team leader to provide SP with an outline brief for the replacement / reinstatement scheme as soon as possible. The insurance company will generally not accept responsibility for consequential loss occurring later than two years from the date of the occurrence. This means that the date the brief is submitted to the SP will be critical and they should advise OCCCL and Insurance Team if it appears unlikely that the new building work will be completed within two years from the date of the occurrence.
  5. The project will then be treated as other capital or minor works scheme. OCCCL and the SP should consider if any repair and maintenance works should be brought forward to be co-ordinated with the reinstatement / new building works. The cost of any such work must form a separately priced schedule of work to the main repair/reinstatement work.
  6. Once the loss adjuster has agreed the sum available for the work it is important that a programme is finalised which will allow the work to start as soon as possible as the sum agreed is not subject to any inflation agreement. The Loss Adjustor / OCC Insurance Team must authorise the scope of works, and estimates, prior to commencement of work.
  7. If a variation to the planned programme of works is identified, OCC Insurance team and the loss adjustor must be notified immediately with any additional cost presented and agreed with the loss adjustor before the work is carried out.
  8. OCC Insurance Team will provide cost codes for the job. Any expenditure made against the code must be authorised by Insurance Team prior to processing
  9. If OCCCL decides to consider alternatives to replacement or reinstatement of the damaged building, and professional fees are incurred for feasibility studies for alternative schemes, then such fees will not be paid by the insurance company or from the county council's insurance fund.
  10. If the council contributes more than £75,000, other than from the insurance fund, to a fire reinstatement scheme or if the scheme is not a direct replacement for what was damaged or destroyed, then the scheme should be subject to the approvals procedures or a detailed project appraisal in the usual way.
  11. Any additional works to the property will be considered as betterment works and must form a separately priced schedule of works to the main insurance reinstatement/ replacement element. Costs for any such betterment must be clearly identified and kept separate to the insurance elements.
  12. Fees for the SP involvement with the project must be presented on a clear fee invoice with supporting documents to justify the costs. The fee percentage must also be clearly notified to the loss adjustor and county council Insurance team prior to commencement of the works.
  13. All invoices for the works, to include a final fee invoice, must be presented within 12 months of the completion of the works.

OCC Insurance team procedure note for property claims

OCC Insurance team property claim procedures letter

OCC Insurance team storm water claim form