Constantia homeowner speaks out

Cape Town - Constantia homeowner Rob Nichol, whose house was partially destroyed in a fire in May last year, has publicly expressed his anger at the proposed settlement offered by insurance company Outsurance.

Emulating the insurers advertising billboards, he erected a huge banner on his property, but instead of the slogan OUTsurance: You always get something out, he stated: OUTrageous: Insured R6.9m / Payout R2.5m.

In a letter in response to a story about the debacle on Fin24 on Friday, Nichol expressed the need to list a few facts.

He writes:

"I am the person who erected the OUTrageous sign in Constantia. I think you need a few extra facts for your story. 

"Outsurance contacted me before they responded to your request for a comment and told me they were going to respond. 

"They read what they were going to say and I asked them to include a comment saying 'Mr Nichol has submitted a claim prepared by a professional team of building experts including an architect, an engineer, a Quantity Surveyor and a registered builder. This team calculated the damages to the main dwelling to be R5.048m'.

"I notice that none of my comments were included.

"My claim was fully supported by a full set of industry standard documents including an architect’s plan, a bill of quantities and a builder’s tender document. 

"My professional team has determined that the Outsurance offer is less than 50% of the true cost of repairing the house where 411 sqm of the total 478 sqm of the main dwelling will have to be rebuilt.

"The entire house was extensively damaged by smoke and water and the entire first floor as well as the majority of the ground floor, except for part of one of the end gable walls, needs to be rebuilt.

"There is only one bedroom with a dressing room and a bathroom that escaped the full effect of the fire and these rooms need to be completely stripped and refitted - only the tiles and the bath fitting can be saved.

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"Mr Willem Roos, CEO of Outsurance, has agreed to a meeting on Wednesday with me and my brother, who is head of a large Durban-based construction company, to discuss the process of their price determination and the quality and quantum of my claim."

Outsurance last Friday confirmed the meeting with Nichol.

The banner a Constantia homeowner put up after a fire destroyed part of his home.
It has since been removed.  (View gallery)