Heavy rainfall results in 400 claims

Late in May, Sweden was hit by heavy rainfall for 30 hours. As a result, more than 400 claims were received in just one week. Polygon | AK's depots all over Sweden were quick to respond, calling in Polygon’s international resources to secure all of the equipment that was needed.

Heavy rain fell on 26th May 2021 across Sweden. Greater Stockholm was one of the hardest-hit cities. The torrential conditions caused extensive damage to buildings, with Polygon | AK receiving just over 400 claims in one week from overwhelmed insurance companies. Initially inspection, decontamination and drying of houses with basements was prioritised. On completion of this first phase of response, a second phase of claims got underway to address damage exposure, as well as further drying of damp structural parts.

Collaboration across the country

Given the extent of the damage to properties in Stockholm, Polygon | AK activated its major damage response to deal with the hundreds of individual properties. This response is normally reserved for single major and complex losses. Both moisture technicians and decontamination technicians travelled to Stockholm to inspect damage, remove water and install dehumidifiers.

“165 emergency drying projects were handled by our technicians in the first week alongside our planned business-as-usual assignments. We had exceeded 300 property visits at the start of week two. Our existing stock of dryers and dehumidifiers was quickly used, and additional equipment was needed urgently,” says Kent Bergstöm, Project Manager for Major Project Claims.

Three days into the restoration effort, a large truck containing 300 dehumidifiers arrived from Polygon’s equipment warehouse in Germany, Eurostock. These machines were distributed to assignments across the greater Stockholm area.

“In situations like this, it becomes very clear that we are part of an international company. There is always capacity and resources available,” Kent continues.

Communication makes it easier for insurance companies

“We have had regular conversations with insurance companies and informed them of the measures we have taken, and the individual status of jobs. One important measure was to call everyone involved to inform where, if, and when Polygon | AK would start work. The fact that we handled the policyholders' initial questions minimised the calls to the insurance companies, for which they were very appreciative. Effective communication with all parties results in both happy customers, end-customers and employees,” says Kent.

The damage caused by the rain in May will continue to be dealt with throughout the summer. Phase one involved carrying out a comprehensive inspection, decontamination, exposure or drying works. Phase two of the damage management process will begin when all of the damaged material has been exposed and drying for about six weeks - depending on the extent of the damage. In addition, another 150 damage reports were received from within the Stockholm area during another rainy day in mid-June.

“Luckily the organisation is already set, and extra machines have been ordered from our warehouse in Europe. We are now hoping for a sunny summer, but also that we get much-needed rain all over the country, but just in reasonable doses," Kent concludes.

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