The fire of Notre-Dame de Paris

Stephen Walker, Director of Claims, Customer Delivery & Operations at Covéa Insurance gives his thoughts on the monumental fire that engulfed the Notre-Dame and what's next for the historic building.

The news this week has been full of people discussing the dreadful fire that started on Monday in the Notre-Dame de Paris in France. 

As of Wednesday 17th April a massive €1bn has been pledged and donated by companies and business tycoons alike, in order to help restore the 850 year old, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore an international competition has been launched by the Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe to rebuild and construct the 93 meter spire that collapsed during the fire.

A fire of this magnitude will undoubtedly call on hundreds of experts in period restoration and knowledge of heritage sites to restore it to its former splendour. A British example of this was in 2015 when the 18th-century grade I listed Palladian mansion, Clandon House in Surrey caught fire and 95% of the house was damaged. The National Trust engaged with conservation, construction and condition specialists to get a full understanding of the historic fabric of the building, as well as speaking with advisors, amenity groups and statutory bodies to ensure that nothing was overlooked during the rebuild.

The international outpouring of donations and support isn’t surprising when something so devastating happens to something so iconic, but what happens to everybody else when something serious happens to them? Where are their business tycoons, willing to write them a very large cheque?

It’s worth remembering that insurance companies are in most cases the everyday person’s business tycoon. When people have home, motor, life, pet insurance (amongst many others), then it is the insurance industry who support people to get them back to their original position. It is a sobering thought but makes one think about the importance of protecting our loved ones and our possessions.  Protecting people against the worst happening and putting it right when it does – that’s the Covéa Insurance promise to our customers.  

 fire engulfing Notre Dame cathedral

 

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Notes to Editors:

About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France, generating over 16.3 billion Euros in premiums in 2017.  

Covéa Insurance looks after the insurance needs of over 1.5 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s A+ stable rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, pet, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, through a range of distribution channels. Employing over 1800 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos, having Investors In People Gold accreditation and is signatory to the HM Treasury Women In Finance Charter. It also has World Class service accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service for its Motor Claims, Home Claims and Underwriting Services teams as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial and Mid/High Net Worth business.

In 2018, Covéa Insurance were recipients of the Personal Lines Insurer of the Year award at both the British Insurance Awards and the Insurance Times Awards and was the top rated insurer in the Insurance Times Broker Service Survey for both Personal and Commercial Lines.

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