The Insured is an innocent party to the fire just are the customers but the customers are all looking to recover from the dry cleaner.
The reality is that unless the laundry operator has been negligent in some way or has assumed responsibility to insure the customers goods in advance of the loss, their liability insurer will rightly deny liability for the losses suffered by the customers.
It is possible and it is my recommendation that anyone holding customers goods not just rely on their public liability policy but to insure the customers goods under their fire/business pack or Industrial Special Risks policy as what we in the industry call at first party cover (as opposed to a third party cover). Typically cover will be granted but only for customers goods not insured by the customer themselves under their own policy as this could lead to a situation of dual insurance which can be very messy.
The beauty of this approach is that the Insured is in effect insuring their good reputation and brand image. They can go to their customers and say where the customer does not have their own insurance: do not worry, we took out cover to protect you in this sort of event and we will look after you. The alternative is to try and convince the customers that they (the holder of the goods in care, custody and control) are not liable. Even if they win, the customer gets angry and goes elsewhere telling all their friends, perhaps on social media, that so and so business are terrible.
What we are faced with is a client who does not have sufficient cover and so we have to write to each and every customer and explain there are is no cover in place.
As the people come back to us with their advice as to who is their insurer we can, using LMI PolicyComparison, quickly check, using the product feature function, which home policies cover temporary removal to a dry cleaner and who does not. Believe me this is proving a Godsend to us.
So many things come out of a claim like this including the importance of a good quality home and contents policy to protect our own possessions. This is where you need a good insurance broker to advise you.
This ability to check the entire market on a product feature is also of huge benefit to us during our natural disaster response.
If you are not sure how to use this feature or need any assistance on the product please let me know and I will arrange someone to contact you.