It is so important to have a valuation report!
At family-run business Diepeveen, located in the beautiful, friendly village of Herveld, an intimate and fun party has been organised for November 2020. They’re hoping to throw a big party for all residents, customers and staff, and an official opening of the completely renovated location by the mayor. However, the whole world is effected by the pandemic, and they are forced to make the festive reopening a small affair. Only the staff are present and they are only too happy. Because a little more than 1.5 years earlier, on Sunday 19 May 2019, the situation was slightly different. On that day, the Diepeveen brothers, Kees and Jan, saw their butchery and slaughterhouse and the adjacent residential house go up in flames in “no time”.
Kees Diepeveen and his wife were the first to arrive on the scene. Just before, he had received a call from the alarm centre and, almost simultaneously, he had been alerted by the neighbour across the road. His brother Jan arrived not much later. The three of them saw that things were very bad indeed. A large part of the business premises had a thatched roof and was ablaze. The residential house, also with a thatched roof, was also on fire. It was one giant nightmare.
The fire services rushed out in force and did everything possible to save what could be saved. When the fire engines arrived, Kees immediately ran to the fire chief to let him know that the abattoir might be saved and that the neighbour’s house had to be secured. Keeping both properties wet had to be a priority to prevent the fire from spreading. The residential house and butchery were beyond saving; that was clear. The fire services totally agreed with Kees.
Both brothers recount: “The heat was truly immense. Even the weather forecast indicated at that time that the temperature was extremely high in Herveld. We had a total of eight fire alarms, spread throughout the complex, and in three minutes and 40 seconds all eight were blaring. You can imagine how fast it went. Really bizarre. Fortunately, the fire services managed to secure our neighbours’ house. And our abattoir. You quite quickly go into survival mode. We knew one thing for sure: we have to keep going and as soon as possible. For our people, for the customers, for the suppliers and, for ourselves, of course.”
And… they succeeded. The Diepeveen family did not give up. Use your common sense and roll up your sleeves was the motto. In the afternoon, all emergency provisions were up and running and they were soon able to get back to work. The brothers acted quickly. “At times like these, it is so important to be able to rely on each other blindly. We are brothers, two peas in a pod. We never really argue. Quite unique, isn’t it?”
The Diepeveen family business has benefited greatly from its close-knit, warm community. The population of Herveld is just over 3,000. Kees continues: “We received a lot of help and warm response from a huge number of people. The local electrician, the plumber, the contractor and so on were all there for us. When we had to work in tents for 1.5 years, people just came and brought delicious salads and bread. You never forget something like that. The fire was big news. People came from far and wide to watch. There were undoubtedly disaster tourists among them, but most people ended up buying plenty of products with them. We gained a lot of new customers. Quite an expensive way of advertising, but there you go! And we shouldn’t forget to mention the
Overbetuwe municipality. They helped where they could and were there for us right away. The rebuilding permit was granted in no time, and permission to use emergency facilities was arranged very quickly. The mayor was there during the fire and regularly asked how we were doing. Really first-rate!”
The brothers’ late grandfather started his business at the cattle market 100 years ago. Their father then expanded business by adding a butchery and abattoir. In the meantime, the fourth generation is waiting in line. Kees’ three sons all work in the business. “Grandad was a real cattle trader. At the market, he would shake hands, seal the deal with a drink and go home. So trading is in our genes and we have to say, that came in quite handy during the deliberations with Nationale Nederlanden, the loss adjusters and contra-loss adjusters. It helped ensure that we soon came to a resolution. Within four weeks we agreed, we shook hands and two weeks later the money was in our account.”
As soon as the brothers had time to catch their breath a little, about three hours after the fire was over, they asked each other the question: How much will the insurance company pay out? Independently of each other, they had roughly the same amount in mind. Diepeveen Herveld BV had professional valuation reports, so they had some idea. Still, you never know…
“On the advice of the local insurance agency, Den Hartog, we had always had valuation reports done by an independent valuer. Lengkeek has been doing this for us for 20 years. Those reports are absolutely top-notch, thorough, super detailed, they include everything. So for more than 20 years we know that our inventory, business damage, home and business premises have been optimally assessed and that we are not underinsured and… are not unnecessarily overinsured either.
Kees continues, “Our dad had urged us from childhood: Boys, we have a beautiful farm but everything is made of wood, thatch and hay. If a fire breaks out, we will most likely be stuffed! Always continue to ensure safety. Not only for yourself, but also for your employees and customers. And make sure that your insurance is always in order. However, we had let the current report expire by mistake. Fortunately, before the fire, there had been email communication with Lengkeek that showed that we had to have the reports renewed.” “In the case of such a major incident, there is tremendous professional collaboration between all parties. Jan and I were very pleased about this, which we want to mention emphatically. Of course, with such a valuation report, there’s no need for discussion!”