A change of mindset in claims:

Using spot repair instead of thrashing material.

To reduce emissions from our daily operations, If’s claims handlers in the property segment are making changes to reuse and repair more materials. Many customers welcome the change: – This is the right thing to do, says one homeowner after the spot repair.

When a water pipe became damaged in the open-plan solution apartment in Moss, south of Oslo, in December 2021, water trickled out onto the parquet floor in the kitchen. A small part of the parquet swelled visibly on the kitchen floor.  

Saving material means saving emissions

There were no doors between the kitchen and the living room in the modern apartment, and the open-plan design meant that the parquet floor formed one huge and coherent surface between the living areas.

As the damage from the leakage only affected an area of 2.5 m2, If’s claims expert chose to reuse parquet from a bedroom in order to replace the damaged parquet on the kitchen floor, and then replace the parquet on the bedroom floor. Instead of replacing the whole 30 m2 of parquet flooring, where nothing more was damaged, the parquet could be kept with a minor repair, and the 6.9 m2 -bedroom was given a new floor.

Open-plan and coherent floor.

– This was the right thing to do. The floor is huge, and only a small part of it was damaged. The rest of the floor was totally fine, says the homeowner Tor Brøndstad.

 The solution also saved emissions: There was less need for new parquet, less old parquet that needed to be removed and less transporting of goods and people between locations. For the customer, the process was faster than it would have been to remove and replace the whole floor.

repaired floor spot.
The parquet could be kept with a minor repair

– I was pleasantly surprised by this solution, and I am happy with the way in which the problem was solved. We were abroad when the damage happened, and by the time we got home, everything had been fixed, says Brøndstad.

Removing 51 tiles instead of 250

Øyeoptikk Teigland is an opticians located in a shopping centre outside Bergen in Norway. A water damage had left the store with a stained ceiling, with brown spots showing where the water had trickled through. As the spots were spread around the ceiling, 25 of the total 250 tiles were damaged, and the rest were in good condition.

Used ceiling tiles have a different shade of colouring than new ones. To replace only the 25 damaged tiles was theoretically possible, but it would have given the ceiling an uneven appearance. In this case, it was possible to reuse ceiling tiles from smaller, adjacent rooms, such as the storage room or the staff room in the shop. Instead of replacing the whole ceiling and all its 250 ceiling tiles, only 51 ceiling tiles needed to be replaced.

– I think this is a good way to rectify damage, in terms of both sustainability and expense, says Annette Lindgren, who is managing director at Øyeoptikk Teigland.

damaged ceiling tiles.
Water damage stained ceiling.
repaired ceiling at the shop.
Because the customer already had planned a renovation of the ceiling, she chose a different solution in the end, reusing tiles from the shop in adjacent rooms and renewing the shop ceiling.

Limiting the consumption of new material is key

Astrid Folkvord Janbu is Head of Property Claims at If. She is confident that spot repairs will be used a lot more in the years to come.

– We want to support and help our customers when they have experienced damage or loss. Sustainability is part of our strategy at If, and, as a responsible actor, we must lower emissions and limit waste. New material is one of the greatest sources of GHG emissions in property repairs, and also results in increased waste. Limiting the consumption of new material is key, she says.

Astrid Folkvord Janbu photo.
Astrid Folkvord Janbu, Head of Property Claims

– Spot repairs help us to achieve reduced material usage and limits waste, and this is also becoming a much more common way to handle repair cases. Customers understand why we do this. With almost half a million cases of damage or loss related to home and property each year, we know that our choices have an impact, says Janbu.