Claims Club: Contamination Assessment – Techniques and Applications

Aviva Insurance
Thursday, 20 February 2020
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The Insurance Institute of Perth and Dundee Claims Club is delighted to be hosting a technical insurance event on Contamination Assessment This is a one hour event providing one hour of CPD. The contamination of premises, and the items that they contain, is often covered by insurance policies. Consequently, it is necessary to distinguish incident related contaminants from substances that have accumulated historically from the general environment and to determine the extent of incident related contamination.

One particular example of a contaminant is fire related smoke which can result in damage in areas remote from the direct burning damage. It is important to assess which areas and items are contaminated and need replacing or cleaning.

Furthermore, it may be that the policy holder needs comfort that the cleaning has been undertaken adequately. Smoke is a complex mixture of solid, liquid and gaseous substances and its precise composition is often specific to a given fire. Burgoynes Forensic Scientists offer a contamination assessment service which uses proprietary scientific methods to determine the level of contamination following a fire, or other contamination incident, and to determine the effectiveness of remedial cleaning.

This service has added huge benefits to the claims process in determining the nature and extent of contamination. Burgoynes methods and results have been accepted by third parties and have assisted insurers in reaching settlements.

Learning objectives:

  • An explanation of what contamination is from an insurance point of view.
  • The composition of fire related smoke.
  • How to distinguish incident related contamination from background contamination.
  • Specific issues include:
  • Smoke contamination
  • Methods for measuring the different components of smoke and identifying the source of the smoke.
  • The distribution of the smoke throughout a property and how this influences the scope of required cleaning.
  • The methodology of how forensic scientists conduct chemical analysis of samples and determine the composition of the smoke.

Our speaker is Hannah Hogben of Burgoynes, Glasgow a specialist in the investigation of fires and explosions. While studying for her Master’s degree, Hannah synthesised new organic compounds and investigated their properties using a number of analytical techniques.

She went on to obtain a DPhil that focused on developing computer simulations to describe chemical reactions that are affected by magnetic fields.

  • Pitheavlis
  • Perth
  • PH2 0NH
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CII Accredited

This demonstrates the quality of an event and that it meets CII member CPD scheme requirements.

1 hour's CPD can be claimed for this event if relevant to your learning and development needs.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the CPD activity you have completed and upload copies to the recording tool as the CII may ask to see this if your record is selected for review. Details of the scheme can be viewed online at