Deteriorated, damaged property: Repair or replace?

August 22, 2022

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By Carol ETCHEBARNE, managing director, France

What if the answer to more sustainable practices in the property industry was as simple as repairing and reusing? New technology, when combined with trained experts, could in fact reduce the amount of waste following a claim by refurbishing instead of replacing deteriorated property. Damaged doors and windows are just two types of joinery that are part of this unique approach.

Saving time, cutting costs

Sky’inLab is considered a French unicorn in this space — specializing in sustainable repairs by using a national network of resources that drive shorter intervention times. Typically, new joinery products come from eastern countries, which adds to the delivery time and cost. Sedgwick’s strategic partnership with Sky’inLab in France enables us to deliver an average savings of 50% and provide a 5-year warranty for repairs of aluminum, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and steel joinery.

For example, after a burglary last year, an aluminum door had been broken. Instead of replacing the door (initial cost of 2400 euros and 45-day waiting period), we utilized Sky’inLab to repair the door for 1279 euros in just 11 days. But meeting optimized deadlines and reducing costs aren’t the only benefits. This approach also helps avoid the replacement of joinery that might come with disadvantages, including replacement windows or paint/finishes looking different from the existing.

Committed to sustainability

In terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR), this alternative approach translates to a better carbon footprint. Imagine a property claim in which a door frame was damaged. Instead of throwing out the old door (which would likely end up in a landfill) and purchasing a new one, you could have it repaired on-site more simply and quickly, through less disruptive measures. Sedgwick’s property team in France is purposeful in its work to limit CO² emissions — continuing to demonstrate our values to customers and saving more than 22 tons of CO² in 2021 alone.


To roll out this innovative strategy across our 35 offices in France, we relied on our in-house continuing education centre. The training program — built and co-animated with Sky’inLab — was delivered to a total of 107 Sedgwick experts, who are now able to recognize opportunities to repair instead of replace after a disaster. Offering an alternation of theoretical elements and interactive workshops to better understand degradation and repair of joinery, this innovative approach empowered our team to refine their damage estimating skills and optimize costs. We are focused on integrating eco-responsible repair solutions without losing sight of policyholder satisfaction.

Property adjusters play an important role in rethinking the way we build and rebuild. We are increasingly facing natural disasters of different natures and intensities. Supporting the future climate requires us to adapt today. Raising awareness among our organization and sharing best practices is the first step to long-term transformation.

Tags: adjusters, corporate social responsibility, CSR, France, Property, Property claims, Property damage, Property loss, repair, sustainability, sustainable, View on property