Rias customer Jilly Howard and her patio doors
Back to News and PR

RIAS comes to the rescue after toddler accidentally smashes patio door

In times of crisis, sometimes the most important thing is a listening ear and a dash of humour.

And that’s exactly what Jilly Howard got when she called her insurer RIAS, part of Ageas Insurance, after an accident at her home in Exeter.

"It was quite upsetting to start with, she said. You couldn’t even see out of it, it was almost like it was frosted where it had splintered across the entire thing.

I went outside and could see a stone, along with the perfect bullet hole of where it had hit the window."

Jilly works as an intelligence officer and, after speaking to her neighbour, it didn’t take long to piece together what had happened.

Her neighbour’s three-year-old son had thrown a stone at the patio just minutes before she’d arrived home. She could still hear the glass cracking as she stood assessing the damage.

The neighbours get on well and an apologetic toddler soon arrived at Jilly’s door, accompanied by his dad to say sorry.

"He’s such a good boy," she said. “I’ve promised him he can have some apples from my apple tree when it blooms because he was a very good boy, he was very honest and he apologised."

Jilly called her insurer, RIAS, and immediately felt reassured that everything would be ok. She was put through to friendly claims handler Pauline Parker, whose ability to understand people + simplify insurance was the winning combination.

Pauline "To begin with I was so distressed," said Jilly.

"I started the phone call thinking it was going to be miserable, I’ve got no window, it’s going to take ages but I got talking to Pauline and bless her heart every time I got on the phone to her she made me laugh.

She said no, don’t you worry, we’ll get it sorted."

"We didn’t just talk about the window, we chatted about lockdown, about me needing to get my hair done, about my new cat. It wasn’t just business like so many companies you speak to. It was much more personal."

Jilly’s patio door was fixed by a local tradesperson and RIAS even refunded her excess payment, after the company was able to recover the claims cost from her neighbour’s insurer.

Jilly had struck up such a great relationship with Pauline Parker at RIAS that she got in touch afterwards to thank her.

"She’s a lovely lady, she really made me laugh and cheered me up when I was feeling miserable. It was no hassle it was done really quickly. She was an absolute joy to deal with."