Hurricane Preparation and the Aftermath

September 7th, 2017

With the widespread devastation of Hurricane Harvey only just being fully understood and the catastrophic threat of Hurricane Irma hanging over the Florida coast, our thoughts are with those whose lives have been affected by these unprecedented storms.

Once the fear and worry caused for those directly in the path of destruction has subsided, what will remain is an underlying current of loss as rebuilding efforts begin. The tangible damage caused by hurricanes is vast – property damage, business interruption and expense as a result of various causes, such as wind, flood, loss of power, etc.

We understand that navigating the insurance claims process in these situations is far from top of mind, but it is a necessary step. Our Hays team has developed the following three phase approach to help bring your commercial claims to a quick and successful recovery.

Phase I – Evaluation and Planning

1.     Establish communication protocols both internally and externally

2.     Establish a claims team (Risk Management, Adjuster, Finance, Operations, Outside Contractors, etc.)

3.     Create a recovery plan for repairs and re-establishing operations

4.     Establish a timeline for claim submission, audit and adjustment

5.     Prepare loss estimates to enable proper reserves and initial advance payments from your insurer

6.     Establish accounting procedures for capturing loss activity accurately and efficiently

Phase II – Claim Preparation and Submittal

1.     Track and document all property damage claims

2.     Determine direct and indirect factors that impact business affected by the claim event

3.     Prepare loss analyses demonstrating business interruption

4.     Determine extra expenses related to the loss event

5.     Submit claim(s) to your insurer including explanatory narrative, calculations and supporting documentation

6.     Monitor timelines for claim process and business recovery

Phase III – Audit, Adjustment and Settlement

1.     Respond to inquiries from your insurer and their representatives

2.     Complete exchange of claim documentation and insurer’s evaluations

3.     Analyze insurer response to determine areas of difference and develop a strategy to address those differences

4.     Prepare for final claim negotiations and settlement with insurer

As we work to with you to prepare your claim(s) for submission, loss categories involving both property damage and loss of sales (Business Interruption) must be measured. We have included a number of insurance term definitions to keep in mind as we work together through the process of submitting your claim.

·         A Business Interruption claim is the sum total loss of profit to a company’s operations as a direct result of a covered loss.

·         An Extra Expense claim is the necessary expenses you incur during the “period of restoration” that you would not have incurred if there had been no direct physical loss or damage to property. This is often the sum total expense incurred to mitigate or minimize the severity of a Business Interruption claim.

·         A Property Damage claim is the sum total expense incurred to repair/replace/restore damaged property to its pre-loss condition.

We hope that these guidelines provide a clear path to restoring your business to what it was prior to the hurricane’s arrival. You may call our dedicated commercial claims hotline anytime at 612-373-7292, email Irmaclaims@hayscompanies.com, or contact your local Hays representative with any questions.