By: Joseph J. Mascali
A wise man once said, hindsight is always 20/20.
With this in mind it is only fitting that, now, nearly about 2.5 years out, we take a moment to look back at Hurricane Sandy and ask the question: what could we have done to best mitigate our loss? Any insured impacted by the events of October 29th, 2012 will find themselves, either now or later, pondering this simple question. This simple question has a simple answer: document the claim!
This may not be seem to be a jaw-dropping revelation, however when dealing with an event as significant as Hurricane Sandy or as common as a rear end collision, your loss must be documented. Knowing this we must wonder why so many insureds find themselves still in disputes with insurance carriers, appraisers, FEMA or other state, local, and federal agencies?
The problem arises from the inability to be forward-looking and understand how to sufficiently document your position. These two quick tips should help you understand/learn how to document your claim:
- Determine the players and their requirements:Policyholders cannot always predict when a loss may occur, but in the instances that you are fortunate enough to know an event will affect your business (i.e. forecasted hurricane or snow storm, for example) reach out to your broker, talk to your Risk Manager, and try to get a sense of the potential path to recovery. Identify the players who need to be involved in the recovery and determine their specific roles. Will you be dealing with insurance carriers? Will you be dealing with FEMA or other state, federal or local agencies? Or will it be all of the above? Once you have determined who the players may be, do research into their documentation requirements to best familiarize yourself with them and their processes.
- Work together and be Transparent:You have done your research on the players and now have an idea of what will be required from each of them. The next step is to meet with the adjuster or agency representative and agree to the terms and requirements for your documentation. Be transparent. Discuss what is possible and not possible for your entity or industry. Not all requirements may be applicable to you. By being upfront and working together to agree to the terms in which costs will be submitted and documented, you will not only expedite the adjuster or agency representatives review process, you will expedite your reimbursement and recovery effort.
Documenting a claim starts before the claim even occurs. Planning for the recovery will serve to expedite that recovery. We know it is difficult to predict what will happen, but understanding the documentation required to recover on a claim can be assessed before the event even happens.
For more information on Procor Solutions + Consulting LLC’s services, contact Joseph J. Mascali.