Responding to Catastrophic Loss

It was a pleasure meeting everyone at the March 2011 SEC Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. In response to requests following my presentation, “Responding to Catastrophic Loss,” I have prepared a list of the emergency steps that the property owner should take immediately after the property sustains a disaster. The outline is as follows:

1. Assemble Emergency Response Team to:

a. Handle insurance claim
b. Assess damage
c. Investigate cause
d. Address health & safety issues
e. Communicate with community, press, employees, customers; and
f. Assist public authorities

Team members will include insurance claim consultant, engineer, architect, environmental experts, building valuators, equipment valuators, accountant, and attorney.

The goals of this emergency phase are to:

  • Stabilize facility and continue operations
  • Mitigate loss
  • Start flow of insurance benefits

2. Investigate Loss:

a. Gather critical insurance-related and business records
b. Coordinate joint site inspections and investigations of loss
c. Protect insured from overzealous claims adjuster

Many of the emergency team members will be utilized here.

  • Release
  • Non disclosure agreement
  • Establish limitations

d. Agreed claim protocol

  • Request for information
  • Shared website

The goals of the investigation phase are to determine the extent of loss and damage to the property and business, comply with the post-loss conditions of the insurance policy, and again to maintain the flow of insurance policy benefits.

If you need additional information or have any questions regarding these steps, please contact me at

Kindest regards,
Andrew M. Plunkett
Childress Duffy, Ltd.
Your insurance against insuranceSM

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