Preparing for a Large Loss isn’t just a Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season reminds us of the need to review catastrophe plans; however, any time of year a property can have a major water loss, fire or other property damage affecting operations.
When we set meetings we often hear in Louisiana, “I am up to my ass in alligators,”. It is meant to describe a busy week/month for facility managers. We understand the limitations and it is why we believe having a detailed and well-prepared catastrophe plan for our clients helps us be efficient handling of high-volume claims or helping a single company maintain operations.
During any size loss we work with facility managers and their insurance carriers to help maintain communication. It is an important role we take seriously because we help ensure proper coverage and reporting of information the insurance carrier needs to approve the claim.
The CAT Plan
A company’s plan to respond to a catastrophe needs to be based on many factors. The size of the company, where the company is located geographically, the organizational structure, the type of business the company writes and the severity and type of claims the company expects to receive. Just remember, it is always important to have more resources available than needed.
BEFORE THE DISASTER
Business Continuity Plan – When a storm is expected to cause damage to a location, the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a vital. This plan will determine things such as: how employees are notified, where staff is relocated to, how equipment will be procured, where phone calls will temporarily be routed to, what additional resources will be needed at the new location, etc. The BCP should be given out before storm season. It’s smart to ensure each employee is provided with a paper copy to keep at their residence.
Agency Communication – Reaching out to your agent before a large loss or on a periodically to ensure you understand the claims process and resources available to you is important. Understanding your policy and what is covered is best done before you have a loss. Ask questions about specific scenarios you have faced in the past.
After a large catastrophe, demand for services can cause CAT vendor rates to go up, if no prior pricing agreements were in place. To avoid this being an issue, an insurer may want to consider paying a retainer fee to assure that it will have adequate coverage in the event of a large catastrophe.