By: Jeff Esper | November 20, 2018

Claim preparation is as much about being prepared, as it is the information you are preparing. Knowing ahead of time what the final claim should include will help expedite the process and avoid delays or loss of recovery. 
  • As to format, all claims prepared internally by the business should:   
  • Contain a comprehensive index 
  • Include thorough explanations of unusual circumstances and events 
  • Be easy to understand and evaluate 
  • Provide maximum supporting documentation   

The following generalized content is suggested for all claims:  
  • A brief narrative providing the factual background of the loss, the effects on assets and businesses, and the basis of loss calculations. The narrative can be several paragraphs in length to many pages, depending on complexity. But stick to the facts! 
  • A schedule entitled Summary of Loss listing losses by coverage type (Property Damage Repair Cost, Inventory Loss, Business Interruption Loss, Extra Expense Loss), and the total of all losses sustained. 
  • A schedule summarizing each loss by coverage type. These schedules should roll up to the Summary of Loss, and provide the mechanical calculation by component. For example, the property damage loss summary could include a summary of all invoiced charges, stores issues, internal labor, internal engineering allocations, and other sundry expenses. The business interruption loss summary could include the number of lost production days, calculated average production per day in units, the average sales value of lost production, the amount of non-continuing manufacturing cost, and expenses incurred to reduce an otherwise greater BI loss. 
  • Detailed schedules supporting each amount appearing in the summary schedules. For audit purposes, each number appearing on the summary schedules should be supported by a subsidiary calculation. For example, the vendor invoice component of a property damage claim could be supported by a detailed listing of each invoice charged to repair cost work orders, including the vendor name, invoice number and date, purchase order number, description of the service performed or material sold, and amounts paid. The average production per day statistic utilized in a business interruption claim could be supported by a listing of historical monthly production quantities, days worked, and a delineation of the base period utilized to compute the projected quantity per day. 
  • Source documentation providing further support of claimed amounts. In theory, every number appearing in the claim should be supported by the appropriate financial statements, subsidiary reports, or other source documentation used in the calculation. This is not always possible, but every reasonable measure should be taken to support the claim with business books and records. As such, any numbers that are not well documented will receive the greatest scrutiny during the adjuster’s review.

By: Jeff Esper | October 31, 2018

Think Backwards, Sideways and Forward

Business Interruption coverage is intended to reimburse the policyholder for the income lost or incremental increase of expenses experienced during the loss period. Though the application of this coverage seems straightforward on the surface, making a claim for business interruption is far from simple. In this article, we’ll walk you through what is covered under business interruption and how to think through a BI claim.


Let’s start with how coverage applies by reviewing what is and is not covered:

  • Insured for the Actual Loss Sustained, or the overall permanent economic loss to the company;
  • Not insured for temporary delays in shipping product to customers;
  • If a manufacturing business is operating at capacity, maintains normal levels of inventory, and has no ability to make up lost production, an actual loss is highly likely;
  • Insured for the time required to repair or replace damaged property, so long as repairs are conducted in a commercially responsible manner;
  • Also insured for any expenses incurred to reduce the business interruption loss, so long as the expenses do not exceed the amount of loss they prevent;
  • Potentially insured for consequential sales losses and market share losses for a period following the resumption of normal operations;
  • If another business group under this policy is dependent upon your business as a supplier or customer, that potential loss should become part of your exposure scenario.
  • Extra expenses incurred to operate as normally as possible during the period of restoration of damaged property are also covered.

 

In identifying all potential exposures it is common to encounter the uncommon. Repairs to damaged property, production losses, and major extra expenses are obvious to everyone. It is the less-obvious exposures, usually with respect to business interruption, that must be identified to achieve maximum recovery.

 

Think Backward How are supply functions affected by the loss? Will take-or-pay contracts expire? Will we lose volume discounts? Will other divisions be forced to take downtime because of our loss?

 

Think Sideways Are some of our customers now being served by other insured locations at excess production cost or freight penalties? Have engineers helping in our repair effort been forced to delay other projects that are expected to result in significant savings of operating costs?

 

Think Forward Are we losing profit at downstream converting locations that we can no longer supply? Have we lost our position as sole or primary supplier to a key customer? Were productivity improvements delayed?

 

Not every area of potential loss will be covered by insurance, but it is best to identify all known effects as soon as possible and sort out policy responses later. Unusual loss exposures may require unusual documentation. The more remote the problem the more difficult the reconstruction of events at a later date.

 

It is essential that all potential exposures be identified as soon as possible after the loss. Initial loss estimates established by the adjuster are of great importance, and every effort should be made to assist the adjuster in preparing an accurate, sustainable estimate.

 

When property damage is the trigger, a file should be maintained listing each major category of damage and a corresponding estimate of the loss. As new exposures are identified, and as better estimates become available, the list can be updated. The purpose is to facilitate response to the inevitable requests for information on the status of repairs, production, and excess costs.

By: Jeff Esper | September 24, 2018

Depending on how it is described in your policy, the percentage deductible will likely depend on the accuracy of your reported annual business interruption values at each location. This can become a huge issue and will require a proper business interruption assessment at all impacted locations to establish the total insured value, TIV. 

The initial goal is to determine which locations will breach deductible - a factor of the number of days operations are down and the TIV at each location. The length of time the facility is closed that results in a direct business interruption loss may be a consequence several triggers such as evacuations, service interruption, “ingress to” and “egress from” the insured property along with physical damage to insured property. Once this information is understood from a high level stand point, then we need to confirm the appropriate percentage deductible with Risk Management. 

There is a short cut to help determine if the time element loss exceeds the percentage deductible. Take the percentage deductible and multiple by 365 days to determine the number of downtime days that need to be exceeded in order to breach the deductible. This method is only used as an initial step to help determine if there is a net recoverable loss. A formal calculation will still be required to substantiate your findings. 

Here is an example of a scenario we dealt with from Harvey and how we used the secret method. Our client had a manufacturing facility that was shut down for 14 days due to a covered peril and the applicable percentage deductible was 3%. Using this formula, the downtime would have to exceed 10.95 days to breach the deductible leaving the value of 3.05 days as the net recoverable loss. With this method, you can quickly determine which locations need further analysis. 

This shortcut is most useful for businesses that operate 365 days per year with a string demand for all products manufacturing or services performed. It does not consider any loss mitigation efforts that may shorten the net recoverable period and it should not be used for the time element loss estimate or claim submission. The time element estimate and claim should be calculated in accordance with the applicable business interruption loss and percentage deductible wording in the policy.

By: Jeff Esper | June 14, 2018

What is Time Element coverage?  
A property insurance term referring to coverage for loss resulting from the inability to put damaged property to its normal use. This type of coverage is called "time element" insurance because the amount of loss depends on how long it takes to repair or replace the damaged property. The best-known types of time element insurance are business interruption and extra expense coverage. 

Time Element coverage is intended to reimburse the policyholder for the income lost or incremental increase of expenses experienced during the loss period. To trigger this coverage a policy must have suffered physical damage as a result of a covered peril or another trigger defined in the property policy such as Civil Authority, Ingress/Egress or Service Interruption. 

Though the application of this coverage may appear simple on the surface, measuring a time element claim is far from black and white. There are various methods of calculating business interruption and other intervening factors such as property damage decisions that give these claims a shade of grey.

Calculating Time Element - Gross Earnings vs Gross Profits 

At a high level, the two primary approaches to quantifying business interruption involve very different information. Gross Earnings offers two methods of measuring the loss, net sales value of lost production or total net lost sales, minus any saved expenses such as raw materials, material parts, supplies, utilities, and ordinary payroll during shutdown (with some exceptions). Gross Profit measures the loss simply by applying the business’ historical gross margin to the total loss of sales. Each option must be backed by supporting documentation and the rational behind it’s use.  

It is common for forensic accountants to run calculations using two or three methods and evaluate the results. This technique avoids surprises from the audit process and reveals the best representation of the loss. Sophisticated Excel macros are used to build the schedules customized to the policy terms and the policyholders financial documentation.

Documenting Business Interruption
The following list will be necessary to document and support a time element loss.
  • Estimated period of interruption for any site shut down due to the event, inaccessible due to ingress/egress blockage, civil authority orders, or service interruption. 
  • For any warehouses, distribution centers, store locations or other sites reporting potentially lost sales, provide: 
    • Twenty-four months of actual sales history by location (or as close as is available). 
    • Twenty-four months of income/P&L statement or profit contribution for each location (or as close as possible). 
    • Twelve months budgeted or forecasted sales prepared before the loss to depict anticipated sales and/or production (E.g., a plan projection prepared for the previous year and projecting sales for throughout that year and extending at least through 2Q of the next year if available). 
  • Track Actual Post-Event Sales from the start of the loss event through period of full recovery of operations and for a period of at least 6 months AFTER full recovery to look for any “make up” sales bump. 
  • Any affected Manufacturing Facility should provide similar documentation for production loss (i.e., 2-years historical production levels; most recent projected production estimates prepared prior to the loss event; and actual production from the start of the loss event until 6 months after full recovery).

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By: Jeff Esper | April 20, 2018

Managing Cyber Exposures from the Inside Out

Many companies are perplexed by trying to understanding their cyber exposures. They may understand the risk and the potential impact of a breach, but they simply don’t know how to measure the total exposure to the bottom line.  Some of the costs associated with a cyber attack are not so bad, such as the linear calculations based on the number of records with personally identifiable information, PII. Take the current costs for credit monitoring, notifications, cyber forensics and legal fees, then add them up and you have pretty good idea of the exposure. But what if your business doesn’t have a significant PII exposure? How do you quantify the more intangible side of the risk?

You will not find that answer anywhere outside of your organization. The answer comes from looking within your organization. We call it “managing risks from the inside out.” Any cyber insurance expert will struggle to tell you what limits you should buy because there are no benchmarks to reference and no comparative studies that reflect the inner workings of your operations. The analysis of this exposure is possibly the most complex of any exposure to an enterprise, but it is precisely what needs to be done.

The enterprise wide exposure from a cyber related peril falls into two categories: business interruption and restoration, and they are interrelated.

  1. Business interruption is a time element loss similar to that from a property trigger. An incident occurs that cripples production causing a loss of earnings. The time element considers the time of restoration i.e. to get back to pre-loss levels. This includes the extra expenses needed to keep the operation running however possible. In addition to lost sales, there may be a loss of customers or contracts that should also be assessed.
  2. The restoration involves both the costs and steps needed to repair and replace damaged systems to restore operations back to pre-loss levels. How long that takes is your period of restoration. Restoring critical systems may involve various outside consultants to implement the restoration plan and should be factored in to the analysis.


Figuring out these scenarios and adding up the the costs and impact on earnings will go a long way to quantifying your exposure. Since many deductibles are based on a waiting period, this is vital procedure before looking for coverage. To get realistic Cyber BI Value you must consider the realistic, worst case, loss scenarios, known in the property policy world as Maximum Foreseeable Loss (MFL) and the more likely Probable Maximum Loss (PML). If you have security testing protocols in place and have done an impact analysis for critical systems, you have the foundation for quantifying the bottom line exposures.

Cyber claims are some of the most difficult to document, because in many cases records are lost and systems for record keeping may be unusable. The inefficiencies and manual processes not only affect operations, but will also affect claim preparation.

At RWH Myers, we have decades of experience quantifying an array of time element losses including those from cyber perils. We look at cyber as we would any other trigger because the fundamentals are the same. Our claims experiences help clients both understand all financial exposures associated with a cyber event and how to maximize claim recovery.

By: Jeff Esper | February 01, 2018

At RWH Myers, we often describe what we do as “claim preparation,” which refers to the tangible part of what we do, but there is so much more to our craft. When you have a "big claim," like the many companies that were impacted by recent hurricanes and wildfires, insurance placements are expected to respond. But just because you have a policy doesn't mean your claim will be prepared properly, quantified accurately and paid quickly. It depends on the preparation and execution of your claim team.


Bill Belichick, the Head Coach of the New England Patriots, has won more super bowls than any other coach. Whether you’re a fan or not, you have to appreciate the results of his leadership. His famous mantra is "do your job!" It is simple yet profound, and it's relevant to success in any team endeavor. Belichick preaches it over and over because he knows that winning is dependent upon each player doing their job, the right way. Nothing more. Nothing less.


A claim team should function much the same way, but the preparation can begin even before an occurrence. Having a skilled team with defined jobs and being well prepared to execute, plays a vital part in winning a big claim. Let’s explore the many jobs there are to do during the claim process and consider how preparation and execution may influence the final outcome.

  1. Communication - At the center of all communication should be a risk management professional who understands the insurance policy, the personnel and the goals of the organization. It is important that the flow of information and communication is managed at all times. Nothing should be shared or said without this person knowing about it. 

  2. Coverage Interpretation - Brokers and attorneys are available to interpret coverage and should be leveraged to assist risk management in resolving any coverage disputes. Policy interpretation is necessary to determine how coverage applies and how deductibles are to be calculated for each cause of loss. It doesn’t matter how well a claim is prepared until all coverage issues are resolved.

  3. Information Gathering  - There will be many requests for information and someone inside the organization should be assigned to produce all necessary information to adequately document the loss. This will be a daunting task due to the shear volume of data that will be necessary to prove the loss, but the burden will be lessened under the direction of an expert claim preparer.

  4. Strategy - By definition, strategy means “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” The plan of action defines "who" will do "what" and in what time frame. Having experienced claim specialists on the team to set the standards of performance and to anticipate obstacles will keep the claim moving forward toward the goal.  

  5. Technical - For property losses, there may be conflicting opinions about the extent of damage, such as whether something can be repaired or needs replaced. Policyholders should have technical experts on the team to evaluate the property or equipment in question and to work towards an agreeable solution.
  6. Quantification - Measuring the impact on earnings is a business interruption accounting exercise that encompasses an understanding of the company's business, it's operations and time element insurance. Calculations will be audited by a forensic accountant that works for the insurer. To achieve a level playing field, an independent forensic accountant is well-suited to quantify the loss on behalf of the insured.
  7. Documentation – It’s the policyholder’s duty to make their claim to their insurers. The claim package should consist of summaries, listings, source documents, invoices, costs and calculations. All claims will be met with adjustment scrutiny. A well prepared and properly supported claim will deter opposition and settle faster.  



The amount recovered from insurers will be determined by how well everyone does their job.  If there is any confusion on your claim team about what to do, who should do it and when it should be done, it will influence the outcome. With the right team, all doing their job, you’ll have the best chance to win the big claim and enjoy a fast and fair recovery.


If you incorporate this concept into your claim approach, the next time you are in a big claim, the outcome may not involve confetti, but you will be recognized for a job well done!

By: Jeff Esper | December 08, 2017

RWH Myers is a professional loss accounting firm that specializes in preparing claims for FEMA and commercial insurance matters. Having decades of experience in handling catastrophic property damage claims, RWH Myers has been through the process of assisting organizations with financial recovery in the aftermath of every catastrophic event in recent history. We dedicate our entire practice to assisting those faced with losses as a result of these events.

Our goal is to help prepare your FEMA claim in an expedited manner so that you can get back to business and are reimbursed for your losses as soon as possible. November's Insight explains the process and what you need to know to recover losses from FEMA.


If you have any questions or would like a PDF version, just reply to this email. We are happy to help you! 

FEMA Claims - Preparation and Management 


When the Federal Government declares a State of Emergency, individuals and organizations in the affected areas can make claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for property losses under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. This Act is intended to provide financial aid and services to residents, public entities and Private Nonprofit organizations in the disaster area for losses not covered by insurance, such as deductibles. 

Any qualifying entity or individual is allowed one claim per declared disaster, which should include losses from all relevant locations. Only when more than one disaster is declared is a separate filing required. During a declared disaster, any organization that has sustained property damage in the disaster area may be able to recover a portion of their losses from FEMA. It is important to gather information and prepare claims according to both FEMA guidelines and the property policy as the incident unfolds. Insurance companies may involve FEMA experts, aka FEMA adjusters, to help policyholders file a claim with FEMA. Requirements are different and specific for FEMA claims and will be reviewed by a Public Assistance Coordinator (PAC). The Insurance adjusters will work as normal with the property claim made to the insurance company. 

RWH Myers’ loss accounting team works for the insured to maximize recovery from your insurers and FEMA claim submissions. We quantify and document the loss for optimal recovery in accordance with both the insurance policy and FEMA guidelines. Knowing how to handle claim preparation during a declared disaster brings order to a chaotic situation by reducing the time, effort and aggravation of a complicated claim process. For both claims, we will work with the assigned adjusters to ensure the claims are properly documented for each type of recovery.  The FEMA claim service we provide includes the following:  

  • FEMA application process 
  • Accounting methods to capture event related losses 
  • Allocating expenditures per insurer and FEMA requirements 
  • Preparation of worksheets including debris removal, code upgrades, emergency protective measures, and permanent and replacement work 
  • Integration of the insurance settlement amounts into the FEMA recovery formula 


Seeking recovery from FEMA requires a unique level of detailed documentation for submission in accordance with FEMA's forms and worksheets. Often times a FEMA claim will continue for years after the first party property claim is settled while the final physical damages are repaired and our client seeks reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses. Our accounting fees may be included as part of your FEMA claim, just as they are with insurance.With time, patience and the right help it is possible to recover your losses, whether from insurers and/or FEMA. 

Let us help you by taking care of your claims, so you can focus on taking care of your organization. 

Category: Insights 

Tags: Claims 

By: Jeff Esper | September 15, 2017

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, percentage deductibles became more popular in policies as a way to reduce the exposure to insurance companies. In a typical claim, you will know what your deductible is but with percentage deductibles you may not know until after your loss is calculated. A common misconception is that the percentage applies to the loss sustained when in fact the percentage deductible is a factor of the total insured value (TIV). The challenge with this method is that it’s variable depending on the size of your loss and your policy language.

Here are a few things to look for in your policy:

  • The following notice may appear on your policy cover - Florida information: "THIS POLICY CONTAINS A SEPARATE DEDUCTIBLE FOR HURRICANE LOSSES, WHICH MAY RESULT IN HIGH OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES TO YOU."
  • The percentage may be based on various parameters. It may be per location or be more defined by structure. When it’s applied by structure it can be more advantageous for policyholders since the percentage would apply only to that structures TIV.
  • It may pertain separately to property and time element losses of affected location(s) or it may combine business interruption and property. It is important to understand your specific policy’s wording to accurately calculate your out-of-pocket expenses before insurance kicks in. Further, contingent losses may again involve a separate percentage deductible.
  • Percentage deductibles are often associated with a minimum deductible and, less common a maximum deductible.

Policy Wording
Here are a few examples of policy wording related to percentage deductibles:
  • When a % deductible is stated above, whether separately or combined, the deductible is calculated as follows:
    • Property Damage – % of the value, per the Valuation clause(s) of the PROPERTY DAMAGE section, of the property insured at the location where the physical damage happened.
    • Time Element – % of the full Time Element values that would have been earned in the 12 month period following the occurrence by use of the facilities at the location where the physical damage happened, plus that proportion of the full Time Element values at all other locations where TIME ELEMENT loss ensues that was directly affected by use of such facilities and that would have been earned in the 12 month period following the occurrence.
  • As respects property located in high hazard zones for earth movement:
    • Property Damage: 5% per location Time Element: 5% per location
    • The above are subject to a minimum deductible of USD500,000 or if applicable the location deductible for Property Damage and Time Element combined, per location and a maximum deductible of USD15,000,000, combined all coverages, per occurrence.
  • When a % deductible is stated above, whether separately or combined, the deductible is calculated as follows:
    • Property Damage – % of the value, per the Valuation clause(s) of the PROPERTY DAMAGE section, of the property insured at the location where the physical damage happened.
    • Time Element – % of the full Time Element values that would have been earned in the 12 month period following the occurrence by use of the facilities at the location where the physical damage happened, plus that proportion of the full Time Element values at all other locations where TIME ELEMENT loss ensues that was directly affected by use of such facilities and that would have been earned in the 12 month period following the occurrence.

Calculating Your Deductible

Once you understand how your policy defines your percentage deductible, you’ll be able to calculate it accordingly.


Here is an example of how the combined % deductible is calculated:

  • Property, Plant & Equipment Reported Value of $250 Million
  • Annual Reported Business Interruption Value of $550 Million


Calculated Percentage Deductible as a Percentage of Total Insured Value (TIV)
    • Property, Plant & Equipment $250 Million
    • Annual BI Value $550 Million
    • Total TIV $800 Million X 3% Deductible
      • Equals $24 Million Deductible

Deductibles for CAT losses have become more complex over the years and interdependent operations spread the impact across the organization, so it’s increasingly challenging to have confidence in the preliminary evaluation, especially when informing key stakeholders. Those who have had losses know, with hindsight, there are gaps in understanding and initial questions that are critical to the deductible evaluation. Avail yourself of a candid, independent review from the start so that whether you have a recoverable claim or not, you’ll be prepared.

By: Jeff Esper | August 25, 2017

Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, the affected area includes some of Texas’ most populous cities, consuming the state’s Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Houston, and inland to Austin and San Antonio. Parts of Louisiana are also expecting heavy rain. With the intense volume of rainfall, commercial policyholders in the region experiencing both physical damage and business interruption, will soon be working with adjusters to assess insured damages. 


If you have locations at risk, brace yourself for the claims process. If you expect to have a property and business interruption claim resulting from this hurricane, getting your claim together, i.e. measured, documented and submitted can be a daunting task. If you are unprepared, the process can drag out far longer than it should especially when adjusters are inundated with claims. 


The faster you get your claim together, the faster you’ll achieve a positive settlement. As a firm that specializes in claim preparation and insurance recovery, we know how to get the job done right the first time, so you can focus on your business needs. 

Here are three reasons to involve us immediately: 

1. Loss estimates and reserves 

Insurance companies set reserves based on estimates defined early in the process. They will have experts assigned to establish reserves and once they’re set, they prefer not to increase them. You never want them set too low. How can you ensure reserves are set appropriately? You’ll need the help of forensic accountants to make sure the “potential loss” is properly assessed and communicated, thus avoiding the dreaded understatement. During a CAT loss scenario like a major hurricane, the adjustment team will be overloaded with work, so it is imperative your accountants are involved from the start to police the reserve numbers.
 

2. Claim Competition

If you go to a restaurant (get in the door) and notice a large group about to enter, what do you do? Well, if you want to eat any time soon, you better get in the door before the large group. CAT insurance claims are the same only instead of waiting for your meal; you’ll be waiting for your money. If you want to get through the claim so you can get back to business, you need to get in the door fast. Once you have your version of the loss prepared, your loss accounting experts will know what to do e.g. submit interim claims for advanced payments. During a CAT claim, always be prepared for a settlement meeting. Insurers will be looking for the well-prepared claims to settle and get off the books. 

3. Experience. Experience. Experience.

You can’t expect your own people to be experts at something if they don’t have adequate experience. Insurance accounting requires a unique skill set developed through experience. Immediately after a disaster, hire experienced forensic accountants that you can trust and depend on for advice and a quality work product. If your team is organized and know what they’re doing, the adjuster will be more likely to spend their time on your claim over other less organized policyholders. Having an advocate that specializes in insurance claims on your team will lead to a faster and smoother claim process, especially after a CAT event. 


After decades of representing policyholders through complex CAT claims, we understand the importance of a fair and fast recovery. If you have suffered a loss caused by Hurricane Harvey or another peril, we’re here to help you recover your losses - fast! 


Contact us for a no obligation consultation!

By: Jeff Esper | December 02, 2016

Why You Need an Independent Review at the Start
Losses that appear to be under deductible always benefit from an independent review. Deductibles for CAT losses have become more complex over the years and interdependent operations spread the impact across the organization, so it’s increasingly challenging to have confidence in the preliminary evaluation, especially when informing key stakeholders. Those who have had losses know, with hindsight, there are gaps in understanding and initial questions that are critical to the deductible evaluation. Avail yourself of a candid, independent review from the start so that whether you have a recoverable claim or not, you’ll be prepared.
  
Many policyholders engage forensic accountants when they are confident the loss exceeds the deductible, but few think to involve help when unsure. Experienced, professional help can highlight the key factors in this evaluation, and will provide a result you can rely on to make better decisions and reduce potential wasted effort.

Here are three reasons to make this step a standard risk management protocol for your company:

1. Deductibles Require Measurement

Under or over deductible is the first question once you turn your attention to the financial response. Deductible policy language has evolved over the years as insurers respond to claim nuances and program needs. The professionals at RWH Myers have assisted clients with quantifying deductibles and preparing claims throughout these changing times. We understand the languages quirks and can quickly scope out the magnitude of applicable deductibles.


2. Insurance Accounting is Unique

Loss accounting is a different discipline than financial or managerial accounting. Misunderstandings waste time and create unwanted transactional friction. Breed process efficiency with the right questions and meaningful answers from a team with experience translating managerial accounting into insurance loss accounting for policyholders.


3. Consider Motivations

Are operations overly optimistic?  Is finance overly pessimistic?  Might reporting a claim impact contingent commissions? Independent expertise will navigate through any biases to pull it all together in a way that answers the important questions based on their merits, ultimately facilitating the financial recovery process. 

No one can anticipate a loss and policyholders actively work to avoid them, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to plan for when you have a claim. A candid, independent review will give you the confidence of an appropriate deductible threshold evaluation and segue into a smooth and fair claim process.

by William A. Warren, CPA, CGMA

By: Jeff Esper | October 07, 2016

3 Reasons to Get Help - Now!

With Hurricane Matthew riding up the east coast, policyholders may have property damage and business interruption concerns. If it's been awhile since you've had a significant claim, we wanted to share a few  ideas to help you through the claims process.


Any experienced forensic accountant will tell you, "The faster you get your claim together the faster you’ll achieve a positive settlement." If you have a property and business interruption claim, getting your claim together, i.e. measured, documented and supported properly can be daunting, so for many policyholders the process drags out far longer than it should. And the longer it takes, the harder it is to recover what you deserve. Savvy risk management professionals know that they need help from the start, so they bring in the forensic accountants, specializing in claim preparation to augment their internal resources and expedite the process.

Here are three reasons why you should get help with your claim immediately following a loss, especially a catastrophic loss:

1. Loss estimates and reserves

Insurance companies set reserves based on estimates defined early in the process. They will have experts assigned to establish reserves and once they’re set, they prefer not to increase them. You never want them set too low. How can you ensure reserves are set appropriately? You’ll need the help of forensic accountants to make sure the “potential loss” is properly assessed and communicated, thus avoiding the dreaded understatement. During a CAT loss scenario like a major hurricane, the adjustment team will be overloaded with work, so it is imperative your accountants are involved from the start to police the reserve numbers.
 

2. Competition

If you go to a restaurant (get in the door) and notice a large group about to enter, what do you do? Well, if you want to eat any time soon, you better get in the door before the large group. CAT insurance claims are the same only instead of waiting for your meal; you’ll be waiting for your money. If you want to get through the claim so you can get back to business, you need to get in the door fast. Once you have your version of the loss prepared, your loss accounting experts will know what to do e.g. submit interim claims for advanced payments. During a CAT claim, always be prepared for a settlement meeting. Insurers will be looking for the well-prepared claims to settle and get off the books.

3. Experience. Experience. Experience.You can’t expect your own people to be experts at something if they don’t have adequate experience. Insurance accounting requires a unique skill set developed through experience. Immediately after a disaster, hire experienced forensic accountants that you can trust and depend on for advice and a quality work product. If your team is organized and know what they’re doing, the adjuster will be more likely to spend their time on your claim over other less organized policyholders. Having an advocate that specializes in insurance claims on your team will lead to a faster and smoother claim process, especially after a CAT event.


After decades of representing policyholders through complex CAT claims, we understand the importance of a fair and fast recovery. If you have suffered a loss caused by Hurricane Matthew or another peril, we’re here to help you recover your losses - fast!


Contact us for a no obligation consultation!

Category: Insights 

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By: Jeff Esper | September 07, 2016

Once disaster strikes, the first priorities are always safety and preservation of property, but there are priorities to consider ahead of a loss to avoid unexpected surprises. Disaster mitigation and restoration is a critical service after property damage, and how you manage it may impact the outcome of your claim. Though there are many capable firms that specialize in property damage clean-up and restoration, there are some that will make mistakes and others may even take advantage of the situation. When it comes to recovering the cost of mitigation and restoration services for an insurance claim, any mishaps can create big problems that may leave you stuck with the bill. 


Here are some techniques to prevent potential problems before they arise:

  1. Vet your emergency response team prior to loss - Preparation is the key in any endeavor but with property damage claims, you cannot be too prepared. Recovery service providers should be identified and interviewed. Make sure the company you choose will be able to handle your potential issues. Involve your insurer during vetting. There are “approved” vendors that insurance companies recommend; however, just because they are “approved” does not mean there will not problems. Notify the insurance company of who you plan to use as well. 
  2. Clarify and document scope of work - Be clear on scope of work with the recovery firm and make the adjuster part of that conversation. Often, emergency response does not follow the normal protocols of a typical project. There likely won’t be time for detailed estimates, so try to get the adjuster to approve work in real-time to avoid second guessing. 
  3. Take a hands-on approach - Your property may still be underwater, but once access is granted, you must be hands-on. No one should have access to your facility without the presence of a company representative. Assign a property supervisor to the affected site to keep track of who is there and what they are doing. It’s your property and your responsibility. The bigger the loss, the more people coming in and going out, so it is vital to have a company representative onsite to observe and answer questions.
  4. Audit contractor charges before approving - The first weeks after a loss is chaotic. It’s important for policyholders to put controls in place to monitor activity and to verify work has been completed to specifications and according to the terms of the agreement. Reimbursable insurance expenses should be separated and audited prior to payment for proper detail and accuracy. This needs to be done efficiently in real-time. If you don’t have the resources, this step can be completed by your claim preparation accountants i.e. forensic accountants. Having forensic accountants on your team, along with your technical experts, can process this information in the context of insurance recovery. Don’t assume your forensic accountants will automatically audit invoices. Identifying errors or worse, fraud, is critical to avoid delays in payment or project completion. If you hire RWH Myers, we will discuss the proper protocol and work with you to establish the internal controls to intercept errors. 
  5. Address issues immediately - When the first invoice arrives, insurance companies may act surprised and even deny coverage, especially if the steps above have not been followed. Make sure to get the parties together to discuss the issues. Don’t procrastinate and don’t assume. It is important to be proactive with any potential discrepancies. The policyholder is responsible if there are unresolved differences. If the adjuster disagrees with the work performed and the invoices are paid, it may be difficult to recover everything your expenses. 

The immediate aftermath of a disaster is stressful and hectic. Preparation and communication can help you weather the storm and minimize unwanted surprises when you’re looking for claim payment. Having an experienced and independent forensic accounting team will reduce the stress, the workload and reimbursement issues. Per the tagline for one of the largest restoration firms, in the end you want it to be “Like it never even happened.”

Category: Insights 

Tags: Claims, Property Damage 

By: Jeff Esper | June 28, 2016

I am not sure why policy language has to be so confusing. Truly there are some complicated risks that insurance covers, but even the simple ones seem to be made complicated by the language used. A good example of this is extra expense. The words themselves seem pretty self explanatory; a policyholder spends extra money due to an occurrence and submits the expenses as part of the claim. Though it sounds straight forward, within a property claim these expenses require different types of measurement, documentation and coverage. To ensure you are buying the right coverage for your risks, it’s important to understand the details and the differences.

Per the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI), extra expenses are defined as: 

…additional costs in excess of normal operating expenses that an organization incurs to continue operations while its property is being repaired or replaced after having been damaged by a covered cause of loss. Extra expense coverage can be purchased in addition to or instead of business income coverage, depending on the needs of the organization.” 

This is true, however there is another kind of “extra expense” that is included as part of your business income - this is commonly known as “expense to reduce loss.” These expenses meet the definition of extra expense, however, they are incurred to reduce the duration or magnitude of the business income loss.

Consider this scenario. A manufacturer is shut down because of a covered cause of loss. Despite damaged machinery, they manage to resume operations in the facility by performing work manually with more than normal labor. The extra labor costs enables the insured to maintain some production that reduces lost sales. Is this a business income loss, extra expense loss or both? 

In this case, extra expense coverage in excess of the business income would not be necessary since the extra expenses reduced the business income loss. Any sales that were lost could still be recovered as well. If only extra expense coverage was purchased, the manufacturer could recover the extra expenses but not any lost sales.

The distinction between “extra expense” and “expense to reduce loss” is important when you are placing coverage. Quantification and documentation of extra expense exposures depends on the types of expenses and the scenarios envisioned. If the only extra expenses that are foreseen would be to reduce a greater business income loss, then it might not be necessary to purchase the additional coverage. If business income is not at risk or can be avoided entirely with extra expenses, extra expense coverage may be the way to go.  

Another category of coverage that gets confused with extra expense is expediting expense. Per the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) expediting expenses are defined as: 

…expenses of temporary repairs and costs incurred to speed up the permanent repair or replacement of covered property or equipment.

The need for expediting expense coverage came from a time when boiler and machinery coverage applied to specific objects written on separate policies. Modern all risk policies will include expediting expense as a part of expense to reduce loss or extra expense coverage.

Again it is important to understand how you might incur these loss related expenses when placing coverage. To the extent that you can save the insurance company money by expediting, you are less likely to meet resistance. If you will need to expedite repairs for other reasons, regardless of cost or time savings, you may need to get coverage that provides full reimbursement.

Understanding the different types of expense coverage and how they apply to your business risks is critical when buying insurance. You don’t want to find out how your coverage works during a claim or realize that you’ve been paying for coverage you don’t need. Think through your potential scenarios, consult your broker and a forensic accountant to explore what coverages and limits are best for your risks. Then, share your conclusions with your underwriter to make sure everyone is speaking the same language.

By Christopher B. Hess, CPA, CFE

 

By: Jeff Esper | May 31, 2016

From left: Chris Hess, Jeff Esper, Joe Wieligman, Mike Murphy

Whether the task at hand is recovering a business interruption loss or competing in a golf scramble, it takes a team effort to achieve a successful outcome. With the right combination of skills, mutual support and good fortune, your team will have a great chance of winning the day.


RWH Myers always enjoys supporting RIMS golf events. It's certainly a bonus when we put a team together that wins. In this year's Pittsburgh RIMS tournament, our team did just that. With a score of 59, we managed to capture our first RIMS chapter victory of the year. A big thanks to Joe Wieligman of Hylant and Mike Murphy, Director of Risk Management at Kennametal for excellent play and camaraderie throughout the day.


Also, a special thanks to another great team, the Pittsburgh RIMS chapter, for hosting a well organized and enjoyable day of golf, networking and fundraising.

Category: News 

Tags:

By: Jeff Esper | May 02, 2016

If you are responsible for your company’s Business Interruption Values (BIV) reporting, we have a special offer for you! BIV reporting is possibly the most misunderstood data requirement of all lines of coverage. We hear it from brokers and policyholders across the country. It’s a concern for many and now you can find out how your values stack up.


RWH Myers now offers a simple and effective three-part system to assess the validity of a company's reported Business Interruption Values.


  1. First, we'll walk through a simple questionnaire that examines the process currently in place to pull together the numbers. The process used is a major indicator. Why? By looking at how you come up with your BI Values reveals what you may be missing and where potential problems are lurking.
  2. Next, we can review your current BIV reporting. With this step we can gain insight in to the output and what the underwriter is seeing. Any unclear or inconsistent numbers will create uncertainty in the mind of the underwriter and drive up premium costs. We'll ask the questions that your underwriter won't ask so that we can identify areas to improve.
  3. Finally, we'll do a BI Benchmark against others in your industry segment to see how your current BIV compares to the benchmark number. Our proprietary BI Benchmarking tool is a popular and useful tool that displays a ballpark BIV displayed in a "worksheet" like report summary. How will it compare to your numbers? There's only one way to find out.


The benefits of getting your grade are many. Once you know your grade we'll share with you what is hurting your score as compared to what you should be doing to increase the accuracy of your numbers. The way to a higher BIV Grade is the way to more accurate ratable BI values which is used to calculate your premium. This offer is free of charge to policyholders so there's nothing to lose by signing-up!


To sign-up for your BIV grade click here and we'll get started. You may contact me directly with questions. jeffesper@rwhmyers.com


By: Jeff Esper | February 26, 2016

Q & A with William A. Warren, CPA, CGMA

Contingent Business Interruption is a critical part of the business interruption and supply chain risks facing companies. You may have the coverage in your policy, but are you sure you have the appropriate language and an accurate measure of this exposure? It may be time to revisit this complicated risk area to prevent a costly surprise.


An earthquake, explosion or Tsunami hits on the other side of world. A key supplier is disabled bringing your production to a halt until an alternative supplier is in place and able to fill the void. Your company may suffer extra expense costs and/or a serious business interruption, i.e. contingent business interruption. Will your cover respond appropriately and make you whole? 


In this article, you’ll learn some important answers to critical CBI questions. I asked Bill Warren, CPA, CGMA and Partner of RWH Myers and an expert in valuing business interruption exposures, the following six important CBI questions:


When you do a BI values project for a client, do you always address CBI?

No. CBI exposure is a critical component in understanding and managing an organization’s risk profile, and it does adds time and effort to a first-party BI values and exposures project. CBI should be addressed as it’s own analysis to properly reflect the organization’s goal(s) and the complexities involved in meaningfully achieving those goals.


Does the BI worksheet ask for CBI?

No, the worksheet and schedule of values generally assigns an organization’s earnings contribution (BI value) to its own locations. CBI represents the interdependencies those earnings have on third-party locations. Therefore, CBI is separately addressed in the insurance program. Without specific information, the coverage (if it exists at all) is often sublimited to relatively small, tiered sub-limits for named vs. unnamed suppliers or customers. Even if specifically identified, appropriate terms and conditions are difficult to ask for, let alone get, especially if you don’t understand the risk yourself.


What is expected by the underwriter at renewal?

Renewals rely heavily on momentum … sometimes focusing only on major changes since prior years. Many programs have stable, incumbent participants who have been on the account for several years. Even when that’s not the case, there is usually substantial information from prior program marketing that is leveraged on an ongoing basis. The same goes for the policy’s CBI coverage. It has gained attention in recent years, and insurers are requiring more information to avoid limiting coverage terms in its absence.

How do we address CBI and what is the benefit of our approach?

The theory is to tie a third-party’s potential operational risk to the clients potential lost earnings. The method is always customized to the situation at hand. Even in the same industry, different organizations can employ a very different model that relies on a unique mix of suppliers/customers. Information about them is often buried in functional silos and can be difficult to identify. Even after we get the necessary information, it may be incomplete for the intended purpose. This is why our process is one of inquiry & discovery. There are some formulaic approaches to capturing data. Often the obvious, critical risks are known. However, the discovery process must include quality probing questions to identify potentially unknown risks, or simply, concerns that have not yet been communicated. We then build customized models that correlate this operational reliance to the potential financial impact. The models are designed for the organization’s financial reporting, accounting for additional internal interdependencies, inherent resiliency and explicit mitigation planning.


The benefits of this approach are many. At a high level, it provides an understanding of the potential magnitude of the exposures from these external risks so that clients can make informed decisions about the cost-benefit of mitigation planning as well as the risk transfer strategy, terms and pricing.

What are the common challenges with an inaccurate representation CBI risks?

The most common challenge is tying inbound raw materials and/or supplier spend (sometimes the only accounting data you really have about suppliers) to the potential revenue exposure if that one part/service were lost. Another typical challenge is obtaining ample information from the third party about their exposures, locations, and mitigation planning. A supplier will generally want to comply with their customer’s request for information, but the they generally do not want to burden their own customers with these requests. The latter is difficult enough in a real loss situation, let alone during an evaluation of potential exposure.The consequence of inaccurate representation could be a loss from a contingent risk that could have been proactively mitigated, consciously retained, or adequately transferred via a policy with appropriate coverage and limits. Even worse, after years of premium on CBI risk area, the insured learns the hard way, it’s either not an accurate limit or the coverage isn’t the right fit. It can be extremely frustrating, to say the least.

Why should policyholders seek help from an independent expert?

CBI is about protecting the balance sheet by protecting the continuity of earnings either via operations or insurance. To accurately express the risk that a supplier or customer disruption may pose involves a holistic look at the organization and its earnings streams. An expert will calculate the net earnings at risk to empower clients to make better cost-benefit decisions surrounding loss control, mitigation, and risk transfer. An independent expert brings an unbiased perspective. They are not constrained by the assumptions that internal personnel may make, and should not be directing the result to a predetermined outcome. They would have no agenda other than an accurate assessment prepared for the client.


Even when a company does examine CBI and supply chain risks, the project is often lead by procurement or operations functions and the results are not leveraged holistically for the benefit of enterprise risk management.


So, is it time to revisit your contingent business interruption risks? It’s a question worth asking inside your organization. Perhaps, Mr. Warren’s insights will help you come to the answer. In any case, it may be worth consulting with an independent and experienced expert to explore further. If your earnings are heavily dependent on direct suppliers and indirect suppliers, as well as direct customers and indirect customers, your CBI exposures may warrant a closer look.

Category: Insights 

Tags: Business Interruption 

By: Jeff Esper | December 15, 2015

The Right Way to Look at BI Values
As a professional loss accountant with more than twenty years experience with business interruption valuation, I can understand why policyholders struggle with their BI values. Over the years, some of my clients recognized the issues with the traditional BI values approach, and decided to make a change. Unfortunately, too many companies continue doing what they have always done, even when there is a better way available. The fact is that BI values are an important requirement of the insurance process. The challenge is finding a repeatable, efficient system that produces an accurate measurement of your BI exposure. 

Consider for a moment, just how important this information is to your underwriter. The numbers you report gives the underwriter the basis for writing coverage and calculating premium. Each renewal provides policyholders with the opportunity to present their unique BI exposure. Unfortunately, this opportunity is often squandered due to a multilateral misunderstanding of business interruption values and the exposures they represent. The point of this article is to share an alternative approach that is proven to help policyholders take control of their BI values reporting while maximizing the opportunity to enhance the value .

Understanding BI Values
First, there’s the Ratable Value. It is the “big number” that is calculated for the business as a whole assuming a twelve month total shutdown of all revenue generating operations. This worst case and often unrealistic scenario is the information requested by the insurance company, usually in the form of a one page worksheet. Without additional information, the underwriter will use this information to set limits and charge premium. The ratable value calculated is somewhat meaningless, except that it establishes the base assumption that is used as the BI value in all other scenarios, such as un-incurred cost categories. The ratable value is seldom a reflection of your exposures. A better way to assess your exposures are to examine your MFL and PML loss scenarios.

What is Maximum Foreseeable Loss?
The maximum foreseeable loss (MFL), as the name indicates, is the worst case scenario. This is not as extreme as the ratable value scenario, but pretty close. The assumptions used here include a complete breakdown of protection and loss mitigating factors while hitting you where it hurts at the worst possible time. An example would be the loss of a unique distribution center to a retailer during the holiday shopping season - say the distribution center that handles online orders going up in smoke on Cyber Monday. The factors used to measure the ratable value would be used here to determine the business interruption value for this scenario. Certain assumptions may change depending on the duration of the loss scenario. For example, labor expense may be considered completely saved in the ratable value scenario due to the assumption that there is nothing left, but only partly saved in an MFL scenario.

What about the Probable Maximum Loss?
The probable maximum loss (PML) is the same as the MFL, except that loss mitigation efforts and protections work properly. The PML also takes into account pure extra expenses used to retain customers. This can help with decision making on purchasing extra expense coverage.

What happens in underwriting?
Though I’m not an underwriter, I’ve typically seen insurance company’s take an engineers approach to MFL and PML scenarios that vary only in duration. This is singular perspective and does not account for the rest of the pieces of the puzzle. The other pieces are the finer details that actually occur during a claim. If it were a real claim, topics like seasonality, make-up and outsourcing would surely come up, but you won’t see them on any BI worksheet. 

The MFL and PML should be based on realistic loss scenarios and measured as if it were a claim. Simply applying the ratable value to loss period assumptions produces misleading and inflated numbers. This is precisely why it is in your best interest to develop your own valuation method based on real scenarios.

Why create Exposure Scenarios?
If BI values are based on assumptions and you are using the worksheet, then the assumption is a 12 month loss scenario. Can you imagine a scenario in which your operations would only be effected for 6 months? The worksheet makes a blanket assumption of 12 months whether realistic or not. Coming up with various loss scenarios by location would flush out a more realistic representation of the impact of each particular loss. It would further flush out high risk locations along your supply chain which will not only add value to your risk management approach but may also influence business continuity planning. 

An exposure analysis project is not only an accounting project, it’s a integrated business exercise offering multiple benefits to an organization. The goal is to identify and examine loss scenarios and the resulting the ripple effects. It isn’t necessary nor is it practical to anticipate every possible loss scenario. It’s better to prioritize by perceived risk and probability. Then, develop a good sampling of loss scenarios from which you can determine the impact to operations and the mitigating actions that would be taken. Depending on the exposure, involve the appropriate internal personal e.g. operations, sales, business continuity, IT, and accounting. The external experts you may involve are your broker, legal counsel and of course, a forensic accounting firm that specializes in insurance work. Additionally, your company’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and incident response plan, should be factored in accordingly.  How ever your scenarios play out, the loss accountants can calculate the business interruption as though it were an actual claim. 

As you can see, this approach would produce a more accurate BI value by location and overall. It’s the right way to look at business interruption so make it a part of your approach with underwriters. If you’d like to discuss this topic or any others, myself or my partners would be delighted to hear from you.


Published 12-17-15: InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com

Category: Insights 

Tags: BI Values 

By: Jeff Esper | November 06, 2015

Cyber Panel

It was our pleasure sponsoring yet another successful Partner Day hosted by Central Ohio RIMS. It was held at  Wendy's Corporate HQ in Dublin, OH. The Wendy’s conference center was one of the nicest and well equipped venues I’ve seen for a RIMS event. 


The agenda was complete with current events and relevant topics for all industries. Each topic involved a panel of experts with a moderator leading the discussion. 

The topics were as follows:


  • Workers Compensation and Marijuana

  • Millennials

  • Product Recall

  • Active Shooter

  • Cyber Liability/ Disaster Recovery                                                                                                                    

(Pictured above from left to right: Spencer Timmel- Hylant, Diane Reynolds- Taft Stettinium & Hollister, David Fine- FBI, Brian Minick- Morphick Cyber and Moderator, Bob Bowman- The Wendy's Company)

We would like to congratulate the Chapter Officers, Panelists and other contributors for a job well done. 

Looking forward to next year!

Category: News 

Tags: Presentations 

By: Jeff Esper | October 26, 2015

Policyholders insure against business risks to protect their financial integrity. When these risks become a reality, claim recovery is the return on investment. 

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. Claim recovery is a process that requires expertise to secure a fair settlement. As you know, your carrier has experts assigned to adjust and audit your claim, so, in turn, you should have experts to help you quantify your losses and prepare a well-documented claim. But expertise is not enough. If you want the best chance to be made whole, independence definitely matters.

Many companies promote themselves as focused on client needs, but, in claim preparation, it has to be more than a slogan. When it comes to preparing claims, true independence isn’t as common as you might think.

Is your loss accountant independent?

The most common "claim preparers" are forensic accountants. Let’s take a look at where they exist in the insurance industry:
  • Insurance company forensic accountants
  • Insurance broker forensic accountants
  • Consulting firms with forensic accounting service offering
  • Accounting firms with forensic accounting service offering
  • Independent loss accounting firms

It should go without saying that the firms that are hired by the insurance companies cannot provide independent and unbiased service to policyholders, but many still do rely on the insurers’ accountants to measure their losses. If asked, the insurers’ accountants would likely recommend the insured retain an independent firm to assist them, yet there are those who don’t know and don’t ask. For the policyholders in this category, I hope you see the light after reading this article.

Broker-owned accounting firms have their own set of potential conflicts, starting with the strategic relationship they have with insurance companies. As a former broker, I can tell you these relationships are sacred. The carrier’s profitability is directly related to claims paid, and the carrier will reward brokers for profitable accounts with a bonus commission, aka contingent commissions. If you are on a fixed-fee arrangement, it does not mean there’s no contingent commission in play. Your broker wants to serve your needs and will work hard for you, but, when you have a loss, the broker has a conflict of interest.

It’s also important to remember that your claim can last longer than your broker agreement. It’s hard enough to end a relationship with your broker, but if the broker is preparing an outstanding claim it will prolong your dealings with the broker. If you change carriers and your broker at the same time, the situation can be harder to resolve. If you are using your broker for claim preparation, consider an independent option that only serves one master, you.

The large accounting firms with consulting practices will scale back their consulting activities when faced with financial debacles that cause regulators to scrutinize their independence. The inherent conflict of an auditing firm preparing a claim for a client should be obvious. The audit firm will have a direct impact on creating an asset or revenue stream, which the firm would then audit as part of the financial results. Those two activities need to remain separate to maintain independence.Also consider what it means if your claim preparation firm is also the auditor for your insurer. 

As you can see, there are potential conflicts on both sides. Why not avoid potential conflicts and work with an independent specialist?

Hiring consulting firms presents similar conflicts to consider. Is it a provider of another service to your company? Does it also serve your carrier in some capacity? Making this determination can be time-consuming, and conflicts can be easily missed. Any firm you consider should be clear about possible conflicts, but it’s your recovery at stake, so it’s best to do the proper vetting.

In the insurance industry, it’s the policyholders’ right and obligation to value their own losses for submission to their insurer. Your insurer may be more than willing to help, but is that’s what is best for your business? Claim recovery is the reason policyholders invest in insurance, so be sure to hire a firm that knows how to prepare a claim and is working on your behalf. 

Loss accounting is a specialized craft that comes as a result of experience and expertise with insurance claims. Seeking an independent, third-party valuation of your losses is not only smart business but may be a fiduciary responsibility, especially with a large property and business interruption claim.




Category: Insights 

Tags: Claims 

By: Jeff Esper | October 26, 2015

Jim Gillespie & Jeff Esper presenting to SV RIMS at Intel

It's been a busy year of delivering presentations for us. We've been asked to present across the United States at RIMS chapters and regional RIMS conferences. It's an honor and a pleasure to present at RIMS events and we're always working to keep the material fresh and interesting.


For example, our presentation for Silicone Vally RIMS (pictured above) hosted at Intel HQ, featured case examples relevant to companies in the region. The meeting was sold out weeks prior for our presentation which was on Business Interruption Values and Exposures. It was an interactive presentation with an engaged audience. Contingent Business Interruption seemed to be hottest topic filled with questions and comments from the RIMS attendees. CBI has become a bigger part of the BI Values equation especially among companies who depend heavily on suppliers around the world.


International events such as the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011 from which the total damages are estimated at $300 billion dollars (about 25 trillion yen), according to the Japanese government have spurred the increased attention to this risk area. 


For more information about our presentations, click on the Sharing tab above.

Category: News 

Tags: Presentations 

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