Joplin continued from p. 29
accounting for contents, extra expenses,
and so forth. Harms was able to lend
more transparency to the overall process, further strengthening the poli-cyholder-carrier relationship. During
regularly scheduled meetings, Harms
helped CNA relay ongoing expenditures
and developments in order to get buy-in
from all parties.
“I probably spent an hour and a half
explaining how the spreadsheet works
and how it is designed,” Harms says. “It
provided a central point of reference so
each party could check off items on a list
and insert notes in Excel to confirm that
we were all on the same page.
“All of the details were broken down into
eight to ten subcategories, including water
damage, electrical, HVAC, and so on,” he
On the contents side, Kari Burke, owner
and operator of TOSCO, was able to de-
termine what documents and supplies had
been damaged. Burke brought in teams of
people and introduced them to the heads
of facilities to compile lists of damaged,
All contents data was incorporated
into this master spreadsheet, which
became an organic document of sorts.
Initially the team began with educated
projections and worked to agree with
the insured on the overall scope and
pricing. As more specific data became
available, Harms would then update the
document. Working with hard numbers
in real-time provided everyone with an
accurate reflection of costs as opposed to
a theoretical one.
There are so many moving parts in a
large commercial claim. Here, we have
covered a few. Hopefully the example
provided will spark discussion about
your own claims organization’s level of
responsiveness and business acumen.
In the above case, Freeman incurred
about $9 million in insured losses following last year’s deadly tornado in Joplin.
It is evident the loss would have been far
greater, were it not for the successful coordination and dedication of this skilled
group that relied on individual strengths
as well as each other. K