The difference in the use of adjusters will also depend upon the insurer’s
ability to find qualified personnel. Many
in the claims industry have recognized
that a large number of qualified esti-mators/appraisers are retiring, and the
number of replacement adjusters coming up in the industry is not meeting
the need. This may lead to different outlooks in the industry, and may require
the use of specialized vendors in many
areas to achieve a desired and efficient
on preparing for catastrophes
Insurers can also provide information
and guidance to their policyholders to
help them through the catastrophes. This
not only helps the policyholder emerge
from the disaster in potentially better
condition, but also helps the insurer in
its claims service to achieve a better outcome for all parties.
Insurers should regularly communicate with their policyholders on disaster
preparation and response, especially if
policyholders are in potentially dangerous areas. Those include, but are not limited to, coastal areas which have a greater
propensity for hurricanes, the Midwest
and parts of the Southeast where tornadoes are more likely, and dry forest areas
that may experience wildfires. The information and guidance, which can be easily
disseminated via e-mail, could include
items such as:
property (lists, photographs, and
additional losses (e.g., removing dead
These and many other topics can help
policyholders before and after a catastrophe or even when a relatively minor loss
occurs, which will potentially save lives
and property while making the claims handling and resolution process much easier.
The pre-event planning and preparation for catastrophes may be even more
important than the claims services that
occur after the event, since inadequate
planning may make it virtually impossible to handle the resulting claims appropriately. Insurers, IAs, and policyholders all have a responsibility following
these losses, and insurers, through their
planning and information-sharing procedures, can direct all parties to a more
favorable and beneficial response.
Gary Jennings, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, AIC,
ARe, SCLA, is the principal consultant
at Strategic Claims Direction LLC. He
may be reached at Gary.Jennings@
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