aspects of the various projects helps control underwriters’ costs and mitigate the
possibility of any future problems with
the state and federal government or private landowners.
Determining clean-up costs
If not managed properly, the costs of the
cleanup operation and land remediation
can easily spiral upward. For example,
the U.S. team recently handled a relatively small incident where an aircraft
crashed in a privately owned field used
for seasonal farming, causing some environmental damage. The initial cost
estimate of the cleanup operation was
$150,000; however, the environmental
company revised their estimate to more
We met with them at the crash site to
discuss their findings and the final cost
was revised to just over $300,000. Previously unrelated damage was discovered at
the site and was segregated from the final
When farmland is damaged in the U.S.
and there is an environmental claim,
landowners can include potential future
losses in their claim, which can significantly increase costs. Quick and effective
handling of the cleanup and land remediation at the onset of the claim reduces the
chance of this occurring.
Another factor that can have a significant bearing on environmental costs in
the U.S. is whether the land is state, federal or privately owned. A number of different agencies can be involved with federal land, which can complicate matters.
Likewise, if the land is protected under
federal law, such as protected wetlands,
costs can quickly skyrocket. Insurers
may, in some cases, consider hiring outside counsel.
Private landowners are typically, but
not always, easier to work with in these
claims. Again, the key to controlling costs
is a rapid response combined with an
honest and genuine interest in restoring
the damaged property to the same con-
dition prior to the accident. Meeting face
to face with landowners and establishing
a rapport is essential to not only manag-
ing their expectations, but in convincing
them that everyone has their best inter-
ests in mind.
Managing costs is always a key con-
sideration for loss adjusters, especially in
the aviation world where equipment and
materials are relatively expensive. That
said, for larger aircraft and commercial
airlines, managing the cost of a claim
usually relates to repair, with recoveries
often handled internally.
In the light aircraft arena, this process
is frequently handled by the loss adjust-
ing team. While there is no such thing
as a typical light aircraft recovery, these
factors are considered best practices for
Norman White (norman.white@mclarens.
com) is a senior aviation surveyor in
McLarens Aviation Canadian team. Bill
Garcia, regional manager, USA, also
assisted with this article. McLarens
Aviation is a leading provider of loss
adjusting, survey and risk services to
the global aviation industry. For more
information visit https://mclarens.com/
Where a crash
affect the cost
of the recovery
and clean up.