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Property Casualty

When A Large Property Claim Arises, Having the Right Experts Helping Matters

Rod Miner
Rod Miner
Vice President of Commercial Claims, Property Casualty

Like it says in our ”What If?” catastrophic resource booklet, if you have a large property loss, chances are you will still be working on it 18 months later — maybe longer. More often than not, the final part to be resolved is the business interruption piece. This is also often the most frustrating aspect of an insurance claim.

So, what can you do to try and make the claims process go a bit more smoothly?

We find it crucial that whoever is handling your business interruption calculations (and extra expense!) should connect early on with your counterpart on the insurance carrier side. There will be quite a bit of documentation requested and suggested methods on how to track, tabulate, and present your loss. Being on the same page with your insurance carrier from the beginning will be very useful.

Far too often, this occurs months down the road, and confusion and extra time become necessary. Get ahead with these tips and must-haves!

Having the Right Documentation

Should you have a large property claim, here is the documentation you’ll need:

  • Industry trends
  • Historical sales data
  • Cost statements
  • Sales journals
  • Sale projections
  • Tax returns
  • Production schedules and inventory reports
  • Purchase and payroll

Using an Insurance Forensic Accountant

From there, insurance carriers will use experts, specifically insurance forensic accountants, to review and evaluate business interruption claims. Our claims professionals at Holmes Murphy have years of experience. We know insurance coverage, and we know insurance claims. However, none of us are accountants. This is why we highly encourage you to consider hiring an insurance forensic accountant of your own. If you’re interested in this, we can help you get connected with one to have a discussion to see if it’s right for you.

Many times, you will be in charge of the cost should you decide to use an insurance forensic accountant; however, some property policies have limited coverage under a coverage extension known as Claim Preparation Expenses (or something similar). With prior insurance carrier adjuster approval, this coverage extension could help pay for things such as:

  • Appraisers
  • Lawyers
  • Consultants
  • Architects and engineers
  • Accountants

If covered, a $25,000 limit is common. Especially when covered, there is even that much more reason to reach out to an accounting expert.

Work With the Experts

Large property losses are very stressful and time consuming — even more so when business interruption is involved. Being prepared and working with the best partners will help alleviate much of that stress should that time ever come.

And don’t forget…our Holmes Murphy experts are here to assist! If you have questions on what I’ve talked about or need help finding an insurance forensic account, just reach out. We’re happy to help get you on the right path!

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