Hurricane Update: Superstorm Sandy Generates Unprecedented 1.58 million Claims

Technology places claims in the hands of adjusters at an increasing rate, and this is never more apparent than during the aftermath of a natural catastrophe.

With the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy (Sandy CAT 90) from October 2012 still fresh in his mind, Crawford & Company’s Vice President Catastrophe Services, Bud Trice recently had the opportunity to share his experience and knowledge with the attendees at the 2013 claims convention of the Australian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters & Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (AICLA/ANZIIF).

“Our intake capability is driving the need for earlier deployments of adjusters after a catastrophic event. If you consider the aftermath of Sandy, technology has placed the assignment in our hands quicker than ever, so there is a clear obligation upon us to set expectations and ensure the product we deliver is the product desired,” he noted at the annual industry gathering of 2,000 adjusting and insurance professionals in Sydney, Australia.

As a keynote AICLA/ANZIIF speaker in August, Bud revealed some of the inner details of Crawford’s experiences in handling Bud Chartalmost 50,000 claims across 16 U.S states on behalf of dozens of insurers.

“Overall, the experience showed how resilient our processes can be and the value that pre-nomination by our clients can deliver,” he explained. “This was a major storm, large enough to actually envelop the whole of New Zealand within its boundaries, and from our experience handling claims after three unprecedented years of natural catastrophes from Chile, through New Zealand, Thailand, Japan and now the U.S., we have learned a great deal about taking a holistic approach”.

Bud’s presentation included numerous examples of the challenges Crawford’s 550+ storm adjusters faced in supporting insurers after Sandy struck. These included ensuring the safety of the company’s own employees while damaged buildings, power lines and other debris lay strewn across American streets. Then there were the policy coverage questions, not an easy hurdle when Crawford adjusters needed to return more 11,000 estimates inside the first 20 days. “We had to anticipate the problems that normal people would be impacted by such as three-hour delays at the gas pumps, along with police roadblocks and restrictions, and then we had to carry out this high volume case load within that environment,” Bud explained.

Andrew Bart, chief executive, Australia & New Zealand at Crawford, was very appreciative Bud’s attendance at the conference: “It was great for us to be able to bring someone of Bud’s experience here to Australia for a talk on Catastrophe Services. This region is itself no stranger to such events and for Crawford to share knowledge and provide a global perspective was invaluable to the audience and membership of AICLA/ANZIIF.”

Note: Loss estimate data provided by Crawford Property Claim Services.

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