Hurricane Katrina Claims Resources
The Greenspan Co./Adjusters International has been handling hurricane and other disaster losses for almost 60 years. We specialize in large, commercial claims and large building claims…typically in excess of one million dollars. We pride ourselves in never taking on more than we can handle and, as such, are very particular about the number of clients we represent.
Learn more about our involvement in the 2005 Gulf Coast and 2004 Florida hurricanes:
Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.
The expertise that your firm exhibited during our initial discussions ensured our company that you would be able to achieve a more favorable settlement than we ever could and the results proved that. There was a minimum interruption to our organization while your staff gathered that appropriate information to process the losses which enabled us to concentrate on operating our business. Your firm clearly showed a level of knowledge and skill that proved to us that the choice we made in securing your services was the correct one.
Douglas L. Pereira
Insurance Facts in the Wake of a Widespread Disaster
UTICA, NEW YORK—September 2, 2005—In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, property owners are now faced with the daunting task of documenting their losses, obtaining an adequate insurance recovery and restoring their property.
Several critical issues need to be considered before beginning the insurance recovery process: • Flood damage is normally not covered by the regular property insurance policy that provides the wind damage coverage. As a result, special flood coverage is usually purchased from a different insuring source. Hence two separate claims and possibly two different adjusters. Issues relating to the source of specific water damages and to which carrier is responsible can complicate the process. • With a basic insurance policy damages from water that enters the building through cracks and windows, which are not first damaged by the direct force of the wind, are not covered. Under those polices, wind-driven rain, such as wind that enters through balcony doors, is not covered. • Because of extensive exposures in hurricane-prone areas, very large deductibles for wind damage are common. • Widespread disasters like hurricanes drain the staffing resources for the insurers and their adjusters. As a result it may take awhile for claims representatives to arrive. The owner and property manager must take steps to protect the property, mitigate damages and protect the business operations in the interim.
Adjusters International has assisted numerous property owners in their recovery from every hurricane to have hit the U.S. and Caribbean in the past two decades. They are available to assist you with their recovery. They are also available free of charge to answer any question that you may have concerning hurricane claims and adjusting issues in general.
For more information please contact us at 1-800-382-2468.
Florida Professionals Advise Business Owners:
Don´t Suffer Twice From the Same Disaster
UTICA, NEW YORK—September 2, 2005—When a hurricane damaged his Marriott Hotel in Key West, Florida, Marty Saturn had two concerns – keeping his customers happy and his hotel running. That is why he turned to outside assistance in the form of professional loss consultants who advocate for the insured. “I never shut down so I needed to focus on my customers. Frankly, dealing with insurance policies was not my first priority,” recalls Saturn, executive vice president of Meisel & Cohen Properties, the national real-estate investment firm who owned the hotel.
In addition to keeping the focus on his business, Saturn also believes that professional loss consultants can save businesses substantial money. “Insurance policies are complex, so you need someone to advocate for you who understands all the ins and outs,” he says.
Saturn turned to Adjusters International, the largest and most experienced public adjusting organization in the U.S. The company works on behalf of the insured: assessing and documenting losses and assisting in the settlement of property claims. Currently in the Gulf States helping respond to recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the company has helped businesses recover from last year´s Florida hurricanes, as well as hurricanes Andrew, Isabel, Hugo, Marilyn and Iniki; the Mexico and California earthquakes; the Midwest floods; and the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center disasters.
“Our philosophy is – don´t suffer twice – once from the initial crisis and again when trying to recover,” says Ronald Cuccaro, President and CEO of Adjusters International. “A professional loss consultant lets you leave worries about insurance in the hands of experts so you can get your business back up and running.” Cuccaro says taking immediate action can be psychologically helpful while minimizing the financial impact of a disaster and improving the chances for recovery. He suggests four initial steps.
First, move quickly to protect property from further damage. Second, establish a claim–management team with one spokesperson. Third, set up a post–loss plan to protect your operations and market. And fourth, notify customers, banks and suppliers, especially if you are still open for business, because they may assume otherwise.
Mike Marshall, president of Marshall Management Inc., a hotel management firm, recommends one other step – hire a professional loss consultant. “Settling with the insurance companies would have been a part–time job for me, and I had a company to run,´ he says about his experiences after his Outer Banks resort was destroyed by a hurricane. “I didn´t even have the time to document damage properly. Adjusters International sent a team to document the issues and handle the claims, so we could get all that was coming to us while I kept the business going. Basically, they became one of my employees.”
For further tips on recovering from a disaster and contact information, go to www.adjustersinternational.com or call 1-800-382-2468.
Adjusters International to Send Nearly 100 Disaster Recovery Specialists to Katrina–Damaged Sites
UTICA, New York–September 2, 2005–Adjusters International expects to be sending close to 100 public adjusting and disaster recovery specialists to hurricane-damaged sites. Experts from Adjusters International will measure and document property damages for policyholders, municipalities, counties, parishes, businesses, nonprofits, and others to help them get full recovery funds. As public adjusters, Adjusters International´s professional loss consultants work exclusively as advocates for the insured, not for insurance companies.
“When Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, our workers were able to set up shop 30 to 40 miles away and handle damage assessments from there. With Katrina, the damage is so widespread, getting settled may be more of a challenge, but our staff will be there,” says Ron Cuccaro, President and CEO of Adjusters International.
With 30 offices nationwide, Adjusters International is the largest and most experienced public adjusting firm in the nation. Adjusters International staff have helped property owners work through the aftermath of every major disaster to have occurred in the past two decades, including every hurricane to have hit the U.S. and Caribbean, the Midwest floods, California earthquakes, and terrorist acts such as the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings and 9/11. Their client list includes entities such as the State of Oklahoma, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the Government of Kuwait, Continental Airlines, The Pillsbury Company, JC Penney, Southern Pacific Railroad, Malden Mills, and Choice and Cendant hotels.
For more information, please visit www.adjustersinternational.com or call 800-382-2468.
Professional Loss Consultants Help Obtain FEMA Funds for Governmental Entities and Qualifying Not–For–Profits
UTICA, NEW YORK–September 2, 2005–When natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina strike, there is more to recovery than many consumers, businesses and municipalities may realize. Assistance beyond private insurance coverage is available to governmental entities and qualifying not–for–profits from agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but obtaining that financial assistance can be a complicated process.
Having an advocate in the process can be invaluable, according to Cyndi M. Baily, senior vice president and legal counsel for Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Baylor College used Adjusters International after a storm inflicted substantial damage on the campus.
“Professional assistance proved invaluable in the College’s recovery efforts. Adjusters International´s knowledge of the often–complex FEMA process, coupled with their insurance industry experience, has been of enormous benefit to us,” Baily said. John Marini, Vice President of Adjusters International, said that the FEMA Public Assistance Program can be very complex and organizations benefit by having assistance from public loss consultants. “Because we have been involved with so many disasters and have a deep understanding of FEMA requirements, we are able to help obtain the funding they deserve,” he said. Marini added that Adjusters International also offers assistance with an organization´s insurance recovery for a total solution providing as full a recovery as possible.
He also cited the benefit to the community when local governments, hospitals and schools seek help. “If an organization doesn’t receive the FEMA funding to which it´s entitled, taxpayers and local communities can end up bearing the cost of getting that organization back up and running or suffer from lack of needed services,” he explained.
Among the FEMA public assistance program services that Adjusters International offers to governments and qualifying not–for–profit organizations are planning, debris removal and emergency work grant development, eligibility guidance, financial tracking from startup through audits, hazard mitigation guidance, project development, appeal assistance and dispute resolution.
Adjusters International is the nation’s largest and most experienced professional public adjusting organization, with hundreds of professionals in 30 offices throughout the U.S. For more information, contact www.adjustersinternational.com or call 1-800-382-2468.
Summary of Services
Besides traditional phases of recovery (building damage, equipment and inventory), we also specialize in:
- advising your claim management team
- integrating the claim with the restoration efforts to ensure efficient results
- formulating solutions to minimize any business interruption
- tailoring systems that comprehensively capture and segregate all related expenses
- helping municipalities and not-for-profit organizations eligible for funds under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program to obtain faster and smoother recoveries
We help with any or all of the following processes:
- fully review insurance coverage
- determine policy compliance issues
- develop a claim management plan
- evaluate and quantify the magnitude of the loss
- facilitate interim payments
- coordinate all inspections and audits required by your insurance company
- identify the most qualified specialists to develop and support your claim
- complete all property valuations (replacement/repair costs, stock valuations, work in process)
- evaluate production and sales trends to forecast business interruption
- assemble comprehensive claim presentations with supporting data and expert reports
- support the claim management team throughout the recovery
- expedite the entire process
Beyond fair settlement, we can also help clients:
- weigh the benefits of updating vs. replacing damaged property or inventory
- mitigate future losses
- maintain good relations with your insurance company
What To Do After A Loss
The loss you have recently suffered can be very draining. But by immediately taking the proper actions, you have the power to minimize the disaster’s financial impact and improve your recovery. Note: Each loss situation is unique. These general guidelines are not intended to replace professional insurance, legal and/or financial advice. Please feel free to contact us for further information and assistance.
- Mitigate your loss and protect the property from further damage.
- Move quickly to save special property such as books, manuscripts, etc.
- Control access to the premises.
- Establish a claim management team, with one spokesperson.
- Have an initial policy analysis and claim strategy prepared and make sure all team members understand it.
- Understand your duties and requirements.
- Set up a post-loss plan to protect your operations and market, and notify your customers, banks and suppliers.
- Prepare a public relations program to inform all stakeholders and the general public.
- Know the players, including who the insurance company’s representatives are.
- Know your broker’s role.
- Document your activities in a log.
- Take a proactive position; you must make a claim.
- Make the decisions that are best for the survival of your organization.
- Integrate the claim management program with the post-loss operations
- Concentrate on maintaining your operations and not on preparing claim details—leave that to the experts.
- Hire your own experts.
- Do not rely solely on your historical records—secure replacement estimates.
- Coordinate the property, business interruption and extra expense claims.
- Understand that your claim will have to be verified; understand the negotiation process.
If this all sounds like a lot of complex work, that’s because it is. But The Greenspan Co./Adjusters International stands ready to help you with any or all of these steps. With hundreds of professionals in over 30 offices, we can get to your loss site quickly, then guide and support you throughout the claims adjustment process.
Things To Consider
You can certainly file your own claim, but here are some reasons why that might not be in your best interest:
- You may not be completely familiar with the terms and conditions of your insurance policies or with your rights and obligations in the event of a loss.
- While the insurance company’s adjusters might provide guidance, their first responsibility is to the insurance company.
- A professional loss consultant will work for you to obtain an equitable and timely settlement.
- A professional loss consultant can shoulder some or all of the responsibility for preparing a claim at a time when you and your employees may be experiencing great stress and turmoil.
- By handling any or all phases of preparing and presenting the claim, as well as expediting payment, a professional loss consultant can free you and your team to devote full attention to running the company.