The Anatomy of a Property Large Loss, Part II: Planning Scope and Estimates

July 28, 2017Scope Of Loss

This series of articles focuses on a real assignment given to GC3 that required extensive construction management services in addition to providing a scope of loss and rebuild estimate. In the following articles we’ll share key takeaways that will help you provide the best possible customer service experience for your policyholders and will assist with your claim handling and management responsibilities.

As you may recall, GC3 was asked to manage a very complex commercial loss that involved 130 homeowner units destroyed or damaged by an explosion. That meant that not only did we need to scope the extensive property damage, but we also had to manage the rebuild/repair process for 130 different homeowners, each with their own insurance policy from a different company. In addition, the homeowners’ association governing board, local city building officials, utility company, mortgage lien holders and other organizations were involved, making it a high profile loss to the community.

Facing mounting pressure to make progress, the homeowners’ association retained GC3. Our immediate role had three functions:

1. Develop and manage the scope of loss.

2. Solicit and manage direct repair costs.

3. Manage policyholder and homeowner expectations.

Part II of this series will dive into the details of how our GC3 team established a plan and managed the scope of loss. Insights for this article were provided by the team on-site, Larry Sinnwell and Tom Nadler.

“When we arrived, there had not been a lot of planning or progress. Our first task was to break it down into manageable phases. We implemented a plan that allowed us to make progress and be fair to the insured and the carrier,” said Tom. The plan was three-fold:

1. Get people back in homes that were damaged but not destroyed (These were homes where no engineering was necessary).

2. Then, we would address homes that needed engineering.

3. Finally, we would focus our efforts on ground zero and move outward.

Before GC3 arrived, an adjustor completed a scope of loss for each home. However, with 130 units the adjustment process quickly became overwhelmed. Additionally, the engineering company that also performed evaluations used different forms which did not account for betterments or the homeowner wish lists of improvements. This is normally an inconvenience on a project, but in the case of 130 homeowners—this was a real project management challenge and it was causing major delays.

The GC3 team created custom management tools for this large loss project in order to increase efficiency and ensure accuracy for the adjustor, the engineers and the carriers. “We combined and reviewed both the adjustor evaluations and the engineering evaluations into one master document for each unit,” said Tom.

Then, we met with each homeowner to discuss not only their individual unit’s betterments, but also their potential wish list for the rebuild. All of the valuable information was input into one document for each unit. Tom went onto say “This tool not only allowed us to accurately and quickly scope the loss and provide estimates, but it also allowed us to track costs and work tasks separately.

As an adjuster, what claims are you working that can quickly become overwhelming? Are you searching for the management tools necessary to create a phased plan to provide good customer service and cost controls? Should you have questions about these two questions, please feel free to give us a call. We will help you develop that plan and move your claim forward.

Thanks for reading! The next installment of The Anatomy of a Property Large Loss will discuss tracking costs based on which party is responsible and communicating effectively with all parties to manage expectations—two crucial steps to effective claims handling and ensuring an exceptional customer experience for your policyholders.

Tim Nadler is a large loss consultant for GC3 with over 30 years of commercial construction project management experience. You may contact Tom at 515-267-2478 or by emailing him. 

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