The Anatomy of a Property Large Loss, Part III: Effective Communication and Tracking Costs

August 11, 2017Scope Of Loss

Welcome back to our series of articles on Property Large Loss. You may remember the last GC3 blog post offered insights on planning, scope and estimates for property large loss.

In Part III of this series, we’re explaining how we tracked costs and communicated effectively with multiple parties in order to make progress and ensure fairness to the insured and the carrier.

First, let’s quickly recap the real property large loss project we’re using as an example.

  • Complex commercial loss involving 130 individual homeowner units
  • GC3 was asked to scope damage and manage the rebuild/repair process
  • Many units required engineering while others needed repairs
  • High profile and high-pressure project involving many organizations

Understanding the high profile nature of the project, the GC3 team put in place a phased plan to coordinate, manage and communicate progress. Because there were 130 homeowners, each with their own concerns, our team recognized the need for consistent and clear communication.

The first step was to place two GC3 team members on the project site. Having a staffed presence on-site immediately alleviated pressure on the adjustor and carrier because the insureds could ask questions directly to those who were managing the rebuild process. This effort gave the homeowners confidence that progress was being made.

The GC3 team also shared the project plan with homeowners during Homeowners’ Association meetings. In addition, our team sent monthly spreadsheets to homeowners detailing the work “completed/still needed” for individual homes, as well as an updated schedule, which outlined the next steps.

Beyond communicating to homeowners as a group and through email, our team sat down with each homeowner to review the adjustor’s evaluation and talk about individual unit betterments. (To do this we used the custom management tool we talked about in last month’s article.) This step not only assured homeowners that they were being heard, it also helped our team accurately track repair costs as well as betterment costs to ensure that costs were submitted only to the parties responsible.

In addition to helping manage each unit’s repairs and improvements, this valuable tool allowed us to complete daily documentation of work progress, including signing off on the number of workers on-site daily and their specific tasks. The process encouraged accountability for all parties and allowed the adjustor and the carrier to provide an exceptional customer experience for the insureds.

Key Takeaways:

  • When working on a property large loss, make yourself present, but small.People need to see you and speak to you to have confidence that you’re making progress. However, it’s important to be cognizant that people are sometimes still living in the home and you don’t want to be in the way.
  • Take every opportunity to communicate.Give regularly scheduled, thorough explanations of what you’re doing, where you’re doing it and what you’re doing next.
  • With a property large loss it is crucial to thoroughly track costs and tasks vs. repairs and bettermentsto ensure that the proper parties are paying only the costs for which they are responsible.

Thanks for reading! If you have more questions regarding the process we used to handle this property large loss, or any additional questions about effective claims handling, please give us a call.


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.