When disaster strikes, businesses need to quickly assess the damage and organize recovery efforts. Whether it’s a natural disaster, man-made destruction or another unexpected crisis, companies will undoubtedly have to deal with significant disruptions to operations.

When faced with catastrophes, as seen in recent years with flooding and now with wildfires in Alberta, the impact of these tragedies are far reaching. We’re deeply concerned with the safety and well-being of the people in that region, and understand that companies suffering losses due to devastating disasters may face complex and difficult-to-understand insurance claims. We hope to help businesses prioritize concerns for employees and customers and understand the requirements for managing the insurance claims process effectively.

Since you only get one chance to get an insurance claim off to a robust start, you may want to consider the following questions:

  • What are the strategic goals of your claim strategy? How are you engaging the right team and keeping stakeholders informed throughout the crises – and thereafter?
  • How are you collecting information and storing it securely? How are you prepared to respond quickly to insurers’ requests for information?
  • Have you conducted an early financial analysis? Do you fully understand the size of the loss and any potential uninsured elements?
  • What does your physical damage claim preparation process look like? Can you fully document the physical damage loss while minimizing pressure on operations that are already stressed?
  • What is the claim’s unique driver? Do you fully understand the impacts of the business interruption? In what ways are you assessing post-loss changes in technology or markets, international inter-dependencies, and event-driven market impacts?
  • What support do you have for negotiations? Is there a new way of presenting your argument? How have others approached similar problems?
  • What resources can you draw on for global claims expertise? Have you set up a process to gather needed insurance claim data and documents, and prepare business interruption calculations? It is possible that you might need guidance on particular aspects of the claim or full claims support.

Disasters happen. To navigate through catastrophic times, companies need to develop a new trait: resilience. This means combining the ability to ride out the immediate impact of shocks with the agility to adapt to constantly changing conditions. Organizations that can understand and manage these risks effectively are better positioned to grow – confident they can withstand known and unknown risks.

How are you prepared to identify, understand and cope with unplanned events – including your insurance claims strategy?

*This piece was originally published by Alice V. Edwards, Managing Director of Forensics at PwC in the United States. To read the US version, please click here.