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Hurricane Claims Still in the Pipeline

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused widespread damage across the southeastern United States and the Caribbean, and many of the resulting claims are still being processed. Derek Royster spoke with Business Insurance about claims still in the pipeline.

While insured loss estimates for the hurricanes are in the range of $80 billion to $90 billion, business interruption and contingent business interruption claims in particular are still being assessed as some areas hit by the storms struggle to recover.

“We are doing work handling and reviewing claims for each of these storms,” said Derek Royster, partner with forensic accounting firm Baker Tilly* L.L.P. in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Baker Tilly is handling large claims with substantial property damage as well as smaller losses with shorter interruption periods due to off-premises power interruption and civil authority, Mr. Royster said.

“We’re seeing more larger physical damage cases down in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, whereas in Florida there’s a larger volume of losses with short interruption periods, whether from lost power interruption or a civil authority order,” Mr. Royster said. “So it’s a little different for each storm.”

Supply chain disruption has also become an issue.

“Then we’ve seen some contingent business interruption cases in which a supplier has been impacted as a result of one of the hurricanes, and the insured is a downstream business with contingent business interruption coverage and their business has been affected as a result of damage to the supplier,” Mr. Royster said.

As appeared in Business Insurance, Feb. 5, 2018.

*Effective December 2018, RGL Forensics joined Baker Tilly US, LLP. This article was published while we were RGL Forensics. The author(s) or team member(s) quoted from RGL are now employees of Baker Tilly.

Derek W. Royster
Partner, CPA, ABV, CFF, CFE

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