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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Tips on Managing International Deployments in Response to Catastrophic Events

Mike Koch (Kitchener, ON)

During the occurrence of high volume or catastrophic events, whether natural or man-made, independent adjusting firms are responsible for organizing and mobilizing often large groups of qualified CAT adjusters. Critical to the successful execution of such initiatives are the following actions: tailoring one’s deployment plan to the severity of the event and the nature of the event (as declared by local government) the efficient identification of available adjuster personnel (within relative proximity to the event), adherence to necessary licensing standards, and the appropriate and efficient deployment of all necessary resources.  

The maintenance and accuracy of an organization’s available CAT adjuster inventory, along with information pertaining to level of experience, updated passport and licensing details, as well as geographic placement, is imperative to an organization’s overall success. Sophisticated systems and processes are often utilized to assist in the overall management of such endeavours. For instance, Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. utilizes the capabilities of their Command Centre. During such CAT events, the Command Centre is placed in “CAT mode,” serving as a central location for real-time information to support the management of events with the ability to provide real-time client reports and dashboards.

In CAT mode, the Command Centre consolidates weather information with intake and call volume information from CLAIMSALERT®, Crawford’s in-house contact centre. Claim details and adjuster deployment information are gathered to track, monitor and respond to the development of events. Through the use of geocoding, CAT response teams can quickly see high frequency and severity areas to deploy resources in an effective and efficient manner.

Based on the intelligence collected and the resources available to an organization to assist in the organization of deployment efforts during catastrophic events, the following considerations should be taken into account: 
  •  The size and severity of the storm.
  •  Accuracy of the intelligence predicting where the storm will hit and the population size of said region(s).
  • The number and coverage details of “Policy in Force” (PIF) of carrier clients within the effected region(s) as well as details pertaining to degree and extent of additional support required.
  • Determining the number of adjusters to place on standby to properly service clients.
  • Organizing and generating appropriate travel papers to enable adjusters to pass through customs and immigration upon arrival to a CAT site.
  • The arrangement of rental cars and accommodations for incoming adjusters – accommodations need to be made close to the catastrophic event but out of the path of further potential destruction.  
  • An induction centre is usually set up in the board room of the same hotel where accommodations are made.  
  • An induction centre assists in proper licensing (which must adhere to the local country’s laws) by providing applications and monitoring the quality assurance on each application. The same induction centre should also host orientation sessions for arriving adjusters to prepare them for site inspections from an operational standpoint. The centre can also assist the CAT team with addressing IT needs, etc. 

This blog post has been written by Mike Koch, National Property & Catastrophe Manager, Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.

Pat Van Bakel, President & CEO, Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc. is on CatIQ's Canadian Catastrophe Conference's 2016 Advisory Committee and will be a panelist on the Claims Executives panel during the conference.

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