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Special Webcast: Managing the Impacts of Hurricane Irma on People and Property


Colleagues from Marsh and Marsh Risk Consulting shared insights into how expected property losses from Irma will likely differ from those resulting from Harvey during a special Marsh webcast on Thursday, September 14. Our experts also touched on environmental risk considerations, best practices for managing the claims process, and how Marsh can help clients with their recovery.

While both were powerful storms, Irma and Harvey had unique features. Harvey moved slowly over Houston and dropped record-breaking rainfall amounts that caused and continue to cause significant flooding events. Irma was a massive and powerful storm whose track was difficult to predict. It caused widespread flooding, high winds, and storm surge across both Florida coasts. Losses that have already materialized include: physical damage from flooding, storm surge, and wind; service interruptions and time element losses; business interruption, contingent business interruption, and extra expense; supply chain disruptions; and environmental losses.  

Combined with the significant evacuation, infrastructure closings (airports, roads, bridges), and depletion of supplies of gasoline, water, and other resources, it has been slower getting back into some impacted areas to assess damage. That is improving every day, but there will be a long rebuilding process.

From a claims perspective, the basic fundamentals remain consistent across both hurricanes. Get the claim reported as soon as possible, document every aspect of the damage and the impact to your operations, and maintain frequent and clear communication with your adjustment team.

Panelists also discussed services that Marsh & McLennan Companies can deliver to companies to aid in their response to and recovery from Harvey, Irma, and other storms. As Martin South, President of the US and Canada Division noted, Marsh is committed to helping clients:  

  • Report and prepare claims appropriately and in a timely fashion.
  • Review relevant policies to understand how their coverage should respond to particular circumstances.
  • Manage potentially complex FEMA claims processes and requirements as relevant.
  • Leverage visual intelligence services, which leverage imagery and video delivered by aerial technologies, open-source intelligence, analytics, and risk expertise to collect and analyze real-time information in support of site impact assessments, claims submissions, and property inspections.
  • Provide insurance claims support to company employees who are affected by these storms.

Panelists on the webcast, which was moderated by Duncan Ellis, Marsh’s US Property Practice leader, included:

  • Martin South, President of US and Canada Division at Marsh.
  • Robert O’Brien, Managing Director of Claim Practice at Marsh.
  • Edward McKenna, US Leader of Forensic Accounting and Claims SERVICES Practice at Marsh Risk Consulting.
  • Chris Smy, Global Leader of Environmental Practice at Marsh.

Listen to the replay.