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Risk in Context

10 Steps to Develop Your Catastrophe Response Plan

Posted by Robert W. O’Brien May 06, 2015

Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) predict a below-average number of storms for the June 1 through November 30 hurricane season — an encouraging projection.

So as the hurricane season approaches, taking a sequential approach to planning can help you effectively prepare your organization for whichever way the winds blow.

Creating and Implementing Your Plan

Following are 10 steps to keep in mind as you develop your CAT response plans.

Before a Loss

  1. Identify your CAT-exposed locations.
  2. Assess your supply chain for CAT exposures that could generate contingent time element losses.
  3. Run CAT models for your identified exposures.
  4. Assess the values exposed within your portfolio to loss from hurricane or storm surge perils and analyze modeled loss estimates for physical damage as well as direct and contingent time-element losses to determine where mitigation efforts can best be directed.
  5. Assess the adequacy of your insurance in terms of limits, retentions, and coverage terms and conditions.
  6. Develop or re-evaluate your CAT response team, claims management, and crisis response procedures to ensure they properly address your exposures.
  7. Review these plans in conjunction with your organization’s operational and financial goals.


    After a Loss

  8. Activate your CAT response, claims management, and/or crisis response plans.
  9. Monitor the progress and adjust activities as needed; establish communication protocols to ensure your organization’s recovery is proceeding in support of the stated goals.
  10. Conduct a post-event evaluation and improve plan where necessary.

Despite the predictions for a quiet hurricane season, CAT events can occur throughout the year, and forecasters are not always right. Make sure your plans are robust, flexible, and able to respond to any event. And build your plans based on your organization’s unique needs.


Related to:  Property

Robert W. O’Brien

Robert O’Brien, managing director of Marsh USA, Inc. is a senior property claims officer of Marsh’s National Property Claims practice.