Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. Catastrophic winds and storm surge have thrashed the coast along southwest Florida, with much of the state gearing up for significant impacts to people, property, and power and electricity services.
The first priority for businesses should be to focus on their people, who may have experienced personal losses. It also is critical to avoid putting anyone, whether your own employees or others assisting with your claim, in unnecessary danger as you start collecting information about sustained damages to aid your recovery.
As companies try to assess the extent of damage to their properties and restart their operations, many are expected to face power issues and access challenges. Further, already strained supply chains may make obtaining critical repair and rebuilding supplies or raw materials difficult and more expensive, hindering your ability to conduct normal business operations and serve your customers.
And even companies that did not experience physical damage could have their post-storm operations disrupted due to supply chain issues. Your critical suppliers, or their suppliers, could have experienced damage or have their operations interrupted. Logistics services providers, such as shippers and ports, could also be experiencing delays. In addition, you should investigate if damage to your customers will impact their ability to receive your goods or services, which could result in a contingent business interruption claim.
It is important to work with your broker or insurance provider to carefully review your policy documents to determine whether you can file a contingent time element claim. This includes understanding:
Contingent time element claims — where you are affected by the impact of the storm on third parties — can be among the more complex ones to file and manage. Having a good understanding of your potential loss and coverage, established communication protocols with your broker and insurer’s adjustment teams, and the right claims advocacy team representing you are important in helping your claim process to move forward smoothly and returning to normal operations.
To reduce the potential for financial impacts on your business and prepare for a possible contingent time element claim, you should take three critical actions:
In addition to contingent time element exposures, the storm can also generate interdependency losses if damage to one of your locations impacts the ability of other locations to conduct normal business operations. These exposures should be explored prior to and immediately after a loss.