Claims professionals and risk managers alike will readily attest to the complex, sometimes frustrating nature of business interruption (BI) claims.
By Daniel Torpey|April 01, 2011 at 08:00 PM|The original version of this story was published on Claims Magazine
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Claims professionals and risk managers alike will readily attest to the complex, sometimes frustrating nature of business interruption (BI) claims. Pursuing, adjusting, and ultimately resolving these claims hinges on the ability to apply appropriate accounting principles and accurately interpret policy language. One resource on which insurance professionals have increasingly relied is Business Interruption: Coverage, Claims, and Recovery, which provides a roadmap for navigating BI claims from inception to settlement. In anticipation of the arrival of the second edition later this month, Claims spoke with Daniel Torpey, one of the book’s authors, who shed some light on impediments to accurately calculating BI loss and resolution options. Q. I noted this is the second edition to Business Interruption: Coverage, Claims, and Recovery. What prompted you to write another edition? What’s new?A. This second edition of Business Interruption: Coverage, Claims, and Recovery contains expanded chapters, as well as new chapters to address the emerging issues. For instance, Chapter 10 discusses Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims and the Public Assistance Act claims process, as well as the increasingly prominent and important role that FEMA plays in U.S.-based disasters and recovery. This past decade has also shown a continued increase in the globalization of today’s Fortune 1000 companies, the changing workforce, and the ever-increasing need for companies to do more with less. An earthquake in Chile, a volcanic eruption in Iceland, or a civil uprising in Egypt are no longer considered non-issues for U.S. companies; they now impact their supply chains or customer bases. Those concerns, combined with an economic need to recover all losses have provided us with a wealth of material for an updated edition of the book. Even at the present moment we see that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will impact the U.S. and worldwide markets.
Q. What about outside the wide-scope disasters? Is there a discussion for other less catastrophic type claims?
A. Yes, we have also added two other chapters. One goes beyond first-party property coverage (Chapter 11) and discusses BI issues as they relate to product liability, builders’ risks, and other types of insurance. In Chapter 12, we elaborate on techniques for handling claims in today’s modern corporation, such as the use of technology, the paperless claim, and dealing with international losses. Finally, we have sought the guidance of several well-known and respected professionals in the field, such as David Goodwin of Covington & Burling LLP, David Barrett and Peter Rosen of Latham & Watkins LLP, and Peter Khan and Brad Ridden of the forensic accounting firm Matson Driscoll & Damico. They provided us with different perspectives on the BI claims process. Their contributions as additional writers certainly enhance the book.
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