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Flooding, tornados, severe storms, and other catastrophic losses present unique complications when evaluating potential for subrogation recovery. In 2011, there have been many catastrophic losses: flooding in Australia with 35 fatalities and overall losses at $7.3 billion; severe storms and tornados affecting Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Kansas, including a devastating twister that leveled the town of Joplin, Mo. on May 22. There were 170 fatalities related to U.S. severe storms, with overall losses at $7 billion.

Separately, 330 tornados hit five southern states between April 22 and 28, 2011, impacting towns in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee, resulting in 350 fatalities, with overall losses at $7.5 billion. New England also sustained a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, resulting in 181 fatalities and overall losses estimated at $20 billion. The enormity, scale and shortage of available resources in the loss areas further complicate recovery efforts.

CAT Subrogation TrainingMost property insurers have CAT team members pre-designated to respond to catastrophic losses. Those CAT teams should receive pre-deployment subrogation issue-spotting training, which should occur prior to responding to the loss site to ensure potential subrogation opportunities are evaluated by the on-scene CAT team member.

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