POSTED ON September 21, 2020
On August 27, 2020, Pie posted an update on the Iowa Derecho that devastated the Midwest two-weeks earlier. The response to this event by the insurance industry was swift as usual and with it, Pie has provided timely insurance claims consulting. Now, more than six weeks since the event, as the world has shifted its attention to other news, the effects of this event lingers.
In the early aftermath of this destructive, high-wind event, insurance adjusters began the process of handling the massive sea of claims. Within two weeks, Pie’s consultants were called to assist in reviewing damages and determining the extent that could be directly attributed to this inland hurricane. After approximately three-weeks and like the wind itself, the flow of claims has subsided, but only for a moment. As is the nature of the claims process, there is an ebb and flow by which claims consultants are called upon. Depending on the number of claims and severity of the event itself, the insurance industry will typically seek to handle claims as they come in. Consultants are typically called upon in two cases; either the flow of claims exceeds a point at which the industry cannot keep up with demand and/or the level of complexity requires a higher level of expertise.
Although the number of claims has lessened to a degree in the last week to 10 days, there is still much activity and the recovery from the derecho is far from over. “As we get into the latter stages of the claims process, there is typically an increase in case complexity requiring a greater level of expertise to decipher,” says Shannon Pierce, Director at Pie Consulting & Engineering. “These claims can fall into a gray area and may require intrusive and non-intrusive investigations to identify underlying issues that may not be readily apparent. It’s important to investigate these conditions to determine what is an outcome of the event versus a possible pre-existing condition.”
Such investigations may include infrared thermography and intrusive test openings, moisture testing, roof cores and analysis of building movement. In addition, Pie regularly provides construction consulting services and cost estimating to inform resolution of the claim.
In summary, the lifecycle of an insurance claim is truly a two-sided affair. For those not impacted by the event, the news comes and goes as current events usher in something else to focus on. Yet, for those directly impacted by the event and those working to help make them whole again, the undulating process of investigating, assessing, and repairing damages can be a lengthy process lasting months and sometimes years.
Pie Consulting & Engineering is a leading global provider of building and forensic science services who provides a comprehensive and diverse range of engineering, rehabilitative design, consulting, enclosure commissioning (BECx), construction management, and field performance testing services. As a new subsidiary of Lerch Bates, Inc. (www.lerchbates.com), Pie services its development, design, construction, insurance/claims, and legal professional clients globally from our headquarters in Colorado and multiple regional offices strategically positioned throughout the nation. To learn more, visit www.pieglobal.com.