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Business Insurers Face Tangle of Sandy Claims

The varied size and needs of clients represent a challenge for their insurers.

Hurricane Sandy is only hours from making landfall in northern Delaware, but the impact on the business community is already severe.

Supply chain interruptions and closure by civil authority have likely already prompted some claims — and that's before the full force of Sandy's winds and rain can cause property damage.

"You're going to see a number of issues surrounding this event," says Colleen Vallen of accounting firm Citrin Cooperman, who has worked for both carriers and insureds on business insurance claims. "You're first going to see property damage being the focus, but then you're going to see business interruption. That includes contingent business interruption for businesses who are impacted by those with damage."

[Will we know about the next Sandy in advance?]

Vallen says that documentation will be the key to getting claims resolved quickly and amicably. The better losses are documented, the less chance of a claim being bogged down in investigation.

"There's a level of analysis from both sides of the equation," Vallen explains. "People need to be prepared for the process, but because of the widespread volume insurers are going to do what they can to move things forward."

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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