Immediately following the incident.
A seasoned business interruption expert can help you:
- Put your records in order for an advance request.
- Discuss mitigating efforts.
- Assist with setting up record keeping protocols that make sure no information is overlooked.
- Act as an incentive for the insurance companies’ experts to play a little more fairly, because they know that they will be closely scrutinized.
Costly mistakes in the business interruption portion of the claim are often made early in the claim process. For example, simple documentation processes can easily be overlooked while everyone focuses on the physical recovery.
Recently I had a manufacturing client who made an extra expense claim. I was brought in immediately after the loss and insisted on daily payroll records being kept that detailed the physical activities of all company employees following the loss. The client didn’t think this was a great idea and grumbled the whole time. More than a year later, at the settlement meeting, the insurance company’s accountant argued that there had been minimal extra labor expense based on a historical trend analysis. We pulled out the boxes of detailed payroll records and our summary schedules of the data. Had we been called later in the process, we would not have had these records to work with.
End result: The insurance company’s accountant estimated the extra labor to be $6,000, but that portion of the claim settled for $320,000. Again, the answer to the question of when to engage a forensic accountant is immediately after the loss.
John Hutson is fiercely committed to guiding clients through the process of quantifying a business interruption for litigation or an insurance claim. Please feel welcome to contact John to discuss your project.