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“What lessons did we learn from Superstorm Sandy as an industry?”

Five CLM Fellows answer this month's question, including Scott Barabash, VP of Claims for Aspen Insurance.

November 22, 2013 Photo

“The magnitude underscored the importance of having heavily stress-tested catastrophe plans. It also demonstrated the value of approaching a catastrophe with strong, multifaceted experts. Carriers that executed a well-tested plan produced high levels of customer satisfaction and enhanced the value of their brands.”

1. Gary Stephen, SVP, PURE Insurance. CLM Fellow since 2011.


“What we’ve learned is that the insurance industry, first responders, and restoration contractors are not performing much better than when Andrew struck over 20 years ago. With governmental influence, carrier indecision, and overwhelming labor shortages, there are no easy answers.”

2. Tracy Bachtell, SVP Business Development, Paul Davis Restoration. CLM Fellow since 2012.


“We have learned that planning, preparedness, and coordination of efforts will reduce the losses. No area on the East Coast of the U.S. is immune from hurricane and storm disasters. You have to take all storm warnings seriously.”

3. Ray Wood, Sr. Director, Global Safety and Security, Marriott Vacations Worldwide. CLM Fellow since 2010.


“Unprecedented and devastating weather events can cause damage that intersects multiple lines of coverage. The best outcomes will be achieved through early communication followed by swift and collaborative assessment and prompt, compassionate, equitable, and often creative solutions delivered to our clients.”

4. Claire Juliana, Director, Environmental Claims Advocacy, Aon. CLM Fellow since 2012.


“Significant events like Sandy demonstrate the importance of clarity in the policy terms so everyone is very clear about what is and isn’t covered. Any ambiguity can be exploited to establish coverage where none was intended or, alternatively, to question whether the right policy was purchased.”

5. Scott Barabash, VP of Claims, Aspen Insurance. CLM Fellow since 2010.



Number of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy.
Source: NICB


Borrowing authority added to the NFIP for Sandy response, bringing the total to $30 billion.
Source: Congressional Research Service


Number of assistance registrations received by FEMA.
Source: FEMA


Number of years since the NYSE was closed for two consecutive days due to weather; the last was during the Blizzard of 1888.
Source: TIME


Number of days NYC had gas rationing in place—N.J. imposed a policy for 11 days and Long Island for nine.
Source: TIME


The amount of insured property loss, excluding federally covered flood claims, caused by Sandy.
Source: Insurance Information Institute

About The Authors
Bevrlee J. Lips

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.  blips@claimsadvisor.com

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CLM’s Property Committee provides education relevant topics, practical skills, and innovative strategies for handling property claims and litigation related to coverage and insurance claims for CLM’s members and fellows.

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