A number of companies offer to go the “extra mile” on behalf of their clients. However, not many offer to go the extra 2,400 miles, as we did on a recent insurance claim. When floods destroyed our client’s main manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, all the equipment was shut down and was in the process of being moved to protect the property from further damage. Consequently, we could not get a good understanding of how each machine worked and of the overall manufacturing process.
However, a year earlier the company had set up a satellite plant in El Salvador, Central America. The El Salvadoran plant produced most of the items in the product line. If only I could see that operation, I could get a much better understanding of how the company functioned.
At the same time, PLA was adjusting a major loss in Houston, Texas, that resulted from Hurricane Ike. A glance at a map showed that it was only 2,400 miles round trip from Houston to El Salvador—a lot less than the 5,800 miles from Boston. So I decided to make the side trip from Houston to visit the El Salvadoran plant.
It turned out to be a great decision. It gave me a much better understanding of the company’s business, as well as the issues of manufacturing in a third world country. I was able to observe each machine’s operation as well as the production flow. This was particularly important due to the large size of the loss and its many components: Extra Expense, Business Interruption, Building and Personal Property.
It is the insured’s responsibility to prove the extent of the loss. A significant investment of time and effort on behalf of the public adjuster can provide huge dividends in preparing and defending the insurance claim. I am certain that the insured benefited from these efforts.
My wife asked me if the trip was business or an adventure. Actually, it was both; I was able to spend a few hours as a tourist. How many of us get to climb to the top of a volcano?