Recovering from the devastating impact of natural disasters
Recovering from the devastating impact of natural disasters
Insight

Recovering from the devastating impact of natural disasters

Learn how KPMG helps provide relief to communities, businesses and state and locals officials following a catastrophic event.

Natural disasters are becoming more and more prominent in our daily news.  Recently, Hurricane Florence and Michael swept through the Southeast at varying categories, causing widespread evacuations and states of emergency.  Hurricane Michael, made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in the Florida panhandle, making it the strongest storm to hit the Continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  With record wind speeds and rain, the devastation of these hurricanes brought the loss of multiple lives, homes destroyed and many businesses disrupted in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

First and foremost, KPMG LLP is committed to their people.  As disasters sweep through areas, our emergency plans activate to monitor those who work and reside in the affected areas.  We feel a sense of responsibility to those whose lives and businesses have been impacted by these events. As a firm we are concerned not only about our employees, but the broader communities, and our clients as well. We are fortunate to be able to provide services that help provide relief to the individuals, businesses and governments that need it most.

It’s not just our past experiences that we have garnered helping those impacted by a disasters such as 9/11, Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, or Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma. It’s about our commitment—to the businesses that are dealing with not only physical damage but also operational disruptions; and to local and state governments striving to organize and distribute federal financial assistance.

Many companies are organized operationally following a disaster—but we’ve found over the years that few are prepared to move forward from accounting, financial, and legal perspective. KPMG and our teams of professionals can assist in ensuring recovery funding and assistance get to those most in need. We can help in determining federal program eligibility; preparing complex commercial insurance claims; project management; document collection and review; contract monitoring and oversight, grant management, and more. In the wake of a natural disaster, agencies will be disbursing billions of dollars, which can leave them vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse, so we help state and local governments protect their constituents in that regard, as well.

The period immediately after a catastrophic event is difficult personally and professionally. The damage sustained during such events has a tremendous effect on organizations, which may face significant business losses driven by damage to their property, damage to customers and suppliers, and supply chain disruptions. Lack of access to facilities, damage to roads and bridges, interruption of utilities, and environmental contamination also play a significant role in determining how business operations are impacted by the disaster. In response to disasters  KPMG has assisted our clients across all industries with quantifying insurance claims totaling tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars.  We have also assisted our clients with navigating complexity by assisting with coordinating managements’ recovery plans, compiling and organizing cost data and helping quantify economic and financial losses.

One of the most prudent things to do post-disaster is to thoroughly review and understand your organization’s commercial insurance policies to determine the coverage provided to you to recover losses.  Policy language pertaining to deductions, sub limits and periods of indemnity are quite different for various causes of loss such as power outage, property damage, and flooding.  Such claim complexities require special considerations that need to be closely assessed by an effected organization.

Understanding how an insurer will approach evaluating a claim is the key, and the number of KPMG professional staff members who have insurance claims experience is what sets us apart. Our professionals know how to structure a detailed, complete, and properly stated claim that can bring a rapid response from an insurance company. Loss measurement is only the beginning of our comprehensive claims services that benefit both the insured and the insurer. Our professional staff also provides industry and property knowledge and experience in loss mitigation and reduction in loss periods.

In the end, we approach these unfortunate situations as a member of the affected communities and we’re ready, willing and able to serve in any capacity we can.

To learn more about our commitment to people, businesses and communities, in good times and bad, visit our Disaster Recovery site.