Seasonality of claims: Listen, it’s grumbling!


The downpours and violent storms from early June are a reminder of the degree to which people and human activities can be dependent on the weather.

While the summer is traditionally a busy period for the Group’s teams, it is particularly busy for the GM Consultant experts specialising in Arts and Media and for the electro-domestic division of its subsidiary SES, which provides its customers with individualized services as part of the management of high volume claims. With an early start to the season this year, all of the teams are working to respond quickly to the needs of policyholders.

In terms of Arts and Media, our event specialists are available upstream of any claims, notably should the policyholder warn of impending bad weather, with the possibility of calling in on a 24-hour dedicated line. This can lead to a quick decision on the relevance or not of incurring additional expenses in an effort to save the event.

If necessary, our weather observers dispatched on-site can also monitor the wind speed and/or rainfall on the event site. This service call can be used to validate the continuation, cancellation or possible postponement of the event in question. The benefit of this is that it serves to resolve the issue of faraway weather stations or ultra-localized weather phenomenon, and can also be used to verify and minimize any possibly required expenses.

For example, €250,000 of costs were incurred in order to provide emergency renovation of an open-air site intended to accommodate a large festival with a budget of €3.5 million, after a violent storm in the area one week before the event.

For artwork collections, such as in the case of the Louvre and Orsay museums that have not hesitated to shut their doors in order to protect their artworks on a preventive basis during the recent floods in Paris and its region. Arrangements can also be made with the policyholder to set up a prevention and protection plan in case of flooding.

Within SES, the electrical damage guarantee often proposed as an option for residential property and casualty insurance has recently been put to good use.

The structuring of the teams is an essential point in the management of “seasonal” activities and, like each year, SES has increased its personnel in order to deal with this strong growth in claims.

“Many claims are made as a result of storms, lightning and voltage surges. Even though we’re perfectly familiar with the risks related to the seasonal nature of such guarantees, it’s true that things are getting off to a particularly early start this year with an increase of nearly 100% of the services provided relative to last year*”, we’re told by Eric Aliaga, Head of the electro-domestic division, specialising in the management of service providers.

“As part of our appraisal and after verification of the presence of storms in the customer’s community on the day of the loss, we assigned one of our partner repairmen to examine the motorized system of the apparently damaged gate. In only a few days, the customer was able to obtain insurance compensation after our professional’s appraisal, which served to validate the activation of the electrical damage coverage included in his insurance contract”.

The development of home automation installations in recent years and the increased need for electrical devices within homes has resulted in the residential properties becoming particularly vulnerable to overvoltages and other electrical damage.

New disturbances are expected in the future, and several departments are already on orange weather alert. The storm season is therefore expected to be particularly busy for the loss adjusters from the GM Consultant Group.

Diane Maccury
Art and Media loss adjuster, GM Consultant Group

Delphine Vauthier
Quality manager, SES, subsidiary of GM Consultant Group