A Category 4/5 hurricane just made landfall scoring a direct hit on a major metropolitan center. This is not an ‘if’ but a when. With hurricanes predicted to become more frequent and increasingly severe the potential liability for Insurance Carriers is also rising. Adequate policy limits as respects commercial buildings, business personal property, electronic data processing equipment floaters, and sufficient debris removal limits is crucial to an effective hurricane catastrophe response. Insurance companies that prepare in advance for these events with the implementation of RecycleSoft technology will ultimately be rewarded with lower and more predictable claims mitigation costs and faster claims resolution.
This is what typically happens after a major hurricane event:chaos. Independent ‘cleanup’ crews (who arrive in droves before the storm hits) charge whatever they want to haul away the debris, often to the nearest landfill. There is no regard to what class of waste (hazardous, universal etc) is being dumped and certainly no true picture of precise volumes. Insurance adjusters work 24/7 to process and adjust catastrophe claims. There are no (or very few) bills of lading and no accountability for what goes where. There is simply no concept that the waste stream might be an opportunity for revenue generation. It does not have to be this way.
The potential savings (and revenues) flowing from proper operations / claims administration following a disaster event are huge. It all starts with counting. The old line “if you can’t count it you don’t have it” applies very directly here. There is quite a lot of preliminary setup but once done, the RecycleSoft suite handles all operational aspects of disaster recovery. I’ll address the setup phase first.
For the sake of clarity I’ll restrict this to Commercial policyholders. A typical policyholder in this instance is an office risk occupying a single floor or even an entire building. The hurricane hits and blows out all the windows; the adjuster arrives, everything inside is ruined. As with most catastrophic events, after the hurricane hits insurance claim adjusting teams are slammed with very few tools to quantify the magnitude of loss. So, step 1 is to enter ‘everything’ into RecycleSoft, I.e. electronic data processing equipment(EDP)/universal waste), carpet, lighting (hazardous waste), furniture, ceiling tiles and so on. Some items will be individually entered with precise weights (computers) while others, carpet for example, will be estimated. RecycleSoft calculates the precise geo-location of the loss site. A valuation is applied to each entry as is the policy number. RecycleSoft does allow for the fact that there may be multiple policies held within a facility. So, for example, the building itself may be insured by company A and Company B insures the tenant for business personal property and EDP equipment. This data entry can be done by the insurance company claims department or by us.
It is extremely important here to realize that the key metric in post hurricane debris removal is the WEIGHT. Another key metric is the downstream processor for all RecycleSoft entries. Some items such as wet carpet and ceiling tiles can indeed just go to the landfill with the goal of expediting debris removal at the lowest cost possible. Other items such as electronic data processing equipment should go to a certified R2 recycler. Lighting and other haz-waste should go to a hazardous waste facility.
I’d like to spend a moment on the importance of using an R2 certified EWaste recycler. R2 is an industry standard administered by a body called Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) that Ewaste recyclers may adopt. The R2 Standard provides a common set of processes, safety measures, and documentation requirements for businesses that repair and recycle used electronics. R2 is rigorously and independently audited, emphasizing quality, safety, and transparency. Using an R2 certified recycler means that the Ewaste will be handled properly and effectively transfers the pollution risk from the insurance company to the R2 facility.
Taking the landfill items first. You can’t be overcharged for 30,000 lbs of wet carpet if you already know there is only 10,000 lbs of wet carpet. The E-Waste should go to a named R2 facility because there certainly is considerable value in this. The whole computer may not ever work again but the CPU and memory most likely do. 10,000 Intel 4th generation i7 CPU’s (the chip) are alone collectively worth an immediate $1MM and most offices have newer than 4th generation machines. Hard drives must be verifiably destroyed.with appropriate documentation. In many cases, data restoration for Named Insureds may be facilitated by a Certified R2 licensed recycler. Most importantly, hazardous waste cannot go to the landfill at the risk of incurring DEQ fines and sanctions. Within RecycleSoft each of the downstream processors are identified for all classes of material and made aware of a pending catastrophe, should an occurrence happen. Teamwork is the key between insurance field adjusters and RecycleSoft downstream processors. Ultimately RecyleSoft facilitates the process and keeps claims costs at a minimum.
Also within RecycleSoft we enter the agreed rate (per Lb or by unit) for all of the items in the claim inventory according to each assigned processor. If an item is expected to have potential resale value (remember the i7 cpu’s?) any revenue sharing with the insurance carrier is entered in RecycleSoft with the net effect being reduced claims costs.
All of the parties involved in the removal (including insurance claims departments) download the RecycleSoft App (Android, Apple or Tablet). Once installed the parties simply login to initiate the RecycleSoft protocols for superior claims management.
After the Occurrence
RecycleSoft advises everyone involved that provisionally they will have work orders for all the recycling or landfill locations affected. Within RecycleSoft these are displayed visually within Google Maps. A click on any map point will display the list of items that are to be processed by them. When the adjuster arrives they make the decision as to the extent of the damage and inventory the BPP loss items. Imagine in this instance it is all ruined. The adjuster fires up the App and logs in. The App ‘knows’ where it is and who the adjuster is (because they just logged in). So, the App knows who the insured parties are and all the items (and weights) at that location. If a Claim Number already exists the Adjuster enters this into the App and can apply this to ‘everything’ or selected items. This will generate work orders and Bills of Lading for the applicable downstream processors, communicates via email and also displayed upon clicking the Google Maps entry. For coordination purposes each processor and the adjuster also has visibility of all work orders generated for that location. As pricing has already established and agreed upon, a purchase order can be generated and sent to the appropriate parties.
All work orders can be coordinated and scheduled within RecycleSoft; it’s difficult to remove the carpet until the furniture is out. Ideally the computers should be removed before the furniture is too. So, RecycleSoft sends the schedule and work order to the E-Waste processor. The E-Waste processor arrives and opens the App. As mentioned prior, the App ‘knows’ where it is (the loss location) and therefore the pickup and shipping location and we know who is logged into the App (therefore the destination). As we also know what is to be processed (with weights), RecycleSoft is able now to generate a complete Bill of Lading. The App can capture signatures if not already on file in RecycleSoft. Printed on the BOL is a timestamp and a geolocation stamp. The App can also capture photos if needed.
The adjuster and/or designated person(s) have complete visibility and/or control over all the ‘moving parts’. Once received by the processor, they have complete visibility and control of the items now in their custody. Data destruction certificates, for example, are issued by RecycleSoft as needed. All items to be sold (those i7’s again) are taken into inventory within RecycleSoft, tested using test criteria in RecycleSoft and sold from Recyclesoft. The Insurance Partner has full visibility of what was sold, to whom, and for what amount in addition to the calculation of claims reducing revenue shares.
The Icing on the Cake
Extreme weather events blow down power lines and the old cables (which are potentially owned by the Insurer). Further revenue sharing opportunities exist here as well since recycling of these articles is valued upwards of $3.00 per Lb. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of this cabling is generated following an extreme weather event. Are you just giving this revenue away or, worse, being charged for it’s disposal? There are many other examples of this. RecycleSoft has the data and the answers.
So, not only will you gain new revenue streams, you will be able to fully control costs and avoid inflated invoices. Your claims operations will be far smoother and lead to significant cost savings.
Yet it is the reporting layer in RecycleSoft that is truly unique and adds huge value. Imagine if you could compare occurrences by continent, country, state down to individual buildings? How did last year compare with this year? Then see ALL items processed or even drill into a single category. Then, with a click see all BOL’s from a specific location (with signatures), work orders, invoices that are all linked with the appropriate claim number. You may query as to why Article X is costing $5 in Florida and $10 in Texas? Your claims department may access at any time a full accounting down to the pound and/or cost/revenue. Perhaps there may even be implications with Insurance Company reinsurance rate negotiations.
In the long term, the RecycleSoft competitive edge will provide the metrics for potential rate reductions within these catastrophe zones and also potential premium savings for your preferred commercial insureds. RecycleSoft creates win-win propositions for everybody when the inevitable presents itself in a deadly destructive hurricane!
So, tying this back to the introduction in this article and the usual initial chaos following an event. These can be multi billion dollar catastrophe (‘CAT’) losses so even shaving just a few points from each metric can generate very significant savings, certainly in the millions of dollars. RecycleSoft can help you do far better than shave just a few points.
- Significantly reduce costs.
- Enable completely new revenue streams.
- Lift the initial fog of confusion following an event.
- Avoid DEQ sanctions.
- Real-time detailed reporting with single pound accuracy.
- Complete tracking of all material to final disposition.
- Complete virtual paper-trail to prove regulatory compliance.
If you would like to find out more or to schedule a demonstration please do call 602-317-3981 and we would be happy to oblige.