issue 012, 2019

Not your average property claim 012

BY IAN V. MURESS CEO, International, Sedgwick

Property claims commonly involve losses from weather disasters that impact homes and businesses. However, these claims do not always include a damaged roof or a flooded basement.

What happens when the loss is the Treasure of Notre Dame, a collection of holy relics and artwork housed in the Cathedral of Notre Dame scorched from a devastating fire? Or a multi-million dollar film set ruined by a storm on a tropical island? Or even a widespread E. coli outbreak caused by a contaminated crop of spinach? For Sedgwick’s specialty practice groups, it’s just another interesting day at work. 

church

When property is priceless

Property loss claims involving fine art, priceless treasures and rare or high-dollar items require specialists who have unique expertise in each area. Loss adjusters with experience serving as auctioneers, gemstone specialists and art historians can offer valuable insight. These specialists can provide preliminary valuations and risk analyses before any damage occurs. They can also assess the losses and offer restoration options if the items can be recovered. Pricing some works of art may require industry experts with knowledge on specific artists or art periods.

Sedgwick’s fine arts experts began assembling a team of specialists in sculpture, stained glass, fabrics, painting, frames, ancient instruments and more to assess the damage of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

When word that a tragic fire broke out in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in April, Sedgwick’s fine arts experts began assembling a team of specialists in sculpture, stained glass, fabrics, painting, frames, ancient instruments and more to assess the damage. As the insurance assessor for the Treasure of Notre Dame, a team led by fine arts claims specialist Michel Honoré was tasked with assessing the state of the Treasure.

While it’s difficult to put a monetary price on pieces with a profound spiritual value that are essentially priceless, the work is made easier by expert valuations.

Sedgwick’s fine arts specialty team applies their expertise to focus on a range of items including statues and sculptures, silverware, jewelry and an increasing volume of old photographs. They have worked on many memorable claims including the fire in a wing of the Ritz Hotel in Paris in 2016 soon after their €100 million refurbishment, the Notre Dame Cathedral fire and a Van Gogh painting that came back from an exhibition with a hole in it. 

painting of people

The fine arts team was also involved recently in a mysterious case where an auction house employee in Toulouse, France discovered a rare Caravaggio painting. After evaluation, the Sedgwick team helped identify the artwork as the missing piece of a collection that had been lost for over 400 years. What sounds like pages taken from a mystery novel is just another assignment for our highly skilled fine arts team.


Stage lighting on a beach

When there’s trouble in paradise

If weather-related damage occurs on the set of a television series or movie, claims adjusters that understand the production process, media equipment and the entertainment business can help keep the filming schedule on track.

When a large production company was struck by storms during filming at its tropical island location, its handmade sets were damaged beyond repair, causing considerable disruption to its filming schedule. Given the large budget and high profile of the television series, losses from the storm had the potential to exceed £1 million.

Given the large budget and high profile of the television series, losses from the storm had the potential to exceed £1 million.

Sedgwick’s media and entertainment specialists were notified of the loss and our adjusters were able to immediately assist with mitigation measures and helped develop the rescheduling strategy. The primary objective was to ensure the filming was completed within the production company’s strict delivery deadlines. The series aired with viewers unaware that there had ever been trouble in paradise.

concert stage with instruments

In addition to television shows, Sedgwick’s team also has experience managing claims for concert tours, theater productions, movies and more.


plants

When agricultural claims include spinach and beef recalls

Claims involving the agriculture and farming industries may be caused by weather-related events, but one of the biggest issues they face is food safety. The public has grown increasingly aware of this problem due to government-mandated recalls of contaminated or possibly contaminated foods.

In the case of a recall, our team of specialty loss adjusters can respond quickly, investigate and recommend the best strategy for prompt resolution.

When a case of salmonella was detected from beef and an E. coli outbreak occurred from contaminated spinach, Sedgwick’s agriculture and rural network of specialists was there to help. In the event of a recall, response speed is crucial. With a dedicated global team of specialty loss adjusters, we can respond quickly and investigate and recommend the best strategy for prompt resolution. These types of losses can include the cost to pull the product from the market, the cost to reproduce the product, business interruption costs and claims involving illnesses and property damage.

tractor in a ditch

The agribusiness and farming industries are changing and evolving daily — worldwide. Machinery is getting bigger and more complex, farm sizes are growing and costs are increasing. Our experts have a working knowledge of the farming, forestry, agriculture and feed industries. Through their experience, they bring real empathy for those who live and work in rural communities and a deep understanding of loss adjusting in this unique market.

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