CAT 5 Survival Guide

Fact: the 2020 Atlantic storm season is the first on record where nine tropical storms formed before August, with thirteen forming before September. Between Hurricane Hanna, Isaias, Marco, Laura, and Sally, this hurricane season is poised to be especially destructive – one might even call it a “Category 5 Hurricane Season”.

A true Category 5 is the highest classification that can be given to an accumulating storm. Winds of more than 157 MPH can be expected to destroy structures and cause week-long power outages, leaving affected areas uninhabitable for months or more. As insurance professionals, it’s our job to be available and on call amidst the most catastrophic of situations.

Your Claims Survival Plan 

Taking care of policyholders is your top priority as an insurance professional.

In order to maintain security during a chaotic storm season, it’s imperative to implement claims management solutions that are effective, and hire a reputable and experienced claims firm that can be trusted to provide first-rate solutions. We prioritize the client experience of the insured during a very stressful and chaotic situation, while working closely with the insurance carrier to streamline the claim experience.


Good Investments and Best Practices 

One of the best investments to be made in the face of ever changing weather patterns and costly storm seasons, is choosing to work with an effective and thorough independent adjusting firm. Make sure to hire a company with good, long standing relationships, that covers many areas spanning a large territory. Time is a precious commodity amidst a strong surge of catastrophe claims, and it is necessary to get the job done correctly the first time. Make sure to choose a firm that is well respected for the adjusters they employ.

What to Look For in a CAT Adjuster

A license alone doesn’t make a good claims adjuster. At Vector Risk Solutions, our adjusters extend our company ideals, and are selected to represent us based on their proficiency, attention-to-detail, character, and experience. 

A Vector Risk adjuster understands the insured is suffering a loss, sometimes a devastating one. These interactions must be handled carefully, compassionately, and professionally. More importantly, having the ability to meet the needs of the insured in a timely, efficient manner will save resources for both firms and clients. Pushing through as many claims as possible in a day often leads to sloppy, or incomplete work, that needs to be redone. At Vector, it is imperative to us that our adjusters work efficiently, but effectively. The quality of their education and on the job training creates a level of experience in our adjusters that is necessary to meet and uphold the Vector standard.

Your Recovery Plan

At Vector Risk Solutions, our catastrophe services can be implemented at a moment’s notice. No matter the circumstances, it is our goal to see that our clients persist and thrive in times of uncompromising natural devastation. Choose Vector Risk Solutions to make sure you are able to handle claims effectively at the height of the hurricane season. Contact us today to get started with your catastrophic claim management solutions. 

Vector Risk Solutions – Flood Claims Experts

“Determine the thing that can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” – Abraham Lincoln

Everyone, including us here at Vector Risk Solutions, has been watching 2020 unfold in shock, like a movie you can’t take your eyes off.  It’s been absolutely crazy so far and where it’s going next is anyone’s guess.  For our 2020 insurance adjuster world, we have a couple of positive plot developments today, followed by the entrance of our hero, Vector Risk Solutions, of course, to save YOUR day!


You’re no doubt aware that recent regulation changes enacted in July 2019 now allow homeowners in certain limited markets to purchase flood insurance from private insurers (not solely the National Flood Insurance Program).  Advanced flood modeling techniques have aided private insurers in creating residential flood policies, and most importantly, lenders are beginning to accept these policies.  From what we know about climate change and rising sea levels, the market for flood insurance isn’t going away any time soon.

Sophisticated flood models now indicate that our present understanding of flood risk is actually already insufficient.  According to Matthew Eby, founder and executive director of the First Street Foundation, a group of academics and experts based in New York City, the number of US properties at risk for flood damage is far higher than existing FEMA estimates.  First Street’s evidence, reported in the June 29, 2020 issue of the New York Times, shows that 14.6 million properties are at risk of experiencing a 100-year flood, nearly double the 8.7 million estimated by FEMA.  The increase is linked to better data on inland flood risk, including increased rainfall due to climate change.  Analysis for Gulf Coast and Mississippi River properties, however, showed a slight decline, according to First Street, since FEMA has historically focused so much flood analysis on those regions those numbers are relatively higher.

Flood Claims Adjusters

With private flood insurance now in the picture and new analysis of inland flood risk putting property owners on notice that they may need protection against devastating flood damage, insurers will have more claims to process than ever.  Vector Risk Solutions to the rescue!  We have over 400 hundred independent adjusters on our roster, all highly skilled and licensed in states which require licenses.  Many of our adjusters have multiple licenses.  All our independent adjusters meet the high standard of our three core values: integrity, ingenuity, and excellence.

Vector can not only provide dedicated and experienced adjusters to handle claims.  We also consult with insurer clients to evaluate their claims processing and maximize productivity through streamlined, improved procedures.  With our inclusive training and implementation process, Vector creates consensus and thorough understanding of new processes.  Our clients consistently report significantly lower adjustment expenses and greater success in meeting and exceeding performance goals after working with Vector Risk Solutions.

If you’re already issuing, or are considering, new residential flood policies, Vector is your go-to for quick, expert flood claims adjusting.  And for whatever other adjusting challenges 2020 throws your way, Vector Risk Solutions are experts in the fields of catastrophe adjusting, commercial agribusiness, commercial claims, liability, TPA & consulting, and appraisal services.  Let us show you what we can do!


In June, our blog covered the growing number of COVID-19-related business interruption claims, and whether or not those claims could, or likely would, be paid.  Since then, more interruption claims have been filed, rejected, and proceeded to litigation.  Because it appears we’re looking at a new wave of COVID cases, it’s reasonable to expect more interruption lawsuits and government response


Notable among new denied claims litigation is a business interruption lawsuit filed by Portland, Oregon business owners who urged Governor Kate Brown to shut down the state in the spring so that they could file business interruption claims based on her exercise of civil authority.  Plaintiff business owners were then outraged to discover that their claims were denied.  State shutdown orders don’t include physically cordoning off the businesses as we usually see required by the interruption coverage terms. (In hindsight, someone should have read the policy first.)

Fifteen minor league baseball teams are suing over denied interruption claims in Pennsylvania federal court. Plaintiffs include the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Amarillo Sod Poodles.


As we anticipated in June, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (HR 7011) in the House.  The bill would require the Fed to shoulder 95% of losses above the deductible, up to $750 billion. Mike Thompson’s (D-CA) grandstanding Business Interruption Coverage Act has, predictably, stalled in committee.  Several states are attempting similar legislation, but have faced strong counter-efforts from industry trade groups, including APCIA (the American Property Casualty Insurance Association).

Louisiana’s COVID insurance bill has passed the state’s Senate and advanced to the House, making it technically the leader among state efforts to force payment of business interruption claims which were denied based on policy exclusions. However, the bill was amended by the Louisiana Senate to remove the requirement of COVID-19-related business interruption coverage, so SB 477, even if passed, wouldn’t apply retroactively to claims filed prior to enactment.  All other similar state bills remain in committee or have yet to be introduced.


Meanwhile, the riots and related looting as an unfortunate side effect of the Black Lives Matter movement (while not anywhere near the financial impact of COVID-19) have achieved the distinction in our industry of being the first ever riot and civil disorder catastrophic event to occur in multiple states.  As of June 25, these damages are projected by analyst Meyer Shields to be “relatively modest”.  By way of comparison, the 1992 Los Angeles riots set new US records with damages at $1.4 billion, inflation adjusted.

Considering the above-average hurricane season predicted for this year (described in our May blog post), it looks like 2020 will be a historic year for our industry.  If you haven’t contacted Vector Risk Solutions about our independent adjusters, you’d better get right on that.  Get started with us today and be prepared for the second half of a year of unprecedented claims!



Can Insurance Save Our Economy from COVID-19?

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, business interruption claims have become a national topic.  Pundits, insurance commissioners, trade spokespersons, national legislators, and even POTUS are weighing in on whether existing insurance contracts are enforceable by businesses now experiencing losses due to mandatory civil closures and other pandemic-related causes.

President Trump, speaking at a daily White House Coronavirus Task Force Update in early April, said that while some insurance policies specifically exclude pandemic coverage, “in a lot of cases, I don’t see it. I don’t see reference, and they don’t want to pay up. I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay.” These comments sent many lawyers to the courthouse to file a plethora of unwarranted lawsuits and burdened insurer’s across the country with defending the facts of the policy against the president’s implication that the “coverage” exists and they should “pay up”.

The question, though, isn’t whether it would be great for the economy if insurers swooped in and cleaned up the whole economic fall-out of an unprecedented national pandemic. The question is whether existing policy language creates a contractual obligation for insurers to pay and a bigger question of, Can they afford to pay?

Are COVID-Related Interruption Claims Covered By Existing Policies?

Feasibility aside for the moment, most “all-risk” policies wouldn’t cover these losses because, as we understand but the general public does not, pandemic-related losses do not cause “physical property damage”, a required trigger on most commercial policies for the extension of coverage for business interruption claims.  Plaintiff insureds might allege that the virus itself is a hazardous substance, and its presence at the business location constitutes property damage.  This strategy might mirror federal cases in New Jersey, Oregon, and New Hampshire, where the presence of ammonia or other harmful gases was found to be “property damage”.  However, if a plaintiff’s own house, car, church, grocery store, and every other place in the country is also filled with the same harmful substance (the virus), could one argue that subrogation needs to be equally extended to all of the above parties for contributing to the loss…the argument sounds as ridiculous as the strategy. 

Unfortunately, there may be more pressure on insurance companies to wave magic wands and fix the economy.  Class action lawsuits over denied business interruption claims are forming and lining up in court to be heard (to name just a few:  Bridal shop class-action over biz interruption claim denial; Pizza restaurant class-action; Midwest restaurants class-action; New Jersey restaurant class action). A Texas plaintiff movie theater is now suing Lloyd’s of London over a $1 million policy with a specific endorsement for pandemics caused by SARS-mutated viruses, which COVID-19 is.  After witnessing Ebola, Lloyd’s created this policy endorsement to plug the pandemic loophole, although hardly anyone could have imagined business interruptions on our current global scale.  Lloyd’s denied the theater’s claim because the endorsement doesn’t explicitly mention COVID-19, but this kind of hair-splitting over undefined policy terms can only be settled by expensive litigation and attracts negative press and political attention.

A group of small businesses in California is trying a different approach to their losses.  They filed a class-action suit against China, alleging business losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Can Insurers Fund a National Bailout Via Interruption Claims?

On March 26, the Association of Property and Casualty Insurance estimated that business-closure losses for employers with fewer than 100 workers would total $220 billion to $383 billion per month. Then on April 6, those numbers were updated to $255 billion to $431 billion. (Note: these projections are ALL losses, not just those suffered by businesses that had purchased business-interruption coverage. Still, those are huge numbers, and more than the insurance industry could possibly absorb.

As North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in his April 17 letter, “Standard business interruption policies are not designed to provide coverage for viruses, diseases, or pandemic-related losses because of the magnitude of the potential losses,” Causey said.

Causey went on, “Insurability requires that loss events are due to chance and that potential losses are not too heavily concentrated or catastrophic. This is not possible if everyone in the risk pool is subject to the same loss at the same time.”

Legislative Response To Denied COVID Claims

Legislators are scrambling to transfer businesses losses to insurers, even if they have to essentially re-draft existing insurance contracts.  Mike Thompson (D-CA) and eight Democratic co-sponsors have introduced House Resolution 6494, which would require insurance companies to offer interruption insurance for any viral pandemic.  It also appears from the language on its face that coverage exclusions in existing policies for business interruptions caused by viral pandemic, including our current COVID-19 pandemic, would be rendered void.

While this partisan effort from California might win applause from the sponsors’ constituents, it’s doubtful that the courts would support this unilateral attempt to rewrite existing contracts.  This House Resolution appears more grandstanding than a serious attempt at legislating since it’s almost certain to fail.

Representative Carolyn Maloney’s (D-NY) work-in-progress, a Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (“PRIA”), appears somewhat more likely to succeed.  This proposal would bring in the federal government to share risk on future business interruption policies, similar to our existing Terrorist Risk Insurance Act.  Some in the insurance industry have responded that paying all pandemic-related business interruption claims would wipe out reserves and preclude paying any other types of claims.

The future of this proposed legislation, and the growing number of lawsuits over denied claims, is uncertain.  For now, we wait to see the outcomes.  Meanwhile, the economic fallout from COVID-19 mounts and the cost of defending against these claims will only continue to rise.

Hurricane Season 2020

Handling catastrophic claims caused by hurricanes is a standard part of our business, and Vector Risk Solutions’ independent adjusters have both experience and well-honed procedures to handle these claims quickly and smoothly.  Even though these claims are routine because we expect and prepare for them every year, the devastation hurricanes create is anything but routine to insureds with damaged and destroyed buildings, interrupted businesses, and even injuries and loss of life.  When you need fast claims resolution during the 2020 hurricane season, Vector Risk Solutions is standing by to ensure a quick inspection and complete resolution for you and your policyholders.

Recent Hurricane Activity and Damages

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2019 marked a fourth consecutive year of above-average hurricane activity.  The only other such period came in 1998-2001, during which Hurricane Floyd wreaked an estimated $6.5 billion in damages and 76 fatalities on its path starting on the coast of Africa, followed by slamming into the Bahamas before careening up the Mid-Atlantic to New England.  Three years ago (2017) we experienced the fourth worst Atlantic hurricane season on record during the satellite era, according to, during which three Category 4 hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, caused an estimated quarter-trillion dollars of property damage in the US.  That’s a huge amount of adjusting, and Vector Risk Solutions’ independent adjusters were in high demand as insurers worked overtime to settle record numbers of claims.

Hurricane Season Forecasts for 2020

Forecasters at Colorado State University also predict above-average hurricane activity in 2020, with an expected 16 named tropical storms developing into eight hurricanes, four of which are expected to be major storms in Categories 3, 4, and 5.  (By contrast, an average hurricane season consists of 12 named tropical storms resulting in six hurricanes.)  Meteorologists base their 2020 hurricane forecasts partly on weak El Niño effects this past winter and the possible appearance of La Niña, which typically heralds increased hurricane activity, as it did in 1998-2001. Click here to see the effect of La Niña on the four previous years of consecutive hurricanes.


So what’s all this meteorology got to do with us?  You already know – no matter what the experts say, storms are going to blow and tons of damage claims are going to pour in; claims need speed and accuracy to resolve. Who do you call?  Since you want fast, expert adjusting that makes you the hurricane claims hero, you’re going to put Vector Risk Solutions on speed dial.  Come hurricane season 2020, you’ll be glad you did. 

Want to know more about our Catastrophe claim services? Email us at

Information about previous hurricanes:

Additional 2020 hurricane forecasts:


Liability Investigations: Special Handling Required

Liability claims, in both commercial and residential contexts, can be complicated but are fascinating in scope and the variety of causes and damages. Slip-and-falls, vehicle accidents, product and construction liability, unlike weather-related claims, are typically caused by human errors, negligence, and wrongdoing.  After a tornado rips through your insured’s commercial building, the damage may be extensive but at least the cause is clear unless underlying construction or engineering defects contribute to the loss. In liability claims, though, the insured may be partly or even wholly the cause of the accident. The insured may not be the injured party (this would be your potential third-party defendant, more on this later), and due to this, liability claims, like construction defect claims, are more likely to become adversarial.

Investigative and Interpersonal Skills Required

So along with the adjuster’s usual toolkit of loss assessment and policy knowledge, additional interpersonal and analytical skills are absolutely necessary.  The liability claims adjuster who is respectful and relatable is better at getting information and detailed statements from the myriad of involved parties, including possible witnesses and experts.  An in-house adjuster who has an excess of claims to keep moving, or who just isn’t that good at establishing rapport and getting folks talking, isn’t as likely to get a true picture of the events leading to the claim.  Speed in addressing new claims is imperative, but the liability claim investigation must get all the facts from the parties and witnesses in order to correctly determine not just loss, but also cause and fault.

Some of these parties, notably an injured third-party claimant, will lawyer up right away, and these situations require an especially careful, persistent and expert approach.  Experienced independent adjusters understand the role and limits of attorneys who represent injured parties in the adjusting process. Vector Risk Solutions independent claims adjusters are experts at listening and analyzing all parties’ statements with the goal of settling these claims quickly and inexpensively, or making them go away entirely if possible.

Preserving the Record

Adjusting liability claims also require meticulous record-keeping, including making and preserving audio/visual recordings from all parties and witnesses.  When human actions are involved, a good photographic record can only go so far to explain the events which lead to the claim. Claimants, the insured and witnesses sometimes die or become disabled prior to settlement, so while a video recording of a witness statement, for example, isn’t a sworn deposition, it may be crucial later after memories fade and witnesses are lost if the settlement can’t or doesn’t occur quickly.

Vector Risk Solutions is confident that our independent claims adjusters have the broad-based expertise and knowledge required to accurately analyze and adjust liability claims as well as other commercial, residential, daily, catastrophic and agribusiness claims.  We stake our reputation on our adjusters, and we’re ready to prove to you why our reputation is deservedly the best in our industry.

Contact Vector Risk Solutions today to get started, by calling us at 1-800-451-0798 orsending us a message on our contact page

Why hire an independent adjusting firm to handle a commercial agribusiness loss?

Has this happened to you?  A large loss, high-exposure commercial ag claim lands on your desk.  The insured is clamoring, and the pressure is on to expedite the inspection and keep the policyholder happy during a time of extreme stress and worry.  The claim involves damage to structures, grain stock, equipment, and the loss has long term implications for the insured and a business interruption claim will definitely follow the loss.  Quick, what’s your best play? Assign the claim to a staff adjuster with a full load of different types of claims, or call in an independent agribusiness claims adjuster at Vector Risk Solutions?  The winning play, combining speed, thoroughness, and specialized commercial agribusiness adjusting that makes you look good, is Vector Risk Solutions. You knew we’d say that, right? But why? With an (overloaded) staff adjuster more than capable of handling the loss, why Vector?

For one, most staff adjusters, depending on their experience level, are generalists who address a variety of commercial and commercial ag claims.  You and your insureds know, though, that agribusiness isn’t like selling paper or manufacturing computer components. Agribusiness involves specialized facilities for the housing, storage, and processing of harvested crops and animals.  Many commodities and animals require specific conditions of climate, weather, and pest/disease management inside of these facilities. A commercial ag claim, in particular, requires an adjuster with both a broad knowledge of commercial ag insurance policies and specialized knowledge of losses related to commercial agribusiness property damages.

Generic settlement recommendations don’t settle complicated ag claims.  The settlement drags out, wasting more money and time. The insured is angry and decides his carrier doesn’t understand the nuances of his ag business and isn’t qualified to insure it.

Independent commercial ag adjusters at Vector Risk Solutions, equipped with specialized knowledge and ready for swift action on your request, reassure the insured that their claim is in good hands. Best of all, our commercial ag adjusters make difficult settlement decisions easier and that makes you look good.

P.S: We handle crop liability and agronomy-related claims too!!

Ready to let Vector help you with your commercial ag claim? Reach out to us today to get started.

Vector – Construction & Construction Defect Claims Experts

Deficiencies in how a building is designed, built, operated or maintained, are the causes of construction defects. Defects in construction range from minor problems like drooping gutters and peeling paint to situations when an entire structure must be bulldozed. Other problems include code violations, faulty design, cracked foundations, substandard workmanship, and unsafe structures.

Everyone associated with the project, from general contractors to architects, electricians, and roofers, can be impacted by a construction defect claim. The toll on a company’s finances and its reputation can be distressing. Vector Risk Solutions has a mission to focus on precisely what our clients and their policyholders need and to make the claims process and smooth as possible.


Some of the common construction defect claims we are assigned involve:

  • Quality of work issues
  • Code violations
  • Scope of work violations
  • Design deficiencies
  • Product or material insufficiencies
  • Operation & maintenance issues  
  • Construction process failures
  • Catastrophic Failure

Construction defect litigation can become complex and very expensive. For an insurance carrier to mitigate exposure, it is crucial to work quickly and efficiently to investigate the facts, identify related parties, and document the claim. That’s where Vector comes in. We know it is important that adjusters act quickly upon receipt of a new construction defect claim. In order to limit exposure and ensure the most efficient expenditure of defense costs, a rapid response is necessary.

Vector Risk Solutions is here to investigate construction-related losses and help ensure you are properly covered with any issues you may face. Our in-depth knowledge and understanding of the construction defect claims process will save you time and money, keeping you out of the lawyer’s office and in your own office. The expert team at Vector is here to ensure that liability can be quickly and appropriately determined.

Vector – Daily Claims Experts

Losses happen. Frozen pipes burst, homemade dinners catch on fire, and the neighbor slips and falls on the new marble entryway. Every day, our team of Independent Adjusters at Vector Risk Solutions handles losses related to these types of claims. Handling the claims of day-to-day life is an integral part of what we do.

We recognize that we are an extension of the Insurance Carrier that we represent.  

Since our professional independent adjusters often represent the only face-to-face contact with your policyholder. Vector Risk Solutions may be the most important link in the long chain of exemplary customer service during the time of loss.

The experience we have gained over years of working with highly trained insurance claims adjusters in both the field and the office has contributed to the superior claims experience we are able to offer to all of our clients.

We provide full-service adjusting for a variety of losses, including:

  • Residential Property 
  • Commercial Property
  • Casualty 
  • Coastal and Inland Marine
  • Auto and Heavy Equipment 
  • Liability Claims 
  • Farm & Ranch
  • Industrial 
  • Flood

No claim is too big or too small. With our team standing by, we are ready to assist you and your policyholder right when you need it. Our specialists can be on-site within 24 hours to assess damages and start the claims investigation process. On large losses, we tailor a plan specific to the needs of the client. Every facet of the claims process is carefully overseen by the team here at Vector Risk Solutions, allowing for a smooth and quick-moving claims process.

Whether your claim is in residential property, commercial property, commercial agriculture, or anything in between, our team is ready to take on the losses that arise every day. Rest assured that the independent adjusters here at Vector Risk Solutions are dedicated to delivering the best to our clients, so they, in turn, can provide their policyholders with the best and most efficient adjusters in the business.


Vector – Consulting Service Experts

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”  These wise and observant words from Benjamin Franklin remind us of two things – that we learn from others, and that we remember what we learn by involvement. At Vector Risk Solutions we believe that together we can be better, and that’s why we offer specialized consulting services. 

Whether you require consulting and training for your claims department, underwriting department, or even your executive leadership team, we have the resources to meet your needs. With our extensive experience in claims management, we are leveraging our infrastructure for our clients, helping to navigate away from the complexity of end-to-end claims processing. With three simple principal steps, our consulting plan will lead you towards self-propelling success

Step 1: Identify the issues

This is where we conduct a ‘Claims Processing Assessment’ and make an analysis of any potential issues. Looking at your metrics and claims process from start to finish, we listen to the concerns and ideas of your employees, vendors, and clients. We do a complete investigation when helping you identify the issues that are hurting performance metrics.

Step 2: Create the plan

Through strategic adaptation, we create a plan that not only corrects the issues you are facing but ensures that this plan embraces your company’s core values and leadership models. We put this plan into writing and develop training modules that can be put into effect from the management level all the way to the adjuster. We also make sure that this plan is clearly communicated to everyone, from the employee to the client.

Step 3: Equipping Innovators

What good is any of this without training and implementation? We would be leaving you on the edge if we didn’t follow through with this third step. We not only identify your issues and create a custom plan that meets your needs, but we ensure that you feel equipped to implement this plan. We empower you to empower your employees by providing onsite/offsite training for your corporate leadership, management teams, staff adjusters, and other claims professionals. 

The consulting services we offer are: 

  • Claims processing, assessment, and perpetration
  • Adjuster/Management Training Programs
  • Client Retention Analysis
  • Client Experience assessment

We handle our clients’ consulting needs with the highest amount of integrity and customer service. With our founding principles – Integrity, Ingenuity, & Excellence – we build a relationship with our clients that teaches and directly involves your team so that what is learned is retained. 

For any questions you may have about our consulting process, please contact us at