In September 2019, heavy rains hit South Dakota. 12 inches of rain poured down in torrents, overwhelming the already drenched land, and soon residential homes and businesses were faced with historic flooding.
These stories are usually given a 30 second spot on the local news, but, to us, they have a much larger impact. One of the businesses impacted by these record-breaking floods was our client.
Just hours after hearing the news, Chris Halverson, Director of Disaster Response & Recovery at M3 Insurance, was in a car on his way to South Dakota. He’d already seen the picture – a 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility that had accumulated three and half feet of standing flood water. Now, he was ready to get onsite, assess the damage, consult our client on next steps, and coordinate the resources they needed in order to move forward and protect their employees and their business.
What does a Director of Disaster Response & Recovery do?
That story is just one of many associated with our Director of Disaster Response & Recovery. From property fires, flooding, other severe weather damage to auto and general liability fatalities and workplace incidents, it’s Halverson’s focus to be an extension of our clients’ teams in their time of need.
A Director of Disaster Response & Recovery is, by definition, tasked with responding to client crises, connecting them with the necessary resources, activating recovery teams, establishing a communication channel between the business and employees (as well as the media), and consulting on risks and exposures in real-time. Halverson also works with M3 clients proactively to create a business continuity plan in the event of a catastrophic event.
Monitors Potential Threats
Halverson mentions that he always has an eye on potential threats to our clients.
“I’m always watching what type of natural disasters are happening,” Halverson said. “When we know there’s a snow event coming or severe weather, I’m tracking that.”
“When bad things happen, we respond very swiftly to help our clients triage the situation and get them the resources that they need,” Halverson said. “When I go into these disasters, the business may have a business continuity plan, but they have never performed it in true application. I’ll partner with them to set up the process and get the right resources in place very quickly.”
Assists with the Recovery Process
Clients are often overwhelmed by the number of moving parts they have to manage in the first 24 hours of a disastrous event. Having a Director of Disaster Response & Recovery on their insurance team gives them access to someone who can recommend a process and help them prioritize what needs to be handled and when.
“I’m breaking things out simplistically to help our clients build the strategic plan moving forward,” Halverson said. “You think of property destruction, employee assistance program needs, even restoration services that are needed to come on site. Do they have those fundamental things in place? If not, how do we articulate to get them back up and moving?”
Investigates and Advocates
In addition to the in-the-moment response, M3’s risk management team supports emergency services as they investigate the cause of the incident, works with officials to address any potential adverse effects to the local environment, and helps prepare the client for possible OSHA investigations and walk-throughs if applicable.
It’s not typical for an insurance agency to have this much of an impact on their clients when a disastrous event occurs. The usual conversation with an insurance agent after a catastrophic claim revolves around policy, what is due back to the business from their carrier, and how they’ll apply the loss to the client’s coverage.
M3’s Director of Disaster Response & Recovery goes above and beyond to ensure that our clients, their business, and their employees are protected. When many businesses are scrambling for sanity in the midst of the chaos, M3 provides this resource with extensive experience in crisis and risk management to bring clients peace of mind.
We’re there, onsite, when clients need us most. When we talk about that high touch experience, that individual attention, we’re not just spouting off buzzwords. We don’t see ourselves as just another insurance agency, or simply a resource on policy (though we consult on that as well). We are an extension of your team – and having a Director of Disaster Response & Recovery on staff is just one way that we’re living up to that promise.
M3’s Director of Disaster Response & Recovery is just one example of the world-class resources that we provide to our clients. Contact your M3 Account Executive to talk through your strategy for catastrophic claims, or fill out the form below for more information on M3’s risk management expertise.