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They get the job done for their clients while dealing with the utmost good faith with all parties and seeking win-win solutions whenever possible. Brent Winans, CPCU, ARM Vice President - Clear Advantage Risk Management Delray Beach, FL

Understanding Medical Facility Damage Claims

Tutwiler & Associates has successfully represented hospitals, doctor offices, clinics, teaching facilities, surgery centers, nursing homes, and rehab centers for losses that resulted from fires, hurricanes, vandalism, and water from flooding, and other perils.  

When a loss occurs in any type of medical setting, the staff's efforts should be focused on taking care of the patients needs as well getting the operation back to some sense of normalcy. This is the time to bring in a trained and experienced public adjuster.

Due to the nature of the medical profession and the professionals involved in the care and safety of others, these losses are unique in a number of ways. Typically the claims for damages can be quite costly because of the medical equipment that is affected. We have found that special consideration should be given to medical equipment in any repair or restoration process. Often equipment needs to be re-certified and this process will need to be done by manufacturers and specialists in the field. Typical emergency restoration crews are not qualified and may in fact make matters worse.  

One of the biggest concerns we have found handling losses for medical facilities is their need and desire to resume operations given their patients need for treatment and care. If the physical structure cannot be used, then quick decisions need to be made for temporary accommodations at another site.  Oftentimes insurance companies are reluctant to make commitments on short notice and the insured along with their professional public adjusters will have to step up and get the practice going while the insurance carrier makes up its mind on an acceptable plan.

Many times the insurance adjuster, who is assigned to a loss involving a medical practice or hospital, will have had no prior experience and be unaware of issues involving expiration dates of medications and safety issues surrounding the use of possible contaminated equipment to name a few. While some items may appear to be cleanable and others appear to be undamaged, chances cannot be taken given life, health, and safety issues of patients in this setting.

Practice interruption claims for loss of income following a loss to a medical building are challenging and can be complex. Issues can arise regarding future plans to expand a practice or building that now cannot proceed because of the loss. Pro forma income statements and other business planning will need to be looked at and taken into consideration to accurately calculate and present a business interruption claim.

Losses in all types of medical facilities can be complex, costly and very challenging. It is important to have someone on your team who has the experience in this field to help you through this very unique loss adjusting process. Call us, we will meet with you and share our experience and training. We will put your insurance to work to get you doing what you do best - treating your patients.

For over 27 years, businesses of all sizes and their risk managers have turned to or referred their colleagues to Tutwiler & Associates.  As experienced public adjusters, we understand the claims process and have the resources and expertise to help you recover your claim.  Our knowledge of the insurance policy, claims process, and field experience have yielded us a longstanding positive reputation in the industry. 

We pride ourselves on obtaining the maximum claims settlement under your policy provisions so you can be paid to recover as quickly as possible.  

FAQs About Medical Facilities

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Quick action is needed to construct a plan to find and set up at another location. Some policies have practice interruption as well as an extra expense provision. One case of memory we handled involved a very large medical practice with a lot of doctors seeing patients at a building that was very heavily damaged by fire. Quick action on our part resulted in finding another building, securing medical equipment through a lease with an option to buy and cleaning thousands of files covered by smoke. While the cost was significant, the bottom line was the insurance company paid all costs (not without a fight) under the extra expense provision. By acting quickly, there was no claim for loss of income for any of the doctors or laid off staff. 
You have a duty to cooperate with your insurance company during the claim process. Your insurance company also has a duty to provide you with service and pay for your loss. With medical facilities, determining the extent of damage to this type of equipment is best left to the professionals.  Wiping down or cleaning may be a waste of your policy limits. Instead insists that a joint inspection (with your professional public adjuster and in some cases the medical equipment distributor) and plan be developed to allow the experts to examine and determine the necessary and correct repairs. 
It is important that people in this business have adequate and correct insurance coverage to pay for this type of situation. One of the nursing homes/ assisted living facilities damaged in Hurricane Charley had to move and pay the expenses to house their patients in an upscale hotel. This includes paying the cost of all outside meals. This went on for over a year while repairs were being made. 

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Local Office

Charles R. Tutwiler & Associates Inc.
Licensed Public Insurance Adjusters & Loss Consultants
Offices: Tampa, Orlando, Hollywood, Palm City, Florida; Dallas, TX; Pittsburgh, PA

Executive Office
4300 W. Cypress St.
Suite 780
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.287.8090
Toll Free: 800.321.4488

Licensed in Florida # W840088 &
Texas #1399706 plus 16 other states
and the Virgin Islands