Hurricanes, Bottlenecks, and AI Technology

Late winter into early spring is the time of year when we begin to see frequent postings on social media warning companies to prepare for an “active” Hurricane Season. And, as if coordinated, meteorological experts weigh in with their early predictions regarding how many Named Storms are likely to form and their potential severity. Like Groundhog Day or the start of Spring Training – – they are sure signs that warmer weather (and storm season) is not far off.

All kidding aside, insurance companies, brokers, and commercial property owners and managers (“stakeholders”) would do well to heed these warnings.  Hurricanes often leave massive destruction in their wake, destroying not only property, but lives and livelihoods. Prudent stakeholders will devote significant time and resources to CAT planning well in advance of June 1 (the official start of Hurricane Season).

Even the most comprehensive CAT plans leave stakeholders exposed to one critical problem. Specifically, the “professional resources” available to respond to property losses (i.e., independent adjusters, TPAs, building consultants, forensic engineers, and contractors) are often insufficient to meet the surge in demand caused by a storm (or series of storms). Consequently, “bottlenecks” arise in the completion of inspections, emergency services, estimates, audits, adjustments, and payments – – and the resulting delays lead to client dissatisfaction and disputes. What, then, is the solution?

Technology has improved many aspects of the property loss/claim evaluation process over the past twenty years. Use of technology effectively streamlines the performance of otherwise purely manual tasks. The resulting efficiencies translate into shorter times to complete reviews; reduced cost; and greater consistency in the output.  As an added benefit, the professionals utilizing technology become more productive and can take on more assignments in a shorter period – – in essence, their capacity is expanded.

Property insurers, including captives, strive to achieve fast and fair claim resolution while heeding corporate directives to manage loss adjustment expenses. However, when losses/claims spike during CATs, resource scarcity is a continuing challenge. While no tool is the “silver bullet” to resolve all the “bottlenecks” in the property loss assessment workflow, there is one tool that brings automation to what has traditionally been a purely manual, time-consuming process – – the Rest- Assured ® platform created by NovaData Solutions.

In its third year serving insurers and self-insured commercial property owners, NovaData leverages AI/Machine Learning technology to automate the process for auditing and analyzing restoration invoices. The Rest-Assured® platform offers a combination of neutrality, speed, accuracy, and consistency that manual mitigation review processes cannot match.

Once invoices are uploaded onto our platform, overcharges, inaccuracies, and other billing anomalies are quickly detected. The audit results are returned to the client, typically, within 1-2 days, allowing for prompt discussions and negotiations with the restoration vendor. In essence, it is a tool to optimize the audit/negotiation process.

While the Rest-Assured platform may not be a “silver bullet” for the bottleneck problem, it is absolutely a partial solution. It removes from the desks of adjusters, consultants, facilities managers, etc., the time-consuming (and often dreaded) manual review process, increasing their capacity to handle other tasks and, ultimately, making them more efficient.

The shortened turnaround time – – hours or days, as opposed to weeks or months for large, complicated invoices – – compresses the time required to identify the “undisputed payment” amount and get the funds to the policyholder and/or vendor. As a result, the exposure to disputes and, potentially, litigation is reduced, netting the affected stakeholder(s) significant savings.

To learn more about NovaData and its Rest-Assured platform, visit their website at