Assessing immaterial damages, the work of a loss adjuster
Whatever its line of business, any company can suffer immaterial damages, defined by article 1134 of the French Civil Code as pecuniary damage caused by a material damage occurring. Depending on the victim’s profession and economic and financial situation, this damage may take a number of forms. When dealing with…
Whatever its line of business, any company can suffer immaterial damages, defined by article 1134 of the French Civil Code as pecuniary damage caused by a material damage occurring. Depending on the victim’s profession and economic and financial situation, this damage may take a number of forms. When dealing with this complex situation, businesses and their insurers need an approach that is both technical and didactic to analyse the financial consequences of an incident.
Immaterial damages: a matter of probability
These occur in different ways:
- loss of business or professional earnings to loss of rights;
- loss of chance (which translates into the disappearance of a favourable eventuality that was to occur in the near future);
- asset losses in the case of depreciation of assets (e.g. buildings, business, leasehold rights, shares);
- additional costs (recourse to overtime, temporary work, subcontracting, exceptional expenses incurred to limit the consequences of the failure or loss).
The precise evaluation of an intangible loss therefore requires a complex expertise that brings into play a chain of probabilities, defined according to the activity of the injured party and the macro-economic context of its sector.
Precise assessment of non-material damages
As former legal, auditing, accounting and financial professionals, Stelliant Loss Adjusting experts are specialists in corporate appraisal. Mobilising all of their skills, they take a rigorous approach in doing the loss adjustment for every case with a view to resolving it.
This means that when there is a material loss with immaterial consequences, a financial loss adjuster is deployed along with a damage loss adjuster. A complex process is then set in motion, involving the analysis of economic indicators (turnover, growth, investment, inflation, etc.) and the loss of margin suffered.
Each item in the claim is thoroughly analysed, which helps to not only understand the nature of the damage, but also to identify whether it is real, present or prospective. A causal link can then be established with the incident; here, the loss adjuster determines whether the damage is truly the result of the incident that gave rise to the claim.
But a comprehensive loss adjustment also involves looking for extraneous factors that could explain (even partially) the damage incurred. The loss adjuster thus analyses all the events that led to the situation observed, to identify only those that have a proven causal link with the incident.
Lastly, strong teaching skills are essential when working with policyholders in major distress. The loss adjuster listens and shows empathy, yet never loses sight of the objective: resolving the case in a completely impartial way.
Complementary services to financial assessment.
With the Stelliant group, companies, professionals and their insurers benefit from a highly technical know-how, both on the material and financial aspects.
As financial specialists, our loss adjusters are often called upon to assess operating losses as part of a project-based appraisal of a high-stakes claim, alongside other experts from the Group.
In the field of construction, their financial loss estimates can be used to verify and optimise repair costs carried out by our construction economists.
With INQUEST and its downstream prevention and upstream crisis management services, insurers, companies and risk managers have a global offer in the field of financial risks, from the analysis of the losses incurred to the constitution of a claim file.
financial risk specialists
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