Claims Services

Since 1998, IMC’s team of commercial claim handlers has specialized in servicing the needs of Protection and Indemnity (P&I), Hull and Machinery (H&M) and Loss of Hire (LOH) underwriters. IMC acts as general and local commercial correspondents to several major international marine underwriters.

 

As the business has grown, veteran maritime attorneys have joined the claims team, which is led by David Smith and Kevin Lennon. Our capabilities have greatly expanded due to IMC’s blend of professionals with nautical and legal backgrounds. We are now frequently engaged to assist vessel Owners, Managers and Charterers, evaluate and manage claims, and provide a wide range of solutions for clients.

IMC’s approach is uniquely collaborative. Unlimited, 24/7 access to our 16-person team of marine surveyors and consultants provides a considerable advantage to our claims handlers who

evaluate and investigate marine casualties, the merits of claims, strategies to follow, making recommendations to clients, etc.

 

As with the entire IMC team, our claims handlers are accustomed to responding to clients around the clock. For many decades, we have attended to marine incidents and claims throughout the Western Hemisphere, including Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Canada. We work quickly and effectively, recommending and engaging local surveyors, legal counsel, specialists with specific types of expertise, and any other relevant parties. Where appropriate, our expert claim handlers will personally attend vessels, marine terminals, or any other facilities to conduct and coordinate investigations, meet with other involved parties, attend mediations, and perform all necessary services.

 

Our clients appreciate IMC’s proactive, practical style of investigations and claims handling.Timely and accurate reporting is a hallmark of IMC’s service. We are sensitive to the commercial realities and high expenses our clients encounter when faced with certain claims, especially when litigation is contemplated. We diligently work with clients to achieve cost-effective, timely and acceptable resolutions.

Our Claims team will:

  • Coordinate rapid casualty response

  • Personally conduct, or manage, investigations

  • Arrange for surveys, engage attorneys and other experts

  • Gather and preserve critical physical evidence, documents and electronic records

  • Correspond with Coast Guard and other governmental agencies

  • Arrange security where appropriate and authorized

  • Attend and participate in mediations

  • Closely liaise with clients to: 

    • Evaluate claims; 

    • Make settlement recommendations; and

    • Negotiate settlement

A few recent examples of our work include:

Collision – Mississippi River. Organized surveys of vessels and impacted dock facilities, negotiated and issued security, engaged local counsel. Coordinated investigations, evaluation of liabilities and damages, defense of claims, and participated in settlement negotiations.

Container Stow Collapse – Arranged for on-board and external investigations. Oversaw all phases of investigation including survey of containers and vessel, document gathering and preservation, receiver’s claims and strategic consultation with engaged counsel for indemnity action against vessel owner. 

Personal Injury –Ship’s Pilot – Investigated alleged injuries claimed by river pilot following reported accident during boarding. Worked with client and defense counsel in all aspects of litigation.

Vessel Surge and Breakaway – Investigated surge damage incident causing vessel to break away from dock and strike another vessel, and related damages. Arranged for surveys. Evaluated various claims and actively pursued recourse claim against terminal operators due to a poorly-maintained mooring bollard. Engaged in activate negotiations. Arranged for and participated in mediation.

Dock Damage – Rio Haina, Dominican Republic. Issued security. Conducted Skype interviews of Master and Chief Officer.  Engaged and closely supervised civil engineers to evaluate dock damages, adequacy of fendering system, allegations of terminal personnel and surveyors engaged by terminal underwriters. Advised club and member on liability aspects and available defenses.

Customs & Border Protection Penalty – Investigated circumstances behind CBP penalty assessment and mitigating circumstances. Filed appeal to CBP on behalf of Master, Owners and Managers.

Coral Reef Damage – Conducted comprehensive investigation into cause of grounding. Extensive involvement over several years, worked with club, NRDA specialists, and vessel Owners in assessment of damages, arranging remedial measures to partially repair coral damage, and negotiate settlement. Worked closely with Puerto Rico DNR, NOAA and other environmental agencies and specialists. 

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© 2019 by Independent Maritime Consulting LLC

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