Is Media Coverage Good for Subrogation?


The world is watching live updates of the destruction, as flames take over the Norte Dame Cathedral fire in Paris, France.  Not every building fire or water loss captures media attention, not even the local news broadcast.  However, conducting a search for newspaper articles, news broadcasts, fire department facebook updates, police department twitter feeds, etc. can be beneficial to subrogation investigations large and small.  Photographs and eye witness accounts can assist an investigator in identifying an area of origin, potential ignition source, responsible parties, etc.

National and international media coverage generated by huge losses (e.g., losses caused by the 2019 unprecedented rain and flood season), catastrophic circumstances (e.g., 2017-2018 California wildfires), or historical landmarks (e.g., 4/15/2019 Norte Dame Cathedral fire in Paris, France) garners a lot of attention.  The benefits of extra eyes on the scene and different viewpoints can be quickly and heavily outweighed by the public’s pressure and impatience for their immediate consumption of information.  The volume of media articles, videos, and posts can consume an investigation team.  The pressure placed on investigators, adjusters, and counsel by the public and/or government authorities can cause the investigation to be rushed, unfairly scrutinized, and potentially handled without the best care.

Like the rest of the world, we are eager to know what caused the 4/15/2019 fire in Paris and if there is any subrogation potential (latest information reveals that France is self-insured for the church), but we first and foremost hope no one was injured; secondly thank the first responders for their service; and lastly, respect the time of all those involved to perform the needed investigations and repairs of the treasured cathedral.


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