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February 14, 2024

How to handle CAT claims without the stress: A guide for smoother restoration workflows

Expert insights on CAT claims

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the spotlight on catastrophic (CAT) claims has never been brighter. C&R Magazine's republishing of "Top 5 Critical Issues When Handling Catastrophic Claims" brings to light the hurdles faced by restoration contractors. Encircle's field documentation platform is designed to not only navigate but also overcome these hurdles, making sure you get paid faster and more efficiently.

John Postava, a seasoned CAT claims adjuster, shares invaluable insights from the insurance estimator or adjuster's viewpoint. But for restoration contractors, understanding and preempting these CAT claim issues is crucial. The good news? Encircle simplifies this process, making sure you're not just reacting but proactively managing these challenges.

How to make scoping work easier and more accurate

Postava's take: The gravest mistake in CAT claims? Inaccurate scoping.

“The most damaging error any estimator or adjuster can make in a catastrophe claim is in the area of scoping the loss. Estimators who take their time and have a systematic approach to their inspections usually have a better chance to record accurate scopes in catastrophe-related situations.”

Systematic documentation:

  • Organize by claim: Keep everything sorted — from the overall claim down to specific rooms.
  • Video scoping: Walk through the site with video to capture the full extent of the loss, including damage and immediate needs.
  • Shared understanding: Videos and narrations help everyone understand the project scope right from the start.

The Encircle platform mirrors your on-site navigation, making sure every detail is captured systematically.

  • Video capture: Easily record and share a walkthrough of the damage, pinpointing key areas.
  • Floor Plan: Provide accurate, professional floor plans within 6 hours to kickstart the estimation process.

Learn how Shamrock Restoration mastered scoping with Encircle.


Taking better photos for claims: easy tips

Postava's insight: "Take clear photos, label them properly, and display them in the right order. If these things are done, claim examiners as well as anyone else viewing the photos will see the story of the estimate and ultimately the claim file."


Here's how Encircle makes it easier and more effective:

  • Clear and organized: Take clear photos, label them, and arrange them in a logical order to tell the story of the damage.
  • Structured documentation: Encircle organizes photos and videos by room, with date, time stamps, and GPS metadata for extra credibility.
  • Unlimited photos: Capture as many photos as needed, making sure no detail is missed.


  • Integrated Notes: Attach photos to notes for comprehensive documentation.
  • Automated organization: Photos are automatically sorted into reports, presenting a coherent narrative of the loss.

Curious to see the difference good photos can make?


Making your documentation work for faster approvals

Postava's take: "The better the story of the claim can be told through sufficient documentation, the faster the claim gets approved, and the policyholder gets paid."

Encircle's platform is designed to make the documentation process easier and faster. This helps with processing your claims quickly, even in difficult scenarios involving CAT.

  • Comprehensive documentation: Easily capture and organize all necessary details in one place:

    • Photos and videos
    • Notes and moisture readings
    • Contents inventories and contact information
    • Essential documents
  • Easy-to-use app: Designed for field techs to use on-site, making sure quality documentation without disrupting workflow.
  • Offline mode: Continue documenting on-site without an internet connection, with automatic sync once online.
  • Effortless report assembly: Convert your documentation into detailed reports that clearly narrate the loss story, making it easy for adjusters to understand the scope as if they were there.

See how Pure Restore used Encircle to speed up claim approvals during the Marshall Fire.

Keeping track of personal property without the hassle

Postava emphasizes the importance of detailed documentation for personal property in CAT scenarios:

"Record as much information as possible concerning the age and condition of high-cost items, collectibles, one-of-a-kind items, and sentimental items."

Encircle makes it easy to keep track of personal items in big claims, helping you get everything right for the insurance folks without the headache:

  • Detailed documentation made easy:

    • Capture unlimited photos of personal property.
    • Enter detailed descriptions, conditions, and dispositions.
    • Organize contents by room, box, or location for easy reference.
  • Streamlined process for teams:

    • Real-time sync allows for simultaneous logging by multiple users.
    • Office staff can assess replacement values directly within the app.
  • Comprehensive reports:

    • Generate interactive Excel reports showing items by room, box, or disposition.
    • Access built-in, carrier-specific Schedule of Loss (SOL) reports.
  • Enhanced policyholder engagement:

    • Encircle enables field staff to walk through losses with policyholders, capturing and discussing personal property details on the spot.
    • This approach makes sure all relevant information is recorded accurately, reducing discrepancies and speeding up the claims process.

Enhance CAT claim handling with Encircle's field documentation platform

Tackling those CAT claims doesn't have to be a headache anymore. With faster cycle times, you're looking at quicker payments and fewer headaches from adjusters questioning every little detail. Encircle's got your back, making sure you've got all your documentation ducks in a row, from scoping out the damage to snapping the perfect photos, and keeping track of every spoon in the kitchen if that's what it takes.

Ready to give your documentation process a major upgrade and see those claims processed faster than ever? Get a personalized demo of Encircle to discover firsthand how our platform can improve your documentation, speed up your claims, and ultimately boost your restoration business.


Get complete and consistent field documentation everytime.

Learn how Encircle can help you and your field teams ease the documentation burden.