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Welcome to the latest issue of Tech Talk, a publication of Crawford & Company's Global Technical Services (GTS®), the single best global resource for adjusting large or complex losses.

In this issue we are highlighting six articles covering a very broad range of topics: GTS® Assists with the Heavy Lifting, Crawford & Company’s GTS® Engineering Experts Help Recover One of the World’s, Largest Mobile Cranes, Five Questions with Tom Carstens, Environmental Adjusting: What lies beneath, New & Noteworthy.We trust that you will find these interesting and of reference value.

In this issue we are highlighting six articles covering a very broad range of topics: Immediate Measures for Detection, Analysis and Treatment: Corrosion by Chlorides only?, The Blame Is on the Shipper, Maintaining the Workforce while Repairing a Factory, Canada Trucking Loss - Highway 401, When Old Code is the Mode and Canada Trucking Loss - Highway 400. We trust that you will find these interesting and of reference value.

In this issue we are highlighting six articles covering a very broad range of topics: The Future of Cyber Insurance, Production Lines and Obsolete Spare Parts, Wine Claims, State-of-the-Art Software, Transporting and Securing Stone Slabs, and Hurricane Winds vs. Flooding: Adjusting Considerations. We trust that you will find these interesting and of reference value.

In this issue we are highlighting four articles covering a very broad range of topics: Effective Selection and Use of Fire Experts, Closing the Gaps in Global Cargo Security, Cargo securing: European Rules, Ignorance of Standards, and the Need for Greater Russian Regulation, and Photovoltaic Power Stations and Loss Adjustment. We trust that you will find these interesting and of reference value.

This issue of Tech Talk takes a deep look at two timely topics. The mechanical standards, regulatory, safety and insurance issues that affect both European and Chinese rail services are detailed. From the U.S., there is a comprehensive look at Superstorm Sandy after its one-year anniversary. The history and financial cost of the unique storm is examined, as well as governmental and insurance industry regulatory and policy changes.

This Tech Talk issue covers a broad range of topics from around the world. The logistical, regulatory, and communication issues that must be dealt with while working in Iraq as it struggles to rebuild after years of conflict are examined by Captain Terence Robinson and Chris Boyd. From the U.S., Robert D. Jones discusses the role and use of forensic accountants. Canada-based Randy Novick and Ruth Mercer detail how errors & omissions claims can be avoided and Eur-Ing Mark Hawksworth in the U.K. provides a practical overview of managing cyber risk. Other articles cover a recent acquisition that enhances GTS capabilities, and how GTS serves the rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

The enormity of the Thailand floods is this issue's cover story as the country still works to recover two years after the record-setting floods destroyed billions of dollars in factory facilities and infrastructure.  Also, Lori Festarini, environmental industry sector leader of GTS (Canada), presents a detailed guide on how to manage a variety of environmental losses. Andries Willemse, who now leads the GTS Strategic and Technical Councils, discusses how GTS adjusters often go "above and beyond" to deal with the effects of catastrophic events. Other articles focus on how harmonics affect factory transformers, and on recovering salaries and overheads after property damage. 

This special edition of Tech Talk highlights some of the recent articles and papers written by Crawford subject matter specialists following catastrophic events in Australasia, Japan, and Thailand. Events in these regions and countries were severe and as we know, sadly resulted in loss of life and tremendous financial loss. What we should not overlook is that for many insured’s man-made or less publicized events can be as devastating as these major events.

The last year and a half brought an unprecedented number of catastrophic events to the Australasian region, and two articles in this issue focus on the impact of those catastrophes. In our feature story, Martin Miller, an executive general adjuster in Australia, discusses issues with contingent business interruption claims resulting from the events. In addition, Benedict Burke, a senior vice president with Global Markets, visited Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year and offers a first-hand account of what he calls "a city without a heart" still struggling to recover from the devastating earthquakes of 2011.

2010 ranked as the seventh highest year since 1970 in terms of insured catastrophe (CAT) losses, according to sigma, the economic research and consulting arm of Swiss Re. Natural and manmade disasters claimed some 304,000 victims and resulted in economic losses of U.S. $218 billion. The cost to insurers was approximately U.S. $43 billion. This, in turn, was 60 percent higher than the equivalent figure for 2009.

The cost of rebuilding shattered areas of Japan continues to rise, according to official figures, and fears for the economic future of those regions hit hardest by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami are growing. This catastrophe has been one of the most significant in history in terms of the tragic loss of life and the economic and broader consequences for the country. 

It is an undeniable and sometimes unsettling fact of our industry that we serve people during some of the worst times of their lives. In the past 15 months alone, our adjusters have been busy with claims after devastating earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and New Zealand, and fire and flood in Australia. Now, we are assisting our clients in Japan as that country starts the long, slow process of rebuilding following the enormous physical and economic damage caused by last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

his publication signals the start of greater efforts to demonstrate true thought leadership about our industry and specific products from the experts who make up one of Crawford & Company's most prominent and recognizable service offerings. Our clients have been requesting a publication such as this from us, and now we are delivering on that request.