Overview

Mr. Van Epps is located in Chicago and is one of the founding members of The Claro Group. Ron is a C.P.A. and is part of the firm’s Disputes, Claims and Investigations Consulting practice, which includes approximately 50 fulltime professionals dedicated to the resolution of major insurance claims and other financial disputes.

Ron has significant experience helping clients resolve complex insurance claims. Ron has worked on numerous comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) claims involving pollution and product liability claims, including asbestos. With regard to CGL claims, Ron has assisted more than a dozen clients in achieving settlements in excess of $1.7 billion. Ron has also worked on a number of complex property damage and business interruption claims, including a number of subrogation claims. During his career, Ron has helped to settle more than twenty five major property damage and business interruption losses with a combined value in excess of $1.8 billion. By helping policyholders to quantify current damages, lost profits and other future exposures, Ron has led the negotiations for and participated on engagements that collectively have resulted in insurance recoveries of more than $3.5 billion.

Ron has over 30 years of professional experience, with the last 19 years dedicated to helping clients resolve complex insurance claims. Prior to founding The Claro Group in 2005, Ron was a managing director with the Insurance Claims Group of LECG, LLC. Prior to joining LECG in 2002, he was partner-in-charge of Arthur Andersen's Insurance Claims consulting practice in the United States. Ron was with Andersen for 18 years in its Chicago office.

Experience +

Insurance Claims – Environmental Claims

  • Recently assisted a large government-owned utility with both property damage and third-party claims associated with a major release of coal ash. As part of this engagement, we have helped the company establish and define a system for capturing its costs. The clean-up costs on this project were in excess of $1 billion. Claro played a key role in helping the client settle with all but two of its insurers. Ron testified in 2 separate London arbitration hearings with the unsettled insurers.
  • Recently completed work on a major pipeline release in Michigan. The event was one of the largest in-land oil releases in US history and resulted in the company incurring in excess of $1 billion in remediation and other related costs. Claro was involved from the beginning in helping to track and classify costs. The engagement lasted for over 6 years, culminating in Ron testifying in a recent London arbitration on this matter.
  • Previously worked with a pipeline company in connection with a major release of crude oil in California. The release not only impacted the surrounding area, but it also migrated into the Pacific Ocean. Claro has helped the Company define a system to capture the clean-up costs and provided initial assistance with the compilation and presentation of the project costs.
  • Currently working with a forest products company to help quantify its future environmental and asbestos exposures in order to resolve its claims with its historic CGL carriers. Claro has played the lead role in the negotiations. To date, the Company has successfully settled with four of its historic carriers.

Insurance Claims – Asbestos and Other Product Liability Claims

  • Currently working with three companies which each are facing a significant number of asbestos claims. The project involves helping to project future exposures and negotiate CIP agreements with both domestic and London Market companies..
  • Previously worked with two corporations, each with significant asbestos exposures, in helping to quantify their future exposures. We also helped to run various allocation scenarios in support of settlement negotiations. These engagements both involved comprehensive negotiations with various domestic insurers and the London Market regarding policy buybacks.
  • Previously provided support to a company involved in the marine industry with regard to a Wellington arbitration proceeding. With our help the client was able to negotiate a successful resolution without requiring a decision by the arbitrator.
  • Currently working with a chemical manufacturer facing significant claims related to both asbestos and lead paint exposures. We have assisted in the preparation of future claim projections and the running of various allocation scenarios in support of recent settlement negotiations. As a result of our work we have already completed several settlements with both domestic insurers as well as certain London Market Companies..
  • Recently completed work on a trade name restoration loss of income claim with a major franchisee. The loss is related to an outbreak of e-coli at several fast food restaurants. The project was successfully resolved well in advance of similar claims at other locations from the same loss..
  • Served as an expert on a subrogation matter with regard to property damage and business interruption losses at a country club. Also, recently completed work as an expert on 4 other subrogation losses.

Insurance Claims – Property Damage and Business Interruption Claims

  • Recently completed work on a business interruption loss at a pharmaceutical plant in the U.S. The loss involved the loss of power which interrupted the facilities production capability for several months due to quality concerns and testing requirements with regard to the materials.
  • Recently completed work on a property damage loss under a Construction All-Risk policy for a pipeline. The loss involved a number of issues including sue and labor and various applicable sub-limits.
  • Previously assisted a government entity with regard to a property damage claim associated with a major hail storm. The claim involves both temporary and permanent repairs at the facility.
  • Worked on a major property damage and business interruption loss related to the flooding in Thailand. This claim involved extensive damage to several high-tech manufacturing operations that required almost a year to get back in operation.
  • Worked on property damage and business interruption losses at a manufacturing facility in Wales, UK. As a result of a fire, the company suffered significant property damages. Repairs took more than 1 year to complete. The claim involved issues related to replacement value and potential upgrades as the company made a number of process changes during its rebuilding efforts.
  • Worked on six different property damage and extra expense losses related to an earthquake in Mexicali, Mexico. The claims involved a number of issues with regard to evaluating potential code upgrades as well as the relocation of certain manufacturing operations back to the U.S.
  • Previously worked on a major property damage and business interruption loss associated with the failure of two large generators at a utility in Asia. These units were out of service for almost 12 months as a result of the damage. This claim had major issues related to both the property damage and the calculation of the period of restoration related to the business interruption coverage.
  • Assisted an entertainment company related to major property damage and business interruption losses at one of its casinos stemming from Hurricane Katrina. This claim involves a number of significant coverage and quantum issues, including named storm and flood damage allocation considerations. The claim also involved a significant business interruption component as the facility was closed for 1 year.
  • Assisted a large energy company with claim preparation, coverage analysis and strategy development associated with a large offshore contingent business interruption and property damage loss resulting from Hurricane Katrina. As a result of significant property damage to a major on-shore production terminal, this claim had damages well in excess of $100 million. This claim also included significant costs associated with the relocation of the company’s entire N.O. operation for over 6 months. Notwithstanding the challenging nature of the BI calculations and the size of the loss, this claim was successfully resolved in less than 1 year.
Education +

B.S., Accounting, Indiana University, 1984

Certifications +

Certified Public Accountant, State of Illinois 

Memberships +

Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants 

Publications & Speaking Engagements+

Lloyds and Equitas 2002

Pipeline Managers Insurance Conference 2007 and 2012

Willis – Builders Risk Conference 2014

Lockton – Mining Summit 2015

Practices +