RCM President Talks About Climate Risks, Costs


The president of Rutledge Claims Management says the hazard insurance industry faces critical challenges in properly assessing and pricing climate risks, which directly impacts the vulnerability of mortgages.

Aubrey Gilmore has over 15 years of experience in hazard claims, mortgage servicing, and insurance claims. She was recently promoted from chief operations officer to president at RCM, which is headquartered in San Diego, California, and handles hazard insurance claims management for mortgage servicers and investors.

Gilmore said mortgage defaults become more prevalent when properties are not adequately insured against climate-related hazards such as wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. This poses a substantial risk to lenders, especially government-backed ones.

“The potential surge in foreclosures and financial losses underscores the urgent need for accurate risk assessment and mitigation strategies within the hazard insurance claims sector,” Gilmore said.

With the frequency and severity of natural disasters increasing, insurance companies are raising their premiums to cover these risks and potential losses. Some insurers are even pulling back from key markets.

At the same time, inflation is affecting home insurance costs.

“As materials like lumber and steel become more expensive, and wages in the construction industry rise due to labor shortages, insurance companies must adjust their premiums to cover higher rebuilding or repair costs,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said mortgage lenders and servicers are looking for clear communication, expert guidance, and maximum insurance recoveries. She is committed to implementing artificial intelligence, machine learning, and image recognition technologies that can help streamline hazard insurance claims processing.

“By leveraging cutting-edge technology, we aim to enhance the speed and accuracy of claims assessments and ensure timely resolution for our clients,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said servicers and investors need to stay on top of climate change issues by establishing stringent controls and ensuring continuous monitoring of insurance coverage to protect their assets.

RCM, along with its affiliated law firm, Vester & Associates, Attorneys at Law, APC, is licensed in all 50 states.

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