„Kolumbus“ s.r.o. (Ltd.) is an expert and consulting company, established in 1997 by two partners so as to provide services in the area of insurance business and civil engineering.
The consultancy and expert activity of the company is focused especially on the problems of damages and evaluation of property. The legal body Kolumbus s.r.o. performs this activity on the basis of authorizations implied by the licence deed and trade certifi cates.
The product of the company is expert opinions. The end users of the opinions include especially insurance and insurance-brokering companies, which require evaluation of immovable and/or movable property of their clients and the damages to such property; entrepreneurs – legal and physical persons, who require evaluation of their own movable and/or immovable property and the (financial) damages to such property; leasing companies and state bodies and organizations.
At present the company is expanding its portfolio by the services of an independent loss adjuster according to Act No. 38/2004 Sb. on Insurance Intermediaries and Independent Loss Adjusters and according to the executing notice, which is now being prepared.
„Kolumbus“ s.r.o. is a member of the Chamber of Independent Loss Adjusters based in Prague and of the Czech Chamber of Independent Loss Adjusters based in Brno. The responsible person is a member of the Association of Experts and Valuators of the Czech Republic based in Brno.
„Kolumbus“ s.r.o. has its own specialists as well as a network of contract valuators and experts in various branches, who are able to handle any loss within the wide range of possible problems resulting from the property and liability insurance. For solution of special issues we employ services of professional laboratories and material testing rooms.
The activity of the company is focused on the Czech Republic and also on Slovakia, where we have opened an office in Kežmarok (Poprad).
Expert Activity „Kolumbus“ s.r.o. elaborates more than 150 expert opinions every year. The opinions are focused predominantly on damages to real estate, machinery and industry and transported goods. Kolumbus s.r.o. provides complex services at the settlement of property losses. Our activity ranges from emergency, timely survey and documentation of damages through the establishment of causes of damages and their extent up to the quantification of the amount of damages in “new”, “time” or “common” prices, evaluation of property (e.g. for the purpose of calculation of insurance money but also evaluation in general). Additional supportive activities include provision of the needed laboratory examinations in specialized labs, including interpretation of the results according to the customer’s queries. The submitters of the opinions include especially prominent insurance companies, brokerage firms, leasing companies and other, such as conveyance and transport companies etc.
Guarantee of Neutrality and Disinterestedness, Statement of Independence
The opinions are usually elaborated by at least two experts. More complicated and professionally demanding opinions are elaborated with participation of external expert institutions (especially laboratories providing material analyses). The resulting opinions are confirmed – besides the responsible expert – also by the manager of the company having the right of verification. This procedure leads to achieving a two-stage control system as well as ensuring the necessary neutrality and disinterestedness. „Kolumbus“ s.r.o. declares that it is free of any obligations that could impede its independence. Kolumbus s.r.o. is not owned by any insurance company, not even partially.
Evaluation of Immovable Property
Evaluation related to the determination of financial damage to immovable property, specification of the thing’s value or financial damage, is based on the following two methods: Specification of the costs of construction works on the basis of the costing, utilizing an acknowledged database of prices, e.g. that by company ÚRS Praha a.s., Pražská 18, Praha 10, while abiding by § 2 of the Act on Prices No. 526/1990 Sb. (as amended). Principles for evaluation of partial or total damage are applied. It is necessary to comply with the legal environment of the particular insurance policies, if the evaluation is made for a customer from the insurance industry (where it is common to use the terms „new price“, „time price“); . or The cost-based evaluation according to the Decree of the Ministry of Finance No. 540/2002 Sb. for executing of some provisions of Act No. 151/1997 Sb. on Property Valuation.
Evaluation of Movable Property
Evaluation of movable property is based on two expert standards: Standard No I. „Evaluation of Motor Vehicles and Trails“ and, in particular, Standard No. VIII. „Evaluation of Movable Property, Machinery and Equipment“.For concretization of coefficients for calculation of time prices from the initial prices, we have an information base built, which contains coefficients of the growth of cost prices for individual sectors of movable and immovable property.
We keep supplementing this information base with data obtained from the Czech Statistical Office. The evaluation of financial damage is based on the principle of strict observance of the requirement to recover the original state. If it is possible to put the damaged thing to the original state by means of repair, the financial damage means the effectively expended repair costs, including the difference (+/-) between the value of the thing before the repair and after it. If the thing is irreparable (the repair costs exceed the price of the thing before the damage or the repair cannot be performed), it is the total damage; the amount of the financial damage is the price of the thing before the damage, minus the value of salvages, plus the costs (if any) of the disposal of salvages.
If the evaluation is for a customer from the area of insurance, application of the legal environment of the specific insurance policies is inevitable.
„Kolumbus“ s.r.o. has the internal quality and corporate liability management system, designed according to Standard ČSN ISO 9004-2 QUALITY MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY SYSTEM ELEMENTS, Part 2: Guidelines for Services. The evaluation must give the customer information about the value of the property (or financial damage), which to the utmost reflects its actual value at the given time and place. Only thus can the evaluation meet the customer’s requirements.
For achievement of high-quality evaluation, co-operation between the customer and the supplier of the evaluation is necessary, especially at specification of the purpose which the evaluation shall serve to and at provision of all needed information about the evaluated property, which is available to the customer.
The evaluation of the given property reflects the status on the market of the property at the given time and place or at the date specified by the customer.
The evaluation is reproducible. This means that another expert (adjuster), having the same initial conditions, the same assumptions and identically understood risk factors, will come to the same resulting value or a value ranging within an acceptable interval of evaluation values. That is why every opinion contains all initial conditions and assumptions under which the property evaluation was done.
After handing the opinion over to the customer it is found out whether and to what extent the opinion meets the customer’s requirements and what are the causes of possible discrepancies. In case of any legitimate comments from the customer the opinion will be rewritten so that it complies with all the supplementary information.
Kolumbus s.r.o. always makes sure that customer’s comments as well as other factors do NOT influence the independence, completeness and correctness of the evaluation.
The purpose of the services provided is to achieve the customer’s satisfaction with the elaborated opinion. The customer must be sure that the opinion to the utmost extent faithfully reflects the value of the property / financial damage at the given time and place and that all available relevant information was used at its elaboration.
The opinion must be elaborated with such professional as well as formal quality that the customer can identify with it. As for the formal aspect, the opinion must be completely understandable to the customer.
All completed opinions, together with all relevant information, are archived for five years and then shredded. The electronic form of the opinions and other electronically archived data is kept for at least ten years.