Insurers Ready Adjusters for Harvey Cat Losses

By Denise Johnson | August 26, 2017

Teams of insurance adjusters were mobilized Friday in Texas cities closest to Hurricane Harvey’s expected path of destruction.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday evening as a category 4 hurricane. According to AIR Worldwide, “the eye of the storm crossed between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, about 30 miles east-northeast of Corpus Christi. Winds at landfall were approximately 130 mph, with hurricane-force winds extending 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending 140 miles from the center.”

Photo credit: NOAA.

A second landfall occurred a few hours later north of Rockport, where extensive building damage was reported.

GEICO, Farmers, Travelers, USAA and State Farm reported hundreds of adjusters have been stationed across the state.

A USAA spokesperson said that adjusters pulled from locations nationwide were stationed in San Antonio waiting out the storm.

According to Carrie Bonney, director of Public Relations at Farmers, the insurer has two mobile claims centers located just outside the hurricane’s path. She explained that once it is safe to enter the damaged areas, the insurer will begin servicing affected policyholders as well as offering community relief.

“We also have hundreds of adjusters prepared to deploy into the damaged areas to start helping customers as soon as possible,’ said Bonney.

Pat Gee, senior vice president of Claim at Travelers, said they have several mobile claim offices strategically placed in Dallas and Southeast.

Travelers continues to monitor the weather in case of spin-off storms or tornadoes.

“We have hundreds of employees already on the ground in local claim offices who can assist customers affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Gee. “We are closely monitoring the storm from our National Catastrophe Center to determine where to deploy additional Catastrophe Response teams, who are currently on standby, to handle any potential increase in claim volume.”

The insurer also expects it will use drones to survey policyholder roof damage.

As of Friday afternoon, State Farm adjusters arrived in Austin and Dallas for deployment to the coast, according to Chris Pilcic, the insurer’s Texas media specialist.

“Additionally, we have six catastrophe response vehicles that have deployed to Texas – four are staging in Dallas and two in Austin,” said Pilcic.

State Farm’s in-office personnel will reportedly start working catastrophe claims resulting from Harvey as soon as they are reported, he added.

CoreLogic released early estimates of storm surge and wind damage, indicating insured commercial and residential property losses could reach $2 billion. The global information and analytics provider said that this damage estimate does not include damage resulting from flooding, business interruption or contents claims.

Harvey has weakened, according to AIR, to a Category 1 storm. Rainfall from the storm is expected to last several days and the damage resulting from expected catastrophic flooding is still unknown.

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