Catastrophe Claims Cards Latest Option for Accessing Insurance Funds

June 15, 2006

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., starting July 15, it will be offering its property insurance policyholders a new tool for accessing emergency claims payments after a catastrophic event.

In addition to traditional checks and electronic fund transfers, which deposit emergency funds directly into a customer’s bank account, those who sustain losses from a natural or man-made disaster may now have the option of receiving money for certain covered expenses with an Emergency Claim Card from The Hartford. This can include coverage for the costs associated with smaller, but vital, day-to-day living essentials.

The Hartford Emergency Claim Card is a debit card, issued by JPMorgan Chase, which can be used at ATM machines nationwide to withdraw cash or at stores that accept point-of-sale purchases. Point-of-sale purchases require a Personal Identification Number (PIN), unlike credit card purchases which require only the card and a signature.

This card rounds out a suite of payment solutions meant to enhance the customer service experience and ease the financial burdens created after a catastrophe strikes, such as a devastating hurricane.

The company expects it to be an important resource, especially in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the past two storm seasons.

“People whose homes have been destroyed by a hurricane or other catastrophe need food and shelter, of course, but they also need basic items like toothbrushes, clean clothes, and diapers,” said Juan Andrade, newly appointed executive vice president of The Hartford’s Property & Casualty Operations’ claim organization. “It’s important that our customers have a convenient way to buy these items immediately. Providing them with a choice can make it easier to get though the aftermath of a catastrophe.”

Andrade also said that the use of a PIN with the Emergency Claim Cards creates security for customers. “Some people try to take advantage of the chaos after a natural catastrophe, but with our new Emergency Claim Card, a stolen or lost card is of no use to anyone without the PIN.”

Upon review of the claim, The Hartford Emergency Claim Cards will be issued by company claim handlers directly to customers at a catastrophe site or the nearest accessible location. The claim handlers will then determine the amount of funds to be allocated and have the card activated within 24 hours.

Source: The Hartford

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