Insurer Trade Group Leader Says Industry is Responding to Ike Claims

September 23, 2008

Gov. Marc Racicot, president of the American Insurance Association (AIA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff assuring him that the insurance industry is fully engaged in the recovery from Hurricane Ike. Racicot indicated Chertoff had questioned the insurance industry’s response to Ike during a press conference in Texas.

In the letter, Racicot told Chertoff he wanted to make sure the homeland security chief had “the most thorough and recent information available to you as you continue to respond to the challenges in Texas. As president of the American Insurance Association and a proud representative of our nation’s property/casualty insurers, I can attest to the fact that insurers are at the forefront of helping affected policyholders get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“Insurers began doing their part before Hurricane Ike ever made landfall. In fact, natural catastrophe response teams started their operations as the storm was gathering strength in the Gulf. Since landfall, hundreds of claims handlers from all over the country have been deployed to the region. As part of their efforts, mobile claims centers have been positioned as close to the affected areas as allowed by local authorities. As you know, access to the impacted areas remains a critical problem. Now that FEMA has opened their disaster recovery centers (DRCs) I anticipate that insurers will co-locate their mobile claim centers at these nine locations – all in an effort to best serve their policyholders.

“As you can imagine, the American Insurance Association and our member companies have been closely monitoring the post-storm recovery efforts. We are appreciative of the open lines of communication with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and all the hard work that folks are doing on the ground. TDI has openly acknowledged the eagerness of insurers to get into impacted areas, but underscores that the decision to allow insurers access is controlled by local authorities who have not yet allowed insurers into many areas. Please be assured that America’s property/casualty insurers are doing their part to quickly process claims and help their policyholders recover in a timely manner during this difficult period.”

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