CAT Response Vehicle Outfitted to Speed Help to Agents

June 1, 2006

A new, state-of-the-art catastrophe response vehicle designed to arrive on disaster scenes within 24 hours of a storm and give agents immediate access to customer records and policies so that the claims process can begin, has been unveiled by the Florida Association of Insurance Agents.

“The greatest needs after a hurricane are supplies and communication capabilities,” Jeff Grady, FAIA president and CEO explained. “This highly visible mobile command center will give our agents the tools and supplies they need to help customers begin the recovery process.”

The fully renovated mobile response unit is outfitted with the latest satellite and computer technology which will allow agents to pull up customer records and policies, assess damages, and file claims the first day of the storm. Also included on-board is a Direct TV satellite, Global Positioning System, satellite phone capability, XM satellite radio, wireless Internet access, a generator, laptops and printers. The vehicle also will be stocked with storm victim supplies, basic office recovery items and other useful disaster response resources.

“In the wake of a storm insurance agents are among the first to respond, in spite of the fact that they too are victims,” said Bill Gunter, former Insurance Commissioner. “But if communications systems are down and offices are severely damaged or destroyed, initiating the response process can be extremely challenging.”

Gunter says FAIA’s mobile response unit will provide immediate resources to jump start the claims process.

“Our customers and their families are our number one priority,” Gunter explained. “This vehicle will provide our agents with the supplies and support they need to begin helping storm victims the very first day.”

Grady hopes the vehicle will symbolize hope and relief for those affected by storms.

“We want customers to know that our agents are going to be there for them when a storm hits,” Grady said. “This vehicle is a highly visible way to do that.”

When not serving as an insurance command center, the vehicle will also serve as an educational tool, touring the state to provide important collateral materials and insurance information for consumers. These brochures and tips sheets will provide information on topics ranging from purchasing homeowners coverage to protecting homes during hurricane season.

Source: Florida Association of Insurance Agents

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