Yesterday, we were getting comments that caused me to suggest some might find it helpful to read Chip Merlin’s September blog posts. As an afterthought, I decided to make another visit myself.
I’m a big fan of Merlin’s and have read most, maybe all, of the posts on the blog. Nonetheless, although I understood and generally agreed with most everything in the post he’d added since my last visit, I’m not certain I got the message in State Farm Gears Up for Ike.
All of the companies with policy holders in the areas hit by Gustav and Ike appear to have geared up. Allstate was actually the first to go public with an announcement they were ready and State Farm followed. I wrote a post on the subject at the time.
Last night I found an interesting article from the Palm Beach Press indicating the gear up also included Hanna: Past failures spur insurance changes.
The current storm season is turning out to be the most active in terms of landfall since eight storms slammed into the Sunshine State in 2004 and 2005. But major homeowner insurers say they are ready to respond quickly to damage claims, a result of learning some tough lessons in those years.
The goal: Pay policyholders faster so that they can fix up their homes.
Indeed, four of the top five Florida insurers – Citizens Property Insurance Corp., State Farm, Allstate and USAA – say they are, among other things:
Expanding the use of mobile satellite vans that can process claims from affected areas wirelessly.
Switching from paper to electronic files.
Using the Internet to reach customers with damage.
Adding to the number of claims adjusters on call.
It’s all to be more responsive, the insurers say. As a group they came out of the busy 2004 and 2005 storm seasons with a collective black eye on claims handling. From customers of the five largest insurers alone, state regulators received more than 10,000 claims-related complaints after the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes…
Still, there is no guarantee that homeowners won’t have problems.
Paying policy holders faster, according to Merlin’s post, is a cost saving measure for insurers. Continue reading “So, will claims handling really be different with Gustav and Ike?”