Insurers said Sandy-related claims have been pouring in at a rapid pace in the immediate days after the storm — and that as some sense of normalcy returns, many more claims are expected.
The Progressive Corp. CEO Glenn Renwick said on an investor conference call Friday, Nov. 2, that the company received about 6,000 auto claims with approximately two-thirds being flood and one-third being wind. About 80 percent of the claims have come from New York and New Jersey — and about 10 percent from Pennsylvania and Connecticut and the rest from other states that were affected by the storm.
“We have activated and deployed additional resources to the affected areas to help resolve claims and provide our policyholders with the confidence that their needs will receive immediate attention,” company spokesperson Jeff Sibel said. “Our goal is to always settle claims fairly and accurately and right now it is our priority to help return our customers back to pre-storm conditions so they can move on with their lives.”
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., meanwhile, said that as of Thursday, Nov. 1, its total claims — both large and small — from Sandy topped 11,000. Looking at individual states and jurisdictions, Nationwide Mutual received as of Thursday, Nov. 1: 3,321 claims from Pennsylvania, 2,418 from New York, 1,509 from Maryland, 1,227 from Ohio, 861 from Virginia, 785 from Connecticut, 266 from Delaware, 172 from Rhode Island, 149 from West Virginia, and 131 from North Carolina.
“Although power has been turned on in some areas, many citizens are still without power. As electricity and some sense of normalcy returns, more claims are expected. We’re here to help our members when they need us most,” spokesperson Elizabeth Stelzer said. Nationwide said its claims associates are in the field responding to claims — with the ability to produce a check or prepaid Visa on the spot in certain situations. Nationwide said its catastrophe teams are also on the ground, working 12-hour-days, seven days a week.
State Farm Insurance said it received 50,351 Sandy-related claims (42,400 property claims and 7,951 auto claims) as of Wednesday, Oct. 31. Looking at individual states and jurisdictions regarding property claims, State Farm received as of Oct. 31: 14,200 claims in New York, 9,970 in New Jersey, 7,640 in Pennsylvania, 4,110 in Maryland, 2,890 in Ohio, 1,880 in Virginia, 890 in Connecticut, 440 in Delaware, 160 in West Virginia, and 220 in the District of Columbia. For auto claims, State Farm received as of Oct. 31: 4,470 claims in New York, 1,700 in New Jersey, 890 in Pennsylvania, 430 in Maryland, 270 in Virginia, 110 in Connecticut, and 81 in Delaware.
“Superstorm Sandy was a very diverse storm, so we are seeing damage caused by a range of weather conditions, even snow. Many claims are from wind damage, downed trees, and power outages,” said spokesperson Amy Preddy. “Our hearts go out to those affected by Superstorm Sandy. State Farm’s priority is making sure everyone is safe and taking care of customers’ needs as quickly as possible.” The company said its mobile catastrophe teams have been deployed to affected cities to serve policyholders as they begin the claim process.
New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. said the company received thousands of claims so far, and they continue to pour in at a fast pace. These claims are roughly 80 percent homeowners and 20 percent auto. The most common damages concern flooded cars, and windstorm or houses struck by objects — mostly trees, the insurer said.
“We are encouraging policyholders to contact us about their claims as quickly as possible, take pictures and provide as much documentation as they can, and protect their property from additional damage to as great an extent as possible,” said spokesman Eric Stenson. “Above all, we are asking our customers to stay safe and protect the well-being of their families during this difficult time.”