A number of insurance companies in the Northeast are bringing in additional claims adjusters to respond to the needs of their hardest hit customers and help speed the recovery process from the recent string of storms that have blanketed the region with snow and ice.
A weekend blast of snow and ice added to the problems created by a series of intermittent storms that struck the region over the last week – dumping over a foot of snow in many areas of New England and Eastern New York, and with accumulation in some parts of Maine reaching as much as 40 inches.
The severe ice storms and heavy snow have made some streets impassable, downed utility lines and widespread power outages have also forced many residents to leave their homes. Restoring power has been a major issue across much of the region, as some electric customer in parts of Central Massachusetts were without power for 10 days or longer.
The recent storm “only compounds the difficulties being experienced in the Northeast as the area recovers,” said Frank O’Brien, vice president and regional manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). “It is still too early to provide an accurate estimate of the insured losses, but additional insurance adjusters have been dispatched and are in place ready to work with property owners and homeowners in assessing damage and processing claims. We encourage property owners to report their claims as soon as possible to begin the recovery process.”
“Whenever consumers have claims, we know this is the time they need us most,” he added.
PCI is advising insurance consumers that numerous carriers have already set up hotlines and Web sites to take initial reports from customers for claims. The insurers’ trade group is also recommending that property owners take reasonable steps to protect their property from further damage and theft by making emergency repairs.
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