PCI Stresses Patience as Help Flows to Katrina Victims

September 1, 2005

Now in the third day after the country’s most catastrophic natural disaster property owners and residents are still trying to come to terms with the extent of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) held a
teleconference Thursday morning in its efforts to continue keeping the public informed of the most current and pertinent insurance issues.

Here is the some of the insurance-related information on Hurricane
Katrina that was discussed on the call:

Estimated Size of Loss – While various figures have been circulating, it is still too early to determine the number of policyholders that will file claims, the total size of the loss and the insurance industry’s share of that loss as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Insurance company adjusters are still waiting to gain access to the affected areas to work with property owners and homeowners in assessing the damage. However, much of the area struck by the hurricane is still closed to non-emergency personnel including adjusters.

Insurance Adjusters and Property Assessment – Unfortunately, the areas most severely affected by Hurricane Katrina are still inaccessible. This makes the process of assessing the damage slower than in other storms. The standard deployment of adjusters has been hindered due to the massive flooding, the massive extent of debris, the lack of gasoline for transportation once in the affected areas and the lack of housing.

Some Areas are Beginning the Recovery Process – For homeowners who are able to begin the rebuilding process, report all damage to your insurance company or agent as soon as you can. To settle your claim more quickly and accurately, it will help if you have as much information as possible about your damaged possessions when your insurance adjuster comes to look at your property.

See the following tips:

* Keep all receipts for anything you buy for that purpose so you can
submit them to your insurance company later.
* Make a list of damaged items. If possible, put together a set of
records, such as receipts, bills and photographs, to establish the age of everything that needs to be replaced or repaired.
* Identify the structural damage to your home and make a list of
everything you would like to show the adjuster.
* Don’t throw out damaged furniture or other expensive items.

PCI also urges homeowners to use caution in hiring a contractor or other workers to help repair and clean up storm damage. To avoid scams and shoddy repair work, homeowners can save themselves a lot of time, money and frustration by taking the time to check the licensing and credentials of the businesses and individuals that are hired to do repairs.

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