WNPR

Connecticut-Based Insurers Gear Up For Hurricane Harvey Claims

Aug 30, 2017

Insurers are among those deploying teams to communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Travelers, which has its property casualty lines based in Hartford, has dispatched three mobile claims centers to the state. 

These are designed for work in disaster areas.

"They have full generating platforms," said Travelers's Patrick Gee. "They can allow customers and our agents to charge all their equipment. They have satellite access, so that our customers can connect with the internet and they can provide a mobile base for us, when electricity, power and other forms of communication may be down."

Gee said deploying personnel and equipment can be challenging.

"We had resources all on the northern periphery of the storm -- and also from the west -- as the storm was clearing out to the east," said Gee. "Although it's still going on, some of the original areas like in Victoria and other parts of Texas that were hit first are now accessible."

Though the damage from Harvey is estimated at up to $30 billion, it's not clear yet how much will be covered by insurance, as most homeowners’ policies don’t cover flooding, which is the major cause of damage around Houston.

Gee said he’s expecting to see an unusual pattern of claims.

"We have a wind event on the coastline, and then we have this long, extended, unprecedented rain duration event," he said. "We had people evacuated on the coastline, that are just beginning to return to their properties. And then of course around the Houston area, many people did not evacuate originally, and so we expect a little bit more of an extended duration on this event."

Harvey is the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in more than a decade.