Company mobilizes Catastrophe Services® to Handle Claims from Storm
Bloomington, Illinois, September 1, 2008 –State Farm, the largest insurer of homes and autos in the Gulf Coast and the nation has initiated Catastrophe Services operations to begin helping customers affected by Hurricane Gustav.
“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our customers,” said Assistant Vice-President Claims Jim Damm. “Once it is safe do so, customers should contact their agent or call 1-800-SF-CLAIM to begin the claims process,” said Damm.
Centralized Catastrophe Services are already in contact with policyholders who have reported losses. These claim handling operations located in Jacksonville, Fla., and Dallas, Tex., have been ramped up with additional resources to respond to policyholders Hundreds of agents and claim employees already in the impacted areas are also servicing our policyholders.
In addition, State Farm’s Catastrophe Team, a dedicated, mobile workforce of experienced catastrophe claim representatives has been activated and is moving into the affected areas. Catastrophe Services has identified a significant number of Catastrophe Team members for deployment directly into the impacted areas. These individuals will arrive in their assigned location when conditions clear to begin the claim handling process upon their arrival.
The State Farm Catastrophe Team also has the advantage of a fleet of mobile claim handling facilities innovatively designed to support the claims handling process. These vehicles are now moving toward the Gulf Coast. Once positioned in strategic locations, each vehicle allows State Farm claims representatives to begin the claims process for our customers in an immediate way.
Technology is also playing a major role in expediting the State Farm claim handling process for significant catastrophes, like Hurricane Gustav. State Farm has 33 satellites that connect back the company’s home office system. These satellites can be taken anywhere and set up so that they are operational within four hours. The satellites provide incredible flexibility for State Farm's catastrophe claims operation.
State Farm has 12 mobile office facilities, ranging from a large van to a full‑sized tractor trailer (18‑wheeler). Five of these are satellite‑equipped. All of these vehicles allow claim representatives to set up drive‑in auto claims operations wherever there are a number of auto storm claims.
The company employs laptop computers with wireless air cards that provide on-line access to each of our 1,700 catastrophe claims specialists. That allows those claims representatives to work much more efficiently.
Within the last six to eight months, State Farm has begun setting up what it calls temporary hot spots within 50 to 100 feet of a leased facility or a hotel, thereby allowing State Farm claims reps total connectivity without the need to execute any hard wiring. Most State Farm catastrophe claims staff is equipped with hand‑held global positioning system (GPS) devices allowing them to find our policyholders even in the wake of major catastrophes that severely damage transportation infrastructure and road signage.
For additional information about the storm and State Farm’s response, visit statefarm.com.
For questions or more information, contact Jeff McCollum, Public Affairs, at (309) 766-0307.
State Farm® insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S. and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.