Sheltering Insureds From Housing Hassles
In Disaster’s Wake, Insurers Can Shine
By Christina Bramlet
Last month, Sandy carved a path of destruction that left millions without power and hundreds
of thousands without shelter and other
necessities. Figures released as of Nov.
28 suggest the superstorm destroyed at
least 305,000 homes in New York and
another 72,000 in New Jersey. By comparison, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
ravaged 214,000 homes in Louisiana,
though their toll on human lives was
far greater. Large-scale disasters such as
these test even the most seasoned adjusters, especially in securing shelter for
Claims spoke with Gary Stephen, senior vice president of claims and risk
management at PURE, about how to
successfully accommodate insureds, including high-net-worth individuals.
Q. What helps ensure success in meeting policyholders’ immediate housing
needs in the wake of a disaster?
A. Pre-storm preparation is one of the
most crucial competencies of a com-
pany’s successful post-storm response.
[For example], long before Sandy made
landfall, PURE’s claims and risk man-
agement team began to put all of our
proverbial ducks in a row. We began by
reaching out to the housing and realty
services with whom we have established
relationships to secure housing accom-
modations for [policyholders] likely to
be evacuated or otherwise displaced from
their homes. We also prepared a list of
questions to ask our displaced members
following the storm, so that we could try
to meet their needs as best possible.