Posted by: jmwilsonmga | November 6, 2012

Preparing Your Clients for a Storm

We are seeing and hearing a lot about storms lately, whether it’s a hurricane, severe thunderstorm, tornado or ice storm, they are all capable of causing complete destruction.  Here are some steps that everyone can take to prepare before a storm strikes.

  • Program your phone with electric company and insurance agent/agency phone numbers
  • Familiarize yourself with how to report a power outage
  • Learn how to manually open or close any garage door or door that is electrically operated
  • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged (invest in a car charger if you don’t have one)
  • Fill your car’s gas tank
  • Get cash out, ATM machines and credit card readers could be out of service or power
  • Plan meals for your family

Having emergency kits available for your use in the event of a power outage is very helpful and can make for a less stressful situation.  Involving your family in preparing the kits this could be a fun family project!

Here are some ideas for emergency kits:

  • Bottled water or gallon jugs of drinking water
  • A flashlight and spare batteries
  • Battery operated radio
  • First aid kit
  • Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food
  • A manual can opener
  • Blankets
  • Baby supplies (formula, food, diapers, wipes)
  • Pet foods, bowls, treats
  • Prescriptions
  • Paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic utensils
  • Games and books for children

Pack these items in a bin and label the container clearly and store where they would be easily accessible.  In a disaster situation you may need access to your supply kit quickly – whether you are sheltering at home or evacuating.

Big storms can lead to many claims that need to be reported.  Having your staff prepared to take the loss information will make the process smooth for you and the insured.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your agency:

  • Have Acord Loss Report forms available for quick use and get as much as possible from the insured, the more information the faster the process can be.
  • Provide claim information and phone numbers to the insured at policy issuance to prepare them ahead of time
  • Communicate claims reporting information on your website, social media sites, and/or email newsletter

Below are tips your office can provide to the insured in the event of a loss:

  • Record the storm date and take pictures of any storm damage, interior, personal items and exterior
  • Report the claim immediately to you – their agent
  • If necessary, advise them to turn off main water shutoff valve if water is leaking into the home or business
  • If possible, advise them to tarp roof or board up any windows to prevent further damage
  • Move any furniture or valuables to higher ground if in water
  • If they suffer a loss (once they report it), a claims adjuster will contact them within 24-48 hours of being assigned make sure to include all contact information to insure the adjuster is able to get ahold of the insured.

Review your homeowners and property policies with your insureds,  don’t wait until a loss occurs to explore extra services.  Please contact J.M. Wilson to learn more about how we can assist you and your insured with their coverage needs.  For more information on our claims process or to report a claim, please visit our website at www.jmwilson.com  or  contact us  at 800-964-1126 / claims@jmwilson.com

About the Author : Jessica Garcia, Claims Supervisor

Jessica joined the J.M. Wilson Team  in 2007 and currently serves as Claims Supervisor.  She handles all claims and claims communication with our agents; additionally she works on the Wellness Initiatives at J.M. Wilson. Jessica loves helping her insureds through a smooth claims process and getting them back to their daily routines and life prior to their loss.   In her free time, Jessica enjoys listening to music, reading, teaching BodyPump and Cycling fitness classes, and spending time with her family and friends.

Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn!

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2012 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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