Bloomington, IL,
06
September
2021
|
15:56 PM
America/Chicago

State Farm Responds to Hurricane Ida

Summary

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana in late August, causing significant damage. State Farm is committed to meeting the obligations contained in the insurance policies issued to all its policyholders.

Our hearts go out to all those whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Ida. Our greatest concern is for the safety of everyone in the affected areas.

State Farm policyholders may submit a claim through various channels. This includes contacting their State Farm agent, calling 1-800-SFCLAIM, or submitting a claim through our State Farm Mobile App or through our State Farm Claims web site. 

State Farm is there – Before, during and after the storm

State Farm’s response to Hurricane Ida began before the storm made landfall. Thousands of State Farm agents and employees began to mobilize and prepare to respond to our customers’ needs prior to the storm’s arrival.

The State Farm response to Ida is both local and national. It includes State Farm agents who live and work in the same neighborhoods as our customers; teams of claim specialists trained in disaster response traveling in to evaluate damage on site; thousands of employees in centralized care centers across the country helping answer customers’ questions and file their claims; remote claim teams conducting virtual inspections with impacted customers; and many other resources, all helping customers in their time of need.

Delivering on the promise

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, State Farm began claim inspections in areas safe for entry, focusing on the most severe damage first where possible.

Agents and Customer Care Center employees have responded to thousands of customer calls, helping customers understand their coverage and how the claim process works, including aspects of coverage that come into play when damage is especially severe.

When storms such as Ida cause severe damage to homes, customers may be displaced. Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage under a Homeowners or Renters policy is triggered when a covered loss causes the residence to become uninhabitable. ALE can cover some increased costs such as housing, meals, and mileage.

Some media reports are incorrectly suggesting ALE does not apply without a mandatory evacuation having been ordered. These reports are seemingly focused on one portion of our ALE coverage for affected policyholders: Prohibited Use. We are addressing the needs of displaced customers. State Farm is paying, and will pay, thousands of Prohibited Use and ALE claims to our policyholders following Hurricane Ida

For customers who have a loss covered under ALE due to the extent of damage to their home, that loss adjustment occurs regardless of the type of evacuation order in their neighborhood. Once a State Farm customer reports a claim to us, we will evaluate their damage. The process from there depends on many factors including the extent of damage and accessibility of the property. (We’re working with local authorities for access when it’s safe.)

We are here for all of our customers and are committed to pay what we owe. State Farm’s policies in Louisiana, the Northeast and other states, are filed with and approved by state insurance regulators in each state, respectively. State Farm honors the terms of the contract with our customers. Altering the terms of the contract for one event would be unfair to all those who have experienced loss from previous disasters.

 

Roof inspection using drone
UAS Claim Specialist Cory Dreier operates a drone to conduct a roof inspection

Getting a boost from technology

In addition to on-site physical inspection of claims and the service provided by local agents, State Farm is making the most of technology to reach customers in more ways and make the process of resolving claims even faster and easier.

  • Virtual claim handling allows customers to conduct real-time inspections of damage with remote claim teams through their smartphone cameras.
  • Use of drones and aerial imagery allow State Farm to quickly assess damage and accessibility of storm-impacted areas, and to conduct roof inspections in a way that is safe, efficient and supports social distancing.
  • Digital pay options allow for claim settlements to be direct-deposited into customers’ bank accounts, getting funds to customers more quickly, whether or not banks are open.
  • Customers are encouraged to use the State Farm Mobile App and online account access for many self-service options such as filing and tracking claims, uploading documents during the claim process, requesting emergency roadside service, setting up a rental car reservation, and setting up digital pay.
     
Construction of mobile claim tent
Crews work to assemble the Customer Care Site in Gonzales, LA

Bringing in-person service where it’s needed most

To provide convenient local service to customers, mobile Customer Care Sites are being set up in multiple locations near the hardest-hit areas of Louisiana. These sites allow customers to receive in-person support with claim handling and disbursement of payments.

Louisiana Customer Care Sites include:

  1. Gonzales: 306 Louisiana 30 W, Gonzales, LA 70737 (map)
  2. Houma: 6795 West Park Ave, Houma, LA 70364 (map)
  3. New Orleans: 8282 I-10 Service Rd, New Orleans, LA 70126 (map)
  4. Covington: 69348 Louisiana State Hwy 21, Covington, LA 70433 (map)

Northeast Customer Care Sites include:

  1. Livingston, NJ: 112 Eisenhower Parkway, Livingston, NJ 07039 (map)
  2. Horsham, PA: 200 Blair Mill Road, Horsham, PA 19044 (map)
  3. Queens County, NY: Opening soon

To help agents in impacted areas better serve their customers, agency “command centers” are being set up to provide office space and phone/internet connection to agents who have themselves been impacted by damage from Ida.
 

Being good neighbors in the community

In addition to assisting our customers directly, State Farm is also helping overall recovery efforts with charitable grants to assist with immediate shelter, food, water, and clothing needs in Louisiana.

State Farm has issued eight Disaster Recovery Grants, for a total of $900,000, to help those impacted by Hurricane Ida:

Louisiana:

Northeast:

  • $50,000 to support American Red Cross New Jersey Region
  • $50,000 to support American Red Cross Greater New York Region
  • $25,000 to support American Red Cross Southeastern Philadelphia Region
  • $25,000 to support the Philabundance organization

Along with these disaster grants, in the days following landfall, State Farm deployed its Customer Response Unit vehicles. These vans drive through impacted neighborhoods and hand out basic essentials to residents such as water, food, work gloves, flashlights, and first-aid kits. During their deployment for Ida, the CRUs have each covered more than 1,300 miles through 18 cities and eight parishes.
 

The response continues

The impact of Hurricane Ida continued after it moved on from the Gulf Coast, with effects reaching all the way into the northeast U.S., including intense flooding in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

State Farm is the nation’s largest home and auto insurer, with the capacity to serve customers through multiple simultaneous disasters. Already, State Farm has received more than 72,000 claims related to the impact of Ida – more than 42,000 in Louisiana and more than 25,000 in the northeast. This is happening all while the same level of service is being provided to those suffering the effects of wildfires in the western U.S., and everywhere else severe weather is impacting State Farm customers.

The story of any major weather event is a long one. The process of recovering, rebuilding, and re-establishing a sense of “normal” can take weeks, months, or even years. State Farm is here to help our customers get through this difficult time.