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By Rohit Verma, Chief Executive Officer, Crawford & Company
Hurricane Ian caused more damage in Florida and the Carolinas than Hurricane Ida did in Louisiana last year, based on the number of buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure affected. That’s the main reason Ian’s insured losses are likely to exceed Ida’s $36 billion.
Ian’s flood damage claims are expected to exceed claims for wind damage Ian caused as a percentage of this $40 billion to $60 billion event, even though only about 18 percent of Florida homes have flood insurance. Crawford & Company anticipates that we will process a significant percentage of these flood claims. Dealing with insured and uninsured losses will be a particular challenge.
As routes to the communities of Fort Myers and the Southwest Florida Coast open, Crawford continues to assess the hurricane’s impact and assist with recovery. Thousands of Crawford customizers are already deployed in our fastest ramp-up yet—our largest deployment in history at such an early stage—and we expect that number to grow in the coming weeks.
This claims adjustment engagement is distributed across our US CAT team: Managed Repair Network Contractor Connection, our claims adjustment business; Crawford’s on-demand inspection service WeGoLook; and edjuster, the technology-focused solutions provider for field and desktop claims, Crawford, was acquired in August 2021.
Crawford Global Technical Services is also working with several clients who are still assessing damage from Hurricane Ian and we expect the volume of commercial claims to increase as they are reported. In addition, Crawford has fully operational support rooms in Gainesville, Tampa, Sunrise and Orlando, Florida.
Access remains difficult in the early stages of the response due to the damaged infrastructure, but we have prioritized emergency mitigation services, plank activities and tree removal to mitigate further damage and restore homes and commercial buildings to a usable state as quickly as possible to put state .
As the recovery process progresses, claims inflation and supply chain issues will likely impact the industry’s response to Hurricane Ian. Building materials are in high demand.
Our immediate focus now is helping those who have suffered devastating losses and restoring lives, businesses and communities impacted by the hurricane.