Insurance Claims Start In Storm-Battered W.Va.
|By Mannix Porterfield, The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.|
"Sorry, No Ice."
In normal circumstances, a run on ice this close to
What transpired last weekend was no picnic.
Ice was a premium item in
To borrow a phrase from a
For many, with ice limited to two bags per customer, it came down to an old principle: Pick and choose which foods are worth saving, and hope the power lights up again before it melts.
And with most, this was a futile endeavor.
Plastic garbage bags were stuffed with spoiled meat and other staples. One woman standing in line at a
"I just went to the grocery store on Wednesday and stocked up for the holiday," the
Now that heavy losses were sustained, Delegate
"They're covered up to a limit," Hall said.
"Most homeowners' policies usually have a dollar limit associated with them. Most of the time, in situations like this, we take their word for it. You're not going to get into an argument with customers over
Obviously, no one is stockpiling bags of rotted meat and other foodstuffs to show a claims adjuster.
"We normally ask for something if they've got it," he said, adding this could be a recent store receipt.
There are some known to exploit a major storm that threw southern
"Sometimes we've had people who make claims for stuff in a freezer when they don't even have a freezer," Hall said.
"Most customers are honest. But you have occasionally, some who lie and stretch the truth a little bit."
Typically, most homeowner policies include a deductible of
While this ordinarily would mean one would need to lose a huge amount of food to get any type of reimbursement, Hall suggested this isn't the case, especially now.
"It doesn't take long to add up when you're talking about some frozen food, and pizzas, and steaks, to add up to a little bit of money," he said.
What's more, some likely laid in a larger than ordinary supply in advance of the
"There was a lot of that," he said.
"And a lot of hunters in this area had frozen deer meat and things like that."
With Internet dead at electricity-starved providers, Hall and others in the business community found the going tough Monday.
"I've been on the phone all day with our customers that reported claims so far just to get in touch with them, to see if there's anything I can do for them right away," he said.
Blown trees smashed into houses and utility buildings. In two instances, trampolines were ushered by strong wind gusts into vehicles in neighbors' yards. Shingles flew off many a roof.
"That kind of stuff is pretty common in a windstorm," Hall said.
Handling damage claims in a natural disaster is nothing new for Hall. When he worked for another insurance carrier in
This past weekend's mammoth storm and the resultant damage rank with them, he said.
"It's a big one," he said.
"I've seen a lot of tornadoes and hurricanes and stuff. This compares to that."
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(c)2012 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)
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