Oct. 12--BLOOMINGTON -- Bloomington-based insurance companies State Farm and Country Financial are responding to thousands of property damage claims after hurricane Matthew tore across the east coast's bottom edge.
"Looking at such a long distance from Florida to Virginia, we're seeing the heaviest impact in the middle part of Florida where there is a lot of flooding," said Michal Brower, State Farm spokeswoman for Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
In Florida, 4,710 property and auto claims have been filed with State Farm, 2,900 in Georgia, 5,460 in South Carolina and 4,290 in North Carolina.
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Wind and water damage and fallen trees, limbs and power lines have caused the most issues, said Brower.
"Claims started coming in immediately for Florida and grew every day," she said. "We expect those numbers to grow as people return home and survey their property and vehicles for damage, especially in the areas that are still seeing active flooding."
Brower said State Farm catastrophe response teams were mobilized from all states.
"As soon as the storm starting hitting, they were deployed to all states hit by the storm," she said. "That, of course, is in addition to claims people and State Farm agents in each community. They are there to help customers recover."
A news release from Country Financial said the insurance company has also seen a surge of East Coast claims since the storm blew through.
More than 1,300 auto and property claims along the Georgia coast have been reported to Country Financial. Claims numbers for other states affected were not available.
More than 80 claims employees from around the country, including some from Bloomington, are serving customers along the Georgia coast.
"We expect the number of claims to increase as more residents are allowed to return to their homes along the coast," said John Butkus, director of property and material damage claims for Country, in the news release.
"It has been wonderful to see all of our employees and the organization as a whole come together to help customers start the rebuilding process."
Follow Julia Evelsizer on Twitter: @pg_evelsizer
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