Hurricane from Orbit

Recovery from Hurricane Irma may be delayed by a lack of qualified adjusters, as reported recently by The Wall Street Journal.  Property adjusters from around the nation have been dispatched to Texas to address recovery from Hurricane Harvey, leaving a shortage of adjusters to handle Florida claims.  The industry simply does not anticipate 2 significant back-to-back storms, and qualified property adjusters are in big demand.

Those who weathered the hurricanes of 2004 will remember seeing significant numbers of out-of-state property adjusters dispatched to Florida on a temporary basis.  Florida property carriers are currently retaining adjusters typically stationed out-of-state in order to get claims moving.  The longer property sits without remediation, the greater the damage due to water exposure and mold.  Prompt adjustment of claims is an important customer satisfaction issue for all insurance carriers.

Most carriers do not have a sufficient number of employee adjusters to handle this volume of claims, thereby creating tremendous demand for the country’s approximate 57,000 insurance adjusters.  The competition is intense and bidding wars have ensued to retain qualified property adjusters.  Many are paid on a per-job basis, increasing their incentive to put in long days as Florida rebuilds.

Karen Clark & Co., a Tampa risk modeling firm, has estimated Irma’s damage at $18 billion.  Irma has the potential to supplant Hurricane Sandy as the 3rd most expensive hurricane ever.  Despite Irma’s path through less-populous Central Florida, the damage is significant.  Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam said earlier this week that damage to Florida’s agricultural industry is profound, with every element of farming and agriculture significantly affected.

Damage to homes and businesses from any natural disaster is very upsetting, but your personal safety is far more important.  We hope all of our friends made it safely through the storm.