As we watched Hurricane Dorian wreak havoc on the Bahamas earlier this week, causing devastating damage and tragic losses, the need for emergency resources was abundantly clear. After bringing strong winds and heavy rain to Florida, the storm continues to move up the southeast coast with tropical storm warnings issued in Georgia and hurricane conditions expected for parts of the Carolinas today. While the safety and health of those impacted always remains a top priority, the reality of dealing with property and insurance-related claims is an important step to be aware of after the storm has passed.
Historically, the insurance claims process for immense property damage, such as what we are looking at from Dorian, ends with an adjuster assessing the damage on-site, then handing the homeowner a check for the repairs. In addition to their homes being destroyed, homeowners may also be dealing with lost personal belongings and possibly damage to their community. During a time like this, they don’t have the luxury to shop around for a contractor. To simplify this step, there is increased support from insurance companies to work with third parties to manage the process of finding reliable contractors, train them and ensure they deliver on all promises.
Sedgwick's repair solutions offers restoration and mitigation services with a single point of contact to provide ongoing communications and progress updates for property owners. Our team offers customized services, such as water mitigation, emergency repairs and general construction, through a network of certified local, regional and national contractors. We identify, deploy and manage expert resources to complete the repair services needed, working closely with insurance companies and property owners throughout the process.
Restoration after storms is serious and important work that must be handled properly. Lasting effects from flooding and improperly mitigated water damage can end up impacting homes and businesses more than people realize. In the past two years, we have seen an uptick in storm losses in the property space from hurricanes that included Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence and Michael. These events exceeded the total volume of hurricane losses from the past decade. Hurricane Michael alone had losses close to $4 billion, with more than 88,000 claims involving residential property damage. All of this has stretched resources massively and impacted timelines, putting a constraint on the restoration industry in affected states – notably Florida.
In an effort to assist, Sedgwick developed Sightline, a cloud-based technology to connect direct repair contractors, administrators and users. Providing a view into the assignments in our managed repair network, Sightline offers contractors, clients and property owners the status of claims in-process, construction updates and progress schedules. The purpose is to make the process easier for those who have experienced property damage, allowing for more transparency into their claims.
There is no way to predict the next weather disaster, but what we can predict is the need for a simplified process for those who have experienced property damage. Sedgwick, along with the insurance industry, is making it a priority to further evolve technology and provide the vital resources that are needed when weather disasters occur.