Providing on-site claims services for carriers who need additional boots on the ground – especially after a catastrophic event – is what Enservio’s team of contents inventory specialists is all about. Last year, Enservio helped homeowners in Moore, Oklahoma. Before that, the team witnessed firsthand the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, to name but a few. Below, Enservio’s Michael Pelonero shares “a day in the life” of a claims pro in the aftermath of the tornadoes that recently leveled communities in Arkansas.
The area in Arkansas and Mississippi where the Enservio team was deployed included towns such as Conway, Mayflower, and Vilonia, where President Obama visited earlier this month. Obama’s job was to impart hope in his speech. Our job was to determine the value of lost contents. For contents pros, tornadoes whirl is the biggest challenge: how to catalog stuff that is scattered for miles in every direction.
When it comes to working in tornado-damaged areas, smaller towns take a bigger hit in recovery time due to emergency resource scarcity. Small towns just don’t have the facilities and infrastructure of larger cities so cannot recover as quickly as larger areas. For example, the water treatment plant in Louisville was severely damaged, cutting off water for thousands of residents. Housing shortages are more pronounced.
Most cases are total losses, where only the cement foundation remains. We don’t believe in making people’s lives more stressful by throwing a battery of questions or forms at them. Enservio’s analytics tools allow us to project a relatively accurate estimate of contents before we go to the home by collecting data on key demographics such as location, square footage, how long the homeowner has owned the property, the number of occupants, their ages and other points. The insight gleaned from the estimate can aid us in determining which rooms are likely to have the most contents and cue the specialists on the types of questions they should ask. It also provides a total value that can be compared to the limits of the policy.
In instances where we go onsite to inventory remaining contents, we have to be mindful and sensitive while working with homeowners who are going through the worse period of their lives. After introducing ourselves and the carrier we represent, we ease into a conversation about their home, who lived there, their kids and pets. Right away you notice how people like to share their life stories. Room by room, we walk with the homeowner, listening to them describe the beloved objects they have lost. We see many people gain a sense of comfort and closure from this reconstruction process.
Interfacing with adjusters and our carrier partners, we do everything we can to arrive at the most accurate record of loss contents. We all share the same goal, to get homeowners and businesses back on their feet as fast as humanly possible.