Frank A., USAA senior auto appraiser, is a Florida resident. Like many of our members and employees, Frank and his family anxiously waited for Hurricane Ian to make landfall to see if their home would be impacted.
“Luckily, my family and I are safe, and our home was outside of the major activity—we experienced minor damage compared to so many others," says Frank.
As part of the auto dedicated CAT team, Frank received the first virtual Hurricane Ian-related auto claim.
“When I saw the claim come in around 7 p.m. on Wednesday night, I connected with the member immediately," explains Frank. “I wanted to make sure him and his family were safe before anything else."
The member was so grateful that USAA reached out to him to ensure his safety and help him through his claim process. Frank had the member send him photos of his auto damage and gathered all the information he needed to complete the claim within two hours.
“The vehicle experienced flooding, and once I confirmed his location and did some research, I could assess the damage was caused from saltwater, making his claim immediately a total loss," shares Frank.
The member was shocked at the assessment, thinking his vehicle could be salvaged. Frank took the time to explain to him the danger of saltwater to vehicles, and why his claim was deemed a total loss.
Frank wasted no time in ensuring this member was safe and taken care of, and now he and his team will focus on in-person assessments closer to the catastrophe site as part of the first wave of auto adjusters to deploy.
The teams are handling both virtual and in-person claims and are prepared to manage the increasing volume as impacted members file claims. Frank brings to his team over 16 years of experience at USAA, with nine of those years within the catastrophe teams.
Randy T., USAA P&C president, is staying closely connected with the teams in Florida.
“Our teams had to navigate debris-filled roads while prioritizing everyone's safety before they could breech the areas where our members were most impacted," shares Randy. “Currently, our teams have been able to station Mobile CAT sites in Port Charlotte, Fort Myers and Orlando, Florida. The sites can serve our members every day from 7a.m. – 7 p.m. EDT."
Frank and his team are planning to stay in Florida for at least 30 days. But the time our teams and Mobile Response Units need to be physically present at the catastrophe site is unknown until they have more information and can assess the number of members in need.
“Our employees give up their time with their families and personal lives to go where our members need them," shares Randy. “I am so proud to serve alongside every one of you, and we will continue to go above and beyond every single time. Thank you all for your dedication and commitment."
Other teams at the CAT sites include property adjusters, auto appraisers and independent adjusters. The teams are also leveraging claims technology to quickly settle claims and use drones and manned flights to attain imagery. These images are key components to help assess the most severe damage. Post-storm aerial images allow the teams to streamline total loss settlements, enabling our members to quickly rebuild their lives.