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Insurers deal with hundreds of storm claims

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The island's insurance companies have begun to pay out after receiving hundreds of claims for damage caused by Hurricane Humberto.

The Category 3 storm hammered Bermuda last Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning, causing widespread power outages and property damage.

Collectively, three companies reported yesterday that they had received nearly 600 claims related to Humberto.

Colonial Insurance said it has received more than 175 claims.

Juanita Coley, the firm's claims manager, said: “We were accepting calls from 8.30am on Thursday, September 19, from clients whose property had been damaged.

“Our office opened at noon, once the roads were deemed safe for public access. Shortly after, our loss adjusters began assessing damaged properties.

“Claim payments began as early as Monday, September 23. Assessments are ongoing and the overall cost of damages is yet to be determined.

“The majority of our claims are in relation to property damage, most of which are located in the western end of the island.

“Given the increased activity in the Atlantic, we continue to urge the public to take all necessary precautions in securing their properties.”

John Wight, group chairman and chief executive officer of BF&M Ltd, said the company started to receive claims and calls early last Thursday morning. While the office was closed, he said a skeleton staff was in the building to respond throughout the day.

Mr Wight said: “We began making payments to customers in respect of valid claims on Friday. Staff were in through Saturday, assessing and processing claims.

“We are still receiving and reporting on claims so while we estimate that the bulk of losses has probably come in, it would be inaccurate to give an exact number at this time. As an indication, we can say we have received in excess of 200 claims at this point.

“The number of marine and home claims received so far was higher than we were originally expecting, given initial forecasts, but in line with what we'd expect for a Category 3 storm.

“That said, this event was different from similar-strength storms like Gonzalo or Nicole in that the damage from Humberto seemed to occur in localised pockets. The areas receiving the most damage were Sandys, pockets of Hamilton Parish and the City of Hamilton, Pembroke, St George's and Mullet Bay.”

With tropical force winds continuing to blow, BF&M urged everyone to continue to keep their property — including damaged property — secured.

Customers should try to obtain suitable repairs-related quotes at their earliest opportunity, the company said, adding that any photos or repair quotes can be submitted via e-mail to submitclaim@bfmglobal.com with your claim number or policy number as the subject title.

Freisenbruch-Meyer reported yesterday that it has received roughly 200 claims, and has begun to settle them. The company said that it is finding that damage has been island-wide, but weighted more towards the West End of the island.

Company president Michael Freisenbruch and Andrew Wright, chief executive officer of Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services Ltd, issued a joint statement: “We are confident that all the insurance carriers are actively assessing the recent damage from Hurricane Humberto and processing their respective claims island-wide.”

They added: ”A heartfelt thank you should be extended to the EMO, and other emergency services, the Bermuda Regiment and Belco and our entire FM staff for all their assistance with Bermuda's recovery.”

Widespread damage: insurers have begun dealing with claims related to Hurricane Humberto (File photograph by Akil Simmons)
Destructive force: Hurricane Humberto caused widespread property damage last week (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published September 25, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated September 25, 2019 at 9:07 am)

Insurers deal with hundreds of storm claims

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