Friday AM November 28th, 2008

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According to Claim Solvers founder Paul Berger, delays in claim adjustments after Hurricane Ike are largely due to the sheer number of claims.

"After a storm, insurance companies are swamped with hurricane claims, and they can't process them.ξ I think there were more than a half-million Hurricane Ike claims, were filed in Texas.ξ Insurance companies just aren't staffed to handle it.ξ They'll get through it.ξ It's not only the time, but it's the quality of people they hire to process the claims.ξ That's, historically it's been the biggest problem that we see, is that they take people who have no experience in adjusting claims and then send them out and say 'well, okay, go evaluate the damage to somebody's home,' and they just don't know what they're doing."ξξξ

Flooding is time-sensitive, with a time frame for filing a proof of loss form.ξ Homeowners can file supplements when problems are discovered months after the event.ξ Berger says his company is kept busy year-round.ξ

"Actually, it takes years.ξ I mean, we still deal with, you know, claims from Wilma that were, you know, three years ago in Florida and Ike and, you know, will probably be the same.ξ You know, my guess is two to three years down the road from now, we'll still be recieving new client calls into our office for help with hurricane claims.ξ It's amazing how long it can last, and it's really because of the scope.ξ I mean, if you think about Texas and you think how far the damage was and how many were impacted by Ike, it's just a tremendous area."ξξ

Berger says Claim Solvers assesses damage and follows through the claim process.ξ

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

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