AP NEWS

Insurance adjusters busy checking storm victims’ roofs in Pee Dee

September 22, 2018

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. – Less than five minutes after Andy Floyd and Chrishton Owens arrived at a home, they climbed the ladder to inspect roof damage.

Floyd, a district senior claims adjuster, and Owens, a claims adjuster, are part of a team of 25 adjusters from elsewhere in South Carolina who have been brought to the Pee Dee to handle the increased claims resulting from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. Floyd and Owens were part of the first wave of adjusters brought to the area. A second wave is scheduled to arrive today and stay for the next few days.

Claims adjusters are employed by insurance agencies to investigate and determine how much a given claim should be worth to return the property on which the claim is made as close as possible to its condition before the damage.

On Friday, as Owens drove his company-issued Toyota Tacoma through the country roads near Bennettsville, he explained that he was heading to his 20th claim since he arrived in the Pee Dee region. The home was a 15-minute drive from the Bennettsville office of Farm Bureau.

Owens and Floyd arrived and knocked on the door to see if the homeowner was home. She was not, but her elderly mother was. Owens and Floyd began walking around to inspect the damage. Owens immediately noticed that the primary concern was going to be roof-related from the angle of the home and the shingles lying beside the home.

After she arrived, the homeowner explained that during the worst part of the hurricane, she thought her roof was going to blow off. She said that her husband went out during the storm to put shingles back on the roof and that she had heard a small leak during the night of the hurricane, confirming the concerns with the roof.

Floyd used his cell phone to make notes of his assessment and to take pictures of areas of concern.

Owens got the ladder, and both he and Floyd climbed to the roof to inspect the damage.

Floyd later joked that he spent a lot of time looking at roofs and ceilings as a claims adjuster. As he drove back to the office, he pointed out a home in need of a new roof.

After several minutes, Floyd and Owens returned to the ground. Their verdict: A new roof is needed. Floyd also recommended that the homeowner have a tarp secured to a part of the roof on the backside of the home to prevent the possibility of leaks before the roof gets replaced. He also gave the homeowner two loose nails he had found on the roof, one of which had partly baked into the shingles.

Later, after the homeowner arrived, Floyd and Owens determined that the homeowner also needed a clean, paint and seal job on her living room ceiling. Floyd estimated that the total of the claim being made was well above the average figure of $1,181 for a Florence claim.

Floyd explained to the homeowner that once he returned to his office in the Upstate, he would write up the homeowner’s claim and a check would be in the mail shortly. Once the check is received, the homeowner is free to select a contractor to perform the work. If the check is insufficient, the insurance agency will work with the contractor or recommend a second opinion to fix the difference between the check and the estimate of the contractor.

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