November 21, 2012 by Canadian Underwriter magazine
Granite Claims Solutions’ Catastrophe Team is in its second week on the ground in the Eastern United States, and it looks like they have a long road ahead of them.
The devastation wrought by the Superstorm Sandy caused massive damage throughout the Northeastern United States and Canada, affecting nearly 60 million people, with EQECAT estimating the economic damage to be between $30 and $50 billion.
Spencer Bailey, a member of GCS’ Catastrophe Team on the ground, sees the difficulties in handling losses from events this large. “The damage is very widespread. Many of the insurers are having issues getting adjusters out to so many sites. There are significant commercial, residential, and industrial losses all over the region. And they’re spread out over hundreds of miles,” Bailey said, “But we have a great team and a solid plan. We’re working our way through it.”
Granite’s team arrived a few days after the storm in Connecticut, and already they are relocating team members to New York, handling large losses in Long Island and The Bronx. “One thing we have on our side is technology,” says Ivan Brosbell, Granite’s CAT Team Leader. “We have our Smartphones, laptops, and GPS’ all linked up with the Insurer’s Claims Departments locally and our CAT Coordinator back in Toronto. Our ability to organize and disseminate information to our adjusters and clients is critical to CATs of this scale. Our team is doing a fantastic job.”
Moving from place to place in a hurricane-ravaged region has not been easy. The days have been marked by long traffic delays, long lineups at gas stations and restaurants, shortages of supplies, and spotty power coverage.
But the team is handling the daily challenges of working a CAT with a positive attitude. Says Bailey, “Looking at how people’s lives were affected by this storm, minor inconveniences become fairly trivial. Many lost their homes and businesses. Tens of thousands still don’t have power or running water. We’re here to help these people get back on their feet, and it looks like that may take a while. But we’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.”