CLAIMS REPORTING / RESPONSE:
A dedicated claims reporting phone number will be distributed in advance of a imminent tropical system.
Hurricane damage claims will be handled by a professional adjusting company that specializes in catastrophe claims. Claims will be prioritized by the catastrophe response unit based upon the extent of damage and an adjuster will be dispatched to your location as soon as possible.
Response time will depend upon the extent of your damage, accessability to your area, communication with your church and overall amount of reported claims.
First and foremost, the safety of all employees and volunteers is paramount. Please make a thorough assessment of the health and safety conditions of the area before accessing the property, undertaking temporary repairs or allowing the assistance of volunteers. Volunteers should be properly trained and supervised.
DAMAGE MITIGATION / TEMPORARY REPAIRS:
Please take all necessary measures to mitigate further damage to your facility. Please note that you do not have to wait for the field adjuster to arrive at your location to begin to dry out your facility or make temporary repairs.
When the claim is reported to the catastrophe response unit, you will also be given recommendations at that time on general actions that should be taken to mitigate further damage.
Please do not put volunteers or others at risk. (Climbing on steep roofs, working around downed power lines, etc.)
Should you have any questions about damage mitigation, please contact Ministry Protection or your assigned adjuster.
Keep all receipts for any temporary repairs completed and photograph or video all damage. If possible, narrate the video to describe and record the damages to the structure and contents.
Designate one person from your church as the contact person for all storm-related claims. All communication with adjusters should flow through one person. Ongoing communication between the church, Conference, and adjusters is absolutely crucial in the claims handling process.
Please include your GCFA number, claim number, district name and name of the designated contact person on all correspondence regarding your claim.
Keep a detailed log of calls and conversations with adjusters and contacts regarding your claim.
PERMANENT DAMAGE REPAIR:
Obtain written quotes from qualified contractors of your choice who can make permanent repairs to your facility. We recommend at least two written quotes, if possible. Neither the Florida Conference nor the assigned adjuster endorses or recommends any contractors.
To ensure that the claim is handled as quickly and efficiently as possible, make sure that the field adjuster assigned to your church is provided with all quotes as soon as possible. The field adjuster will compare their field estimate to the contractor quotes to determine if any discrepancies exist. The adjuster must approve permanent repairs in advance. It is imperative that all parties communicate as much as possible throughout the process.
Ensure that all contractors provide you with a Certificate of Insurance naming your church as an “additional insured” prior to any work being done. This certificate should evidence general liability insurance coverage of not less than $1,000,000 as well as workers compensation coverage.
Dealing with a catastrophic claim is certainly an ongoing challenge for all involved.
A local church will have sustained damage that is in need of repair during a time when contractors and subcontractors may be stretched thin due to other damage in the area. Church members may be personally displaced or dealing with their own damage to houses and businesses.
Adjusters and insurance companies will be simultaneously responding to reports of damage thoughout the affected areas and attempting to prioritize and respond promptly, sometimes with limited communication ability and limited access to areas.
The Conference will be assisting with the coordination of the catastrophe unit response, providing damage mitigation information to local churches, and facilitating prompt claims payments from insurance companies.
Communication is key. Patience is helpful.
If you have any questions about damage mitigation, contractors, safety or the claims adjusting process, please do not hesitate to utilize the contacts listed below.
Department for Ministry Protection
LaNita Battles, Claims/Risk Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Donivan, Claim Specialist email@example.com
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011