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One does not hear much about a hidden loss of Katrina. That loss is the damage to claim personnel nationwide. That damage is the stress and strain on both the staff who went to the Southeast and the remaining staff who had to pull double duty at home with greatly reduced personnel.

What happened after Katrina — and later Rita and Wilma — was that the number of files received was much greater than that of a typical hurricane season. Many companies went to 12-hour days for the staff, and most also went to six-day work weeks. Some companies reported that as much as 10 percent of their staffs quit because they could not take the long hours and volume of work. Some companies were hiring temporary staff who were formerly retired or from small independents just to handle the excess volume of work.

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