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Last month, Sandy carved a path of destruction that left millions without power and hundreds of thousands without shelter and other necessities. Figures released as of Nov. 28 suggest the superstorm destroyed at least 305,000 homes in New York and another 72,000 in New Jersey. By comparison, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged 214,000 homes in Louisiana, though  their toll on human lives was far greater. Large-scale disasters such as these test even the most seasoned adjusters, especially in securing shelter for insureds quickly. 

Claims spoke with Gary Stephen, senior vice president of claims and risk management at PURE, about how to successfully accommodate insureds, including high-net-worth individuals.

Q. What helps ensure success in meeting policyholders’ immediate housing needs in the wake of a disaster?

A. Pre-storm preparation is one of the most crucial competencies of a company’s successful post-storm response. [For example], long before Sandy made landfall, PURE’s claims and risk management team began to put all of our proverbial ducks in a row. We began by reaching out to the housing and realty services with whom we have established relationships to secure housing accommodations for [policyholders] likely to be evacuated or otherwise displaced from their homes. We also prepared a list of questions to ask our displaced members following the storm, so that we could try to meet their needs as best possible. 

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