Insurance companies gear up after Hurricane Sandy

LANGHORNE, Pa. - November 1, 2012

Many residents wasted no time filing claims after the super storm hit land.

Business has increased significantly at the Allstate office on West Main Street in Norristown since Sandy came ashore Monday night.

"Mainly we're getting claims for shingles coming off roofs, trees falling on cars and windshields," said Allstate's Michele Smith.

Agency owner Joshua Short says the phones have been ringing constantly.

He's taken steps to make sure his customers are well-informed by offering them, via automated response technology, a phone broadcast .

"And provided my work cell phone number in case they have any questions after hours," said Short.

That's what's being taken care of in the office. Meantime in Langhorne, Bucks County, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm, an Allstate catastrophe response crew arrived to assess the damage from some of those claims filed over the past two days.

This team will tour this area to make sure that all its customers who need to make claims do so as soon as possible, because the claim volume always builds rapidly after a major storm.

"The first thing we wanted to do, though, was go to the areas that were most heavily damaged," said Allstate consultant Chris Connor, "because we know these are the folks that are going to be in the most severe distress after a storm like this."

Homeowner Mandi Leap and her husband were trying to secure the tarp on their pool on Monday night, after high winds, swept the steps into it.

"We were not even ten feet away, when we heard 'Crack!' and it came down slow," she said. Mandi said the big oak came down slowly enough to give them time to get out of the way. It did a number on their fence, completely destroying the center section.

Allstate expects the number of claims to steadily rise in the coming weeks, as both it and its customers get a better idea of the damage caused by Sandy.

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