PIA Agencies in Path of Tropical Cyclone Sandy Help Clients Cope
PIA independent insurance agencies in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are doing something more familiar to their compatriots along the Gulf Coast: helping their insureds recover from the damage caused by a vicious tropical storm.
At the beginning of last week, what was once Hurricane Sandy – which then morphed into a hybrid tropical cyclone – cut a path of death and destruction as it moved inland. Most affected by the massive storm were New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Maryland, along with Delaware, Rhode Island and parts of Pennsylvania.
PIA Resource Centers for Members
The PIA regional office in Glenmont, N.Y., which was outside of the storm impact area, is coordinating response to PIA members in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and has produced a special online Storm Info Center on its website.
PIA National has been providing assistance to PIA NY/NJ/CT/NH, as well as assisting PIA members in other affected states including Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island where the national PIA provides direct services to members on a regular basis.
PIA National has also created an online resource center, the Tropical Cyclone Sandy Resource Center. Resources there are grouped into four categories:
- Insurance Technical, Regulatory, Instructions, Response
- Handling Disaster Recovery in Your Agency
- Important Things for Citizens to Remember in Disaster Aftermath and Recovery
- Suggested Changes/Actions for DOI Consideration
PIA National distributed fillable ACORD forms to agents in the region in advance of the storm, having negotiated with ACORD a blanket permission to use the forms in natural disasters.
PIA National has also been keeping in close touch with FEMA, specifically to act as a conduit to agents for bulletins being issued concerning coverage and claims processing for policies underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
PIA National Headquarters Escapes Storm Damage
Once thought to be at great risk for the kind of damage seen in New Jersey and New York, the metro Washington, D.C. area escaped the worst effects of Tropical Cyclone Sandy. As a consequence, the PIA National offices in Alexandria, Virginia escaped damage and all staff members are safe and unhurt. Since before the big storm hit the Northeast, many members of the PIA Family have sent best wishes and prayers to PIA National, which we have been acknowledging individually as we have been able. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and in your prayers.
Editor’s Note: Our thoughts go out to the staffers of the National Underwriter at PropertyCasualty360.com. The good news is that the publication’s offices in Hoboken, New Jersey reopened on Monday Nov. 5 and all of the staff – many of whom PIA National works with regularly on insurance news stories – are safe. Mark E. Ruquet, associate editor at PropertyCasualty360.com, lives in Staten Island, which was hardest hit by Sandy. Mark has written gripping first-person accounts of the storm and the start of the recovery process there.
PIANJ President Sends Message to Board
PIA of New Jersey President Anthony Bavaro sent a message Nov. 5 to the PIA of New Jersey Board, saying “The events of these past 7 days are of epic proportions and like other tragedies this country has endured, we will rebuild and be better than before.”
“As difficult as the conditions may be for you personally and professionally, there are others who haven’t fared as well and need our help. Our industry’s purpose is to indemnify those who passed their risk on to our carriers. It’s our job to make sure they are treated fairly and are made whole on a timely basis. It’s our time to shine. There is never a better opportunity to show our clients, neighbors and companies the value of the independent agent.”
“Your participation in PIA is representative of your commitment to be the best. Be sure to forward the storm related updates from PIA to your associates and remind them during this time to ‘Think PIA first’!”
Overnight Nov. 5, at least two more bodies were found in New Jersey – one dead of hypothermia – as the overall North American death toll from Sandy climbed to at least 113.