Alfa Responds Quickly To Storm Stricken Areas
Jeff Helms and Debra Davis
Alfa Insurance mobilized claims adjusters, deployed mobile response units and extended office hours to better serve policyholders impacted by the deadly tornadoes that roared through Alabama on April 27.
|Alfa employees deliver a check to a Tuscaloosa homeowner Sunday whose home was destroyed in the April 27 tornado outbreak. From left are Senior Vice President of Claims Jerry Johnson, Assistant to the President Al Scott, Dalton "Buddy" Gaddis and Claims Adjuster Terry Barnes.|
Alfa President Jerry Newby said the company's disaster planning and network of local service centers allowed Alfa to respond quickly to claims.
"Alfa is prepared to deliver on our company's promise to be there when our policyholders need us most," Newby said. "Our dedicated employees, strong financial base and advance planning make Alfa uniquely prepared to respond quickly and compassionately."
The morning after twisters gashed the Alabama landscape, Alfa began sending additional adjusters into the hardest hit areas. By Saturday, more than 100 adjusters were in the storm-ravaged towns, working alongside hundreds of agents, CSRs and district office employees.
The company also deployed its two 38-foot Mobile Response Units and sent gasoline, generators and other supplies to service centers in north Alabama. To expedite claims, CSRs in offices that lost computer connection to the home office developed a "buddy system" with coworkers in south Alabama, who took claims information over the phone and entered it into the system. At the home office, Alfa's call center and website allowed policyholders to file claims 24 hours a day.
Alfa Senior Vice President of Claims Jerry Johnson said the company is prioritizing claims to serve the most urgent needs first and has implemented its catastrophe plan to ensure claims are handled as quickly as possible.
"We are committed to using every available resource to help our policyholders recover from these storms," Johnson said.
Alfa Adjuster Lee Lowery who lives in Tuscaloosa was among the first dispatched to hard hit area of his county. The day following the storm, he visited 84-year old Willie H. Beall who has been an Alfa policyholder for decades.
"When the storm came through we were in the bathroom in the center of the house," Beall said. "I could hear the shingles tearing away from the roof and things pounding against the house. It was so scary."
But after the storm, although still shaky, she said she was comforted to know Alfa would be there to help.
"Alfa has always been good to me," she said. "They've always come through real good and quick for me, and I appreciate them."
Lowery said helping policyholders like Mrs. Beall keeps him going.
"My house wasn't damaged but the amount of damage in Tuscaloosa was unbelievable," Lowery said. "When you interact with the policyholders, I feel a connection with them because it's my hometown. It's really a sense of satisfaction, knowing you are able to help people who are dealing with this destruction on a firsthand basis."
Alfa used advertising on television; radio, billboards and aerial banners as well as in newspapers to make sure policyholders knew how to file a claim. Within a week of the storm, the company already had received more than 15,000 claims.
To report a claim, contact a local Alfa service center, call 1-800-964-2532 or visit the website AlfaInsurance.com.