UNION COUNTY — Residents of Union County whose automobiles were damaged during Friday’s hailstorm are being urged to contact their local insurance agent to schedule an appointment to have their damage claims processed as soon as possible.
Friday’s storm dropped hail as large as and in some cases larger than golf balls on many areas of the county. The hail reportedly damaged a large number of automobiles and even some structures.
Since Friday, hundreds of Union County residents have called their insurance agent reporting damage to their vehicles and the roofs of their homes.
State Farm Insurance Agent Brian Tolbert said that the calls began coming in Friday evening to the agency’s 24-hour service and are continuing to come in.
“We were closed Friday evening, but we have a 24 hours a day after hours service,” Tolbert said Wednesday. “We were closed Monday for Memorial Day and didn’t reopen until Tuesday morning. I was told by our man in Spartanburg that between Friday evening and Tuesday almost 200 claims were submitted to the after hours service.
“On Tuesday alone after we reopened we received more than 100 claims,” he said. “So we have received more than 300 claims since Friday and people are continuing to call today.”
Tolbert said that 90 percent of the claims are for automobiles with owners report cracked or broken windshields and/or windows as well as dents to the vehicle.
“The hail was so big it cause a lot of damage to people’s vehicles,” Tolbert said. “We’ve received claims for dents to hoods, trunks, and roofs. The roofs got hit especially hard. We’ve also had claims for damage to windshields and windows. We’ve had several totally broken out windshields.”
Tolbert said 90 percent of the claims his office has received have been for automobiles and 10 percent for damage to roofs. He said the difference is largely due to homeowners getting a roofer to examine their roofs to determine if there is damage before they file a claim.
To deal with the large number of claims for vehicles, State Farm has set up several tents in the parking lot of the Union Square Shopping Center on the North Duncan Bypass where personnel from its Catastrophe Unit can assess damage claims.
“We’re inviting our policyholders here in Union and surrounding areas to bring their vehicles in and let us assess the storm damage,” Tim Mooney, Claims Team Manager for State Farm said Wednesday morning. “We came in Tuesday and we will be here for approximately three weeks. We will be assessing claims from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.”
Mooney said he expects his team to have assessed approximately 75 vehicles by the end of Wednesday. He said people who need to have the storm damage to their vehicles assessed should call their local insurance agent and make an appointment.
“They need to report their claim to the agency first and then set up an appointment,” Mooney said. “That lets us give everybody their fair amount of time to assess the damage accurately.”
Tolbert said policyholders should call their local State Farm office and report their claim. He said it will be forwarded to the State Farm Claims Department which will then call the policyholder and schedule an appointment.
“Once they get that appointment they can take their car to have the damage assessed,” Tolbert said. “After the assessment they will then be issued a check.”
The Brian Tolbert State Farm Agency, 708-1 Duncan Bypass, can be reached at 864-427-1600; the Letha King State Farm Agency, 408 N. Duncan Bypass, can be reached at 864-427-5634; and the Ashley Turner State Farm Agency, 133 W. Main St., can be reached at 864-427-3683.
Farm Bureau Insurance
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Farm Bureau Insurance announced that it was deploying adjusters to areas of the state hit by the hail storm including Union County.
The announcement states that the company has received more than 1000 claims from policyholders reporting hail damage to their vehicles and homes.
The company is assisting policyholders at its six Claims Service Centers throughout the state. Claims Service Centers in affected areas have increased staff and appointment times to assist policyholders. The company is also opening temporary drive-in claims centers to help process automobile claims from the storm. Adjusters will be available by appointment to assess damage and provide estimates. To make an appointment or to report a claim policyholders should call 1-800-799-7500.
The temporary centers will be open to assist policyholders Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31 in Richland, Spartanburg and Union counties.
The Union County center will be located at Union County Farm Bureau, 226 Harwood Heights, Union, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Frank Hart Allstate Insurance Agency has called in a team of adjusters who will go out to policyholders’ homes or places of business to assess the damage to their vehicles.
Agency Manager Julie Horne said the agency has called in a “Catastrophic Team” of adjusters to handle the more than 200 claims the agency has received since Friday’s storm.
Horne said policyholders who have damage to their vehicles should call the agency to report their claim. She said an adjuster will then call them and set up a time and a day to go out and examine their vehicle.
The Frank Hart Allstate Insurance Agency is located at 209A N. Duncan Bypass, Union, and can be contacted at 864-427-9274.