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Hurricane Katrina Devastates Gulf Coast, Recovery Begins

As this information is being compiled, late afternoon on Monday August 29, it is known that Hurricane Katrina will go down as perhaps the most...
August 29, 2005

As this information is being compiled, late afternoon on Monday August 29, it is known that Hurricane Katrina will go down as perhaps the most devastating natural disaster ever to hit the United States.

Regarding the specifics of the devastation including the death toll and damage estimates, we are seeing the same news coverage you are - and depending on exactly when you are reading this e-newsletter, much more may be known. For that reason, we will concentrate on trying to give you just a broad sketch of what is happening, along with some insurance-specific information.

At this point, PIA National is doing what it can to assist with communications. On Monday, PIA National sent a communication to the carrier members of the PIA Company Council of Executive Officers (PIA-CCEO), telling them that PIA National is providing key assistance to PIA affiliates and their members. We asked the carriers to continue to provide PIA National as well as PIA affiliates with the contact numbers they will need in the claims process, since using only direct email to agents may not get the information through due to power failures. We will post and update this information here on PIANET so it will be available to PIA members when power is restored.

We also reminded carriers that during last year's hurricanes, there was some confusion between the phone numbers they initially publicized for consumer claims information and contact numbers for agents.

Early Monday, we heard from PIA of Louisiana national Director Robert Page, who called to let us know that he and his family safely evacuated to Baton Rouge. The winds in Baton Rouge at the time were 60+ and in his home town (one hour outside New Orleans) they were over 100 mph!

At this point, so soon after the storm's landfall, the estimates of damage will vary widely. Take them with a grain of salt. Right now, protecting people's lives and property are the insurance industry's only focus. There will be time to think about money later.

Please keep all of your fellow PIA members, their families and their insureds in your thoughts and your prayers, as they live through this catastrophe.

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