The wildfire that has consumed over 30 squares miles in Horry County is now over 90 percent contained, but the devastation left behind by the massive blaze that started last Wednesday remains. 70 homes were destroyed and over 100 damaged. Insurance companies expect claims from the disaster to top $25 million. South Carolina Insurance News Service Executive Director Allison Dean Love says estimates will increase as people continue to file claims and adjusters assess the damage.”As soon as they could, insurance adjusters were getting back into the area on Friday and writing the checks and helping their customers get back to normal so they’re well into the recovery process. Insurance companies have catastrophe response teams that have been in the area since last Thursday night and Friday responding so they’re well underway in helping their customers get back to normal.”
Love says it was important that Governor Sanford declare a state of emergency during his on-site visit to the devastated area last Thursday. “After Governor Sanford declared it an emergency and so did Scott Richardson, state department of Insurance director, that enabled insurance companies to get licensed adjusters in from other states and to temporarily bring in additional adjusters if necessary in order to more quickly get out into the field to help help handle customers’ claims.”
Love says most owners whose homes were completed destroyed by the fire have already received some monetary assistance from their insurance companies. “Last Friday insurance adjusters were out writing checks for additional living expenses and trying to help their customers get back on their feet. Some of those checks may have been for $5-thousand dollars just to allow the homeowners to get into a hotel and to give them some money yo work with while they’re still adjusting their claims.”
Love says more than a hundred claims have been filed and more are expected.