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Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Gathers Insurers’ Data For East Tennessee Wildfire Claims Map

 

Tennessee Department of Commerce and InsuranceNashville, TN – As part of the ongoing emergency response to the November 28th, 2016 wildfires in Gatlinburg, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) has begun compiling insurers’ claims data so it might be combined with satellite imagery and GIS mapping software in order to determine claims and potential claims from the fires.

So far there have been 656 combined reported claims (home, auto, etc.) from the areas affected by wildfires in East Tennessee.

So far there have been 656 combined reported claims (home, auto, etc.) from the areas affected by wildfires in East Tennessee.

The potential claims information, which is being provided voluntarily by insurers, when combined with the mapping software should help carriers react to help home and business owners affected by the fires.

Data through December 1st shows 656 combined reported claims (home, auto, etc.) thus far from the affected areas.

Claims continue to be reported. A valuation of the losses has not yet been determined. In addition to insurers’ claims information, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency officials and local fire departments are also providing valuable assistance on this project.

“This is an unprecedented collaboration between insurers, the Department, and emergency responders to a historic and heartbreaking situation,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak.

“While we understand many larger insurers may have their own insurance claims mapping tools, not every insurer may have that resource. The Department will do everything in our power to help consumers begin to rebuild their lives. By combining the claims data with satellite imagery, it is our hope this will help insurers to more quickly determine losses and help consumers, particularly in areas that are not yet accessible,” stated McPeak.

Additionally, the Department has requested that insurers make every reasonable effort to assist policyholders affected by the wildfires, including a request that cancellation or non-renewals of policies for the non-payment of premiums be suspended for a period of at least sixty (60) days from the date of the loss, and that carriers allow policyholders to temporarily postpone payment due dates, in addition to other requests.  

The Department established a Community Resource Center (CSC) in Pigeon Forge at 149 Cates Lane in Pigeon Forge where affected consumers can get food, water, and clothing as well as assistance from other state agencies and insurance carriers who have sent catastrophic response teams to the Gatlinburg area.

“The Department appreciates the rapid response from our insurance industry partners to this wildfire crisis,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner for Insurance Michael Humphreys. “Their trailers rolled into Gatlinburg a day or two after the fires, and they have made teams available to answer consumer questions and begin the claims process.  We look forward to continued collaboration as we work together to assess the damage and rebuild these historic homes and businesses.”

The Department also reminds consumers and members of the media that Governor Bill Haslam’s Executive Order No. 61 enacting a state of emergency puts state price gouging laws in effect, making it unlawful for individuals and businesses to charge grossly excessive prices for essential goods and services.


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