Insurance Adjusters Fanning Out Across Area To Help Victims

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI)-- Insurance adjusters from a number of companies are fanning out across the St. Louis area to take care of victims from Saturday`s storm.

Carson Reuter with American Family Insurance says, "Currently, we're working 12 to 14 hours a day. We're going to be here until everything's done, until there's no need for us to be here. We have approximately 35 adjusters that are here working these claims for us."

His company is establishing drive-through claim stations in the storm area.  Storm victims with damaged vehicles can get an appointment.  Reuter figures it takes an adjuster about 30 minutes to examine a damaged car.  A check for repairs is issued on the spot.

Two adjusters came to St. Louis to check out the damage.  Derek Swedlund is from Denver and Bethany Pittman is from Macomb, Illinois.  Swedlund explains, "This storm is very large. It's some of the biggest hail I've witnessed from traveling all over."  Pittman said some homes were heavily damaged, "Some of the shingles have been damaged all the way through the decking. We got interior water damage, skylights broken, siding, seen all of it."

The two adjusters inspected the Cox family home in Maryland Heights.  Their car was hard hit, the home did not sustain as much damage. Nick Cox said, "It could have been a lot worse. Actually the siding on two sides is a little chipped up. There's a lot of good sized dings in the roof. Other than that, we came out lucky."

Melissa Cox called her insurance company minutes after the storm rolled through Maryland Heights. Carson Reuter said that's a good idea, "Turn in your claim as quickly as you can."

One insurance official made an educated guess that the entire storm caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the St. Louis area.  American Family Insurance is dealing with some 7,500 claims. About 4,300 of those claims are for vehicles.

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