PORTLAND -- Insurance companies are being swamped with claims from the recent snowstorm that hit hard in communities stretching from Salem to Portland and Vancouver.
State Farm Insurance announced plans to bring its special Catastrophe Team to Oregon to help with the flood of claims. It will process claims from Portland to Eugene.
State Farm said it has received 300 claims just in the past few days alone, from along the I-5 corridor, and that number was expected to skyrocket in the coming days and weeks. People are calling in with roof collapses from snow, water damage from leaking gutters, tree branches that fell, car accidents and broken water pipes.
State Farm estimated that around a dozen extra agents will help process all that paperwork faster to get claims paid off.
"We don't get a lot of catastrophes in Oregon," said State Farm public affairs coordinator Brad Hilliard. "This is kind of unprecedented for us. Especially when you consider the fact we had the freeze in December, we brought in some catastrophe resources for that, so it is unprecedented and not something that happens very often."
Agents were also offering some tips to make the process go smoother:
- Call your insurance company right away when you notice the damage.
- If you can safely cover up a roof leak with a tarp, or board up a broken window, agents say go ahead and do it.
- Save all your receipts so you can get those costs reimbursed.
- Take pictures of the damage when you notice it, they can help with filing your claim later.