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TheStreet Open House

Crawford & Company Handles Thousands Of Hurricane Irene Claims

Stock quotes in this article: CRD.A, CRD.B

ATLANTA, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRDA; CRDB), the world's largest independent provider of claims management solutions, is handling thousands of claims related to damage caused by Hurricane Irene in a well-planned and extensively communicated response to the storm.

"We prepare year-round to provide the number of trained adjusters needed for storms the size of Hurricane Irene," said Kevin B. Frawley, chief executive officer, Property & Casualty – Americas for Crawford. "As a result, we are able to offer clients the adjusters they need to help their policyholders resolve their claims and recover their lives."

Crawford Catastrophe (CAT) Services, Global Technical Services (GTS(SM)) and Contractor Connection(SM) are handling more than 10,000 assignments for insurer clients, both national and regional, in the United States and the Caribbean, Frawley said. CAT Services and GTS offer claims adjusting services; Contractor Connection provides insurers and consumers with an efficient, high-quality managed repair vendor network for residential and commercial property claims.

As property owners assess damage and file claims, assignments to Crawford are expected to increase, Frawley added. Overall, Crawford has more than 300 CAT adjusters deployed across the United States.

Irene, which was a Category 1 hurricane when it hit North Carolina Aug. 27, has been blamed for 45 deaths. Although the storm was less destructive than originally predicted, current damage estimates range from $3 billion to $10 billion, according to various models. Claim volumes are expected to be high, but most claims should be of relatively low severity, or cost.

Crawford CAT Services monitors storm through Atlanta-based Command Center

Long before Hurricane Irene struck, Crawford CAT Services was preparing for the surge of claims and increased needs of clients that resulted from the storm. CAT Services personnel began monitoring the storm through the Company's Atlanta-based Command Center, a state-of-the-art facility that offers up-to-the-minute information on claims status and key performance indicators. Personnel also began daily internal conference calls to discuss Crawford's response to the storm.

At the same time, outside adjusters were put on alert. Once the path of the storm was better defined, CAT Services set up an induction center in Charlotte, N.C., for all adjusters handling hurricane-related claims. Crawford personnel processed adjusters, ensuring that they are properly licensed in the affected states, trained in Xactware® and equipped with the required tools.

Crawford communicates to clients in a new way

Communications to inform clients about Crawford's adjuster capacity and services began the week before the storm. In addition to CAT Services, GTS and Contractor Connection, Vehicle Services Connection and Contents Services also are available to assist with storm-related claims.

For the first time, Crawford used Twitter to inform clients, employees and other interested parties about recent storm developments under the account name @crawford_us. In addition, Crawford created a Hurricane Irene web page ( www.crawfordandcompany.com/catastrophe-response/major-events/2011-hurricane-irene.aspx) that provides updates, a live Twitter feed on #Irene, interactive maps that tracked the storm and links to key resources such as The Weather Center, NOAA and Weather Underground.

Crawford is just starting to deal with claims resulting from Tropical Storm Lee, which are expected to be relatively minimal. Hurricane Katia, currently in the Atlantic well off the Florida coast, is projected to curve farther out to sea and weaken. "However, we will continue to monitor the hurricane in our Command Center and are ready to deploy adjusters to meet client needs should the storm path change," Frawley said.

Clients are encouraged to route assignments through ClaimsAlert(SM), Crawford's 24-hour claims intake center, via the web ( www.crawfordandcompany.com/submit-assignment) or at:

1-877-346-0300 claimsalert@us.crawco.com(Fax) 1-678-937-8300.

About Crawford

Based in Atlanta, Ga., Crawford & Company ( www.crawfordandcompany.com) is the world's largest independent provider of claims management solutions to the risk management and insurance industry as well as self-insured entities, with an expansive global network serving clients in more than 70 countries. The Crawford System of Claims Solutions(SM) offers comprehensive, integrated claims services, business process outsourcing and consulting services for major product lines including property and casualty claims management, workers compensation claims and medical management, and legal settlement administration. The Company's shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbols CRDA and CRDB.

SOURCE Crawford & Company

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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