By Kevin Panter, CIC

I flew up to Washington last Wednesday to represent a group of Georgia Independent Insurance Agents at the National Big I Legislative Conference . We do this every year to help promote or fight against bad insurance laws etc. I’m proud to represent our great State and make sure our legislators are hearing our voice.

On Thursday, we were set to meet all day long with all the Georgia Congressman & Senators. My first meeting was at 10 am with my congressman.

At approximately 8:45 am I started get texts from my staff on that a storm from was coming through and things were looking pretty bad. In fact, two of my staff members had cars crushed by falling trees and another had a tree on her house!

I instantly started communicating with my office back and forth to determine the severity and learned my office was completely out of power . I also learned that the early reports were that our county was suffering major power outages and also many homes with tree damage and roads completely blocked by trees.

I was not scheduled to return to Blue Ridge until early Friday but I quickly realized I needed to return home to help our clients. I immediately called my airline and got booked for the quickest flight back at considerable expense.  I was back in Blue Ridge, GA by late Thursday evening and spent the next two long days arraigning and helping insured get help.

While still in Washington, I was able to arrange temporary power to the office with a generator so that the staff could get phone and internet service and begin helping report claims and arraigned temp repairs: tree services, roofers, and water mitigation to get customers back going. I even helped one client by taking them a generator to use, because they were without power all night.

I had staff within 2 hours out looking at claims, taking pictures and helping customers with policy questions etc. Initially, we had about 40 home, auto and business claims. Everyone who had a home claim was personally meet by either myself or Kevin Panter Insurance staff. My staff did an amazing job with cell phones etc until we got full power back late Thursday.

Meanwhile other insureds with others insurance agencies were either given an 800 number to call their company or told to wait until an adjuster called them in a few days, We were taking care of our customers in the rain etc. We even extended our office hours Thursday to 7:30 so that our clients could get to us versus a voicemail.

We are different. We may not always be the lowest cost option,  but when you need your agent at claims time, we’re there. I was proud to receive a note from the Georgia Big I delegation praising me on returning to assist our clients. They also understand that service is the value that an independent agency brings to the table.

If your experience in the recent storms left you wondering if more should have been done on your behalf, I welcome you to give us an opportunity to earn your business.

About Kevin Panter Insurance

Located in Blue Ridge Georgia, and serving all of Fannin and surrounding counties, Kevin Panter Insurance is one of the leading independent insurance agencies in Northern Georgia. Representing the finest auto and home insurance carriers and the leading business insurance companies, Kevin Panter Insurance can provide you with the best in insurance value.