An exciting time to be an insurance agent!Nicholas Springer
20 Years ago today was a crazy day... September 18, 2003 was burned into our memories as THE day insurance agents would remember in central Virginia - I know we did!
That day was exciting and scary at the same time. Exciting because we had prepared for this monster to arrive for about a week. Scary because we didn't know what it was going to do. But then we were thankful when it was all over - not so much because it didn't do any damage -because it did, it did a LOT of damage, but because no one was seriously hurt that we knew of.
Every morning we would check the NHC website for updates of the predicted track and were always hoping it would turn back out to sea. But it never did... it actually followed the NHC's track almost from the beginning. This was actually beneficial to the insurance companies and adjusters as they were able to station assets near to where the damage was expected to occur.
The hurricane was expected to really hit Midlothian that afternoon and we were prepared to stay in the office as long as it was safe, and we had power. The safe part was fine, we had a strong building and it held up to the winds very well. The Power issue came a lot sooner than we expected.
At around 11:30am the power went out. We waited around for a bit, but it was not one of those times it was coming back on soon. We did not have a generator, nor did we have WIFI or any kind of internet backup. It made no sense for us to stay there. So, we went to UNO'S
The winds were crazy that night in Woodlake. The trees were bending in the winds and looked like they would come down on almost every house. I do remember, my house on Woods Walk Ct never lost power. That was pretty fortunate because other parts of chesterfield did not get it back for weeks!
The next day we all got at the office to start helping our clients with their claims. My mom, Reta, was at that office every day for 7 days straight! Every call was about damage to a client's home or autos... except for a few payments - premiums still needed to be paid!
One cool thing I remember about Isabel was the way Nationwide stepped up to the task. We were all proud hearing about the 18-wheeler mobile claims trucks they brought to each major area to help with the response. I also heard they very quickly rented ALL of the larger cranes to get trees off all of the houses in Richmond.
It's rewarding know how The Springer Agency reacted during that hectic hurricane and really came through for hundreds of our policyholders that really needed help. And because of that, we now have even better methods to prepare for another one if it comes. Internet backup along multiple locations will help us mitigate a centralized disaster. Because that's why we are here - to be there for our clients when they need us most!