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Hurricane Matthew and the Recovery Process

Brett Goldberg, Mike Hearn | October 11, 2016

We headed to South Carolina this week to support a number of IAs and Restoration contractors handling property inspections from the weekend’s storm. Coastal towns in South Carolina, were hit hard by Hurricane Matthew and are working through the early stages of the recovery process.

After tragically leading to the deaths of more than 1,000 people on Haiti last week, Matthew charged through the Southeast US with visits to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. There have been over two dozen reported US deaths and, as of Monday, over 1,500 residents of North Carolina in stranded locations. The Atlantic Coast is reporting significant beach erosion in addition to flooding, fallen trees and modest to high levels of damage to properties. Initial reports have the insured losses from Matthew higher than $6 billion.

We began training new Spex users who will benefit from our software, along with mobile tablets, to document property damage, inspect and scope losses in the weeks ahead. As the best solution for high volume inspections, Spex is being used for various situations in the weeks ahead including:

  • Inside/Outside “Team” Handling
  • Commercial facilities
  • Same-day Photo Reports and reserve recommendations

In one case, after 30 minutes of training, an adjuster new to Spex was able to inspect a detailed loss in Charleston that included a fallen, 100-year old oak tree now resting on the frame of the house. He spent 1.5 hours scoping the property and captured nearly 200 exterior and interior photos, videos and form documentation. He quickly produced a Spex Photo Sheet and will be following up on the estimate in the days ahead. So, within only two hours of being introduced to Spex, one field adjuster was able to inspect a property with $100,000 of damage, capture a gigabyte of inspection data, create a PDF photo record and transfer all that information back to their large loss team. That series of steps would historically take 4-5x that amount of time using “yesterday’s technology.”

Spex has been highlighted in the App Store this week partially because it does a beautiful job of facilitating photo capture. As the New York Times highlighted in this recent article, photo documentation is the baseline for managing insurance claims. Spex captures that evidence, organizes it and enables automated labeling and other valuable features with that data.

The days ahead are certain to produce more stories of damage, loss and sadness. At the same time, we’re hopeful Spex can now produce positive stories of recovery. The home in Charleston with an oak tree blanketing it will be restored more quickly. Homeowners will be back sleeping there better at night. And everyone will appreciate advancements in technology that lead to truly valuable improvements to our lives.

Brett Goldberg
CEO of Spex

Mike Hearn
Director of Customer Success at Spex