Transcript: ERIE Agents and Employees Respond to Hurricane Ike

Introduction: Generations of ERIE Employees have lived the promise to be Above all in SERVICESM. It’s a staple of the company’s foundation and a value that is deeply rooted in our history and culture. The slogan was coined by Founder H.O. Hirt, and is embedded in everything we do. Listen to how the ERIE delivered this promise of service.

On Sunday, Sept. 13, Hurricane Ike — a Category 2 hurricane — made landfall in Galveston, Texas. Ike then headed North, causing destruction in several ERIE territories. ERIE’s Claims team was ready to respond and assist Policyholders and Agents.

Jim Horvat, manager, Claims Planning and Development: “We expected this to be a flood event. It turned out to be a wind event. Who expected 60 to 70 mile-an-hour winds, which are near Category 1 strength, to be coming through at that time?

“On Monday, all hell broke loose in all of our offices because Columbus was so overwhelmed with phone traffic. We set up immediately on Monday our phone bank call center. The day after the storms, they were taking loss reports. We decided to move the CAT van to the Dayton area, which was right in the middle of the affected areas, so it was deployed early Monday morning.”

Ryan Uhlenhake, Policyholder, Lewis Center, Ohio: “Monday morning I contacted my ERIE Agent and she assured me that everything was going to be taken care of. I was well aware of the amount of damage that was done in Ohio and I was very respectful that this might take some time.

“Elaine was quick getting back with me, telling me that she’s on it, she’s working on it. I was pretty shocked that the process — once they got out here, how easy it was. And everyone was really friendly and did a great job. I think Erie Insurance has a customer probably for life.”

Elaine Stevens, property adjuster, Murrysville, Pa.: “We’re showing them that it’s above all by giving them a check right when we’re meeting with them the first time.”

Stacy Vogel, claims adjuster, Columbus, Ohio: “I like getting out and meeting with the homeowner. My favorite part is just delivering the check to the homeowner and letting them know that they’re taken care of.”

Dave Smeltz, property adjuster, Statesville, N.C.: (speaking to and handing a Policyholder his check) “Since you’re going to be staying in a hotel for a while, use this, cash this and then use it for that, okay? To pay your housing.”

Glenn Carr, Agent, Carr Insurance Agency, Dayton, Ohio: “ERIE’s response to this catastrophe was absolutely marvelous. We had the catastrophe van on the way, we had extra adjusters on the way and I had barely gotten out of bed.

“When I arrived at the office, we found of course we’re victims as well. We had no utility service, we had no electricity, no communication circle.”

Jim Horvat: “A week and a half into the CAT we’re up to 5,000 claims in the Columbus area alone and a little over 10,000 companywide.

So that’s what we do. We are Above all in SERVICE and this is where we tend to show it. We show it on every claim but during CAT situations because you’re not just helping Policyholders and you’re not just helping your Agency force, but you’re helping your fellow Employees.”

Closing: Stories like the one you just heard are one way that ERIE is keeping its commitment to being Above all in SERVICESM. Employees like this make The ERIE a unique and different insurance company.

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