PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)– State Farm has already received more than 7,000 claims in Florida due to Hurricane Ian, and that’s likely just the tip of the iceberg.

State Farm Spokesperson Heather Paul said they set up an orientation center for incoming claims in Birmingham, Alabama. That’s also where a fleet of catastrophe response vehicles are staged.

“So right now the challenge for us is being able to find locations where we can set up our tents and mobile catastrophe vehicles to help people,” she said.

Paul said the mess left behind by Ian has significantly impacted their ability to respond to customers.

“You know, it has been the hardest part… we want to get in there as soon as possible and help people recover and sometimes the infrastructure is just not capable of handling that… We’re actively looking for places where we can set up a State Farm tent where we can have our mobile vehicles to handle claims,” she said.

The wreckage has also hampered customers’ ability to file claims.

“There are still a huge number of Floridians–1.9 million–that are without power. And that is, of course, hindering the ability of many people to even file their claim. They don’t have electricity. They have spotty cell service,” Paul said.

Out of the 7,000 claims received so far, 50% are for cars and 50% are for homes.

“Obviously we know that there’s significant amount of water, but the the initial auto claims that we see coming in, about 65% of those claims are for undrivable cars that have been flooded or in some cases have even floated away. So this just illustrates even more the importance that this is a water event for those that are impacted by that water,” she said.

Paul said State Farm anticipates the catastrophe response vehicles will make their way to impacted areas by the weekend.

“We know this is very tough and we really, truly our hearts go out to all those impacted,” she said.

In anticipation of Hurricane Ian striking the Carolinas, Paul said State Farm has staged two more catastrophe response vehicles in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

State Farm policyholders are multiple options for filing a State Farm insurance claim.

  1. Call or email State Farm agent.
  2. Call 1-800-SFCLAIM to begin claim reporting process.
  3. Submit claim through State Farm mobile app or website.
  4. Text “CLAIM” to 62789 to receive a link to file claim.