U.S. insurance adjusters in Calgary to respond to damaging hail storm

WATCH: Nearly 100 insurance adjusters have arrived from the United States, and more from other provinces, following the recent hail storm that battered northeast Calgary. While most out-of-province visitors have to self-isolate for 14 days, these adjusters don't. Adam Toy reports.

A parking lot outside a hotel in northeast Calgary is full of American licence plates from states like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Utah and South Carolina.

CRU Adjusters confirmed to Global News it has hired adjusters from across the continent following the hail storm that pounded the city earlier this month.

READ MORE: Severe flooding, damage in Calgary after thunderstorm Saturday

About 300 adjusters have come in from outside Alberta, including about 100 from the United States, for a mix of desk and field work.

A CRU executive said it has strict COVID-19 protocols — employees are to stay in their rooms as much as possible, wear masks when leaving, and practise social distancing at customers’ homes. Customers are contacted by phone and do not come out of the home for exterior inspections. When CRU adjusters have to go into the home, homeowners are advised to stay in different rooms during assessments.

Before being dispatched to Calgary, the adjusters had to answer health, travel and close contact questionnaires for CRU, and are advised to immediately self-isolate if they have any coronavirus-related symptoms and to contact Alberta Health.

The adjusters have been in Calgary for nearly two weeks and have more than six weeks work ahead of them. CRU said they are not planning on bringing any more adjusters to the province.

The adjuster company said they worked with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), who deemed these adjusters an essential service and provided them with necessary documentation.

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And according to PHAC’s website, the documentation excuses the adjusters from having to self-isolate for 14 days.

READ MORE: Alberta laying groundwork for enforcement during coronavirus health emergency

AHS said they were unaware of this group of adjusters coming to Calgary, and have begun working with PHAC to monitor the adjusters.

One hotel employee Global News spoke with said they ask out-of-province guests to respect social distancing, and even ask them to skip attending the complimentary breakfast.

An email from General Manager Ryan Ocbina said Element by Westin Calgary Airport follows all provincial and federal public health guidelines, and follows a chain-wide commitment to cleanliness during the coronavirus pandemic. Ocbina’s hotels also provide complimentary masks and have removed all high-contact areas like self-serve coffee.

In an emailed statement, IBC confirmed it does help insurance companies “gain approval from relevant authorities to bring adjusters in from outside jurisdictions to assist consumers in response to catastrophic events, if required.

“Insurers are utilizing as many in-house and local claims representatives as possible to manage the high volume of claims from this event.”

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But most insurance companies Global News spoke with confirmed they are using local adjusters.

“We can confirm that the vast majority of insurers have been using Canadian adjusters,” the ICB statement said.

“Some insurers utilize third-party independent catastrophic adjusting firms during catastrophic events to ensure clients get help as quickly as possible.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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