ISO ClaimSearch® Insights on Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall on the east coast, we want to support your work processing the large volumes of claims expected from the storm. This page provides the latest insights on the storm’s impact. Keep checking this page as we’ll regularly update it with key storm and loss information.

Process auto claims from flooding and storm surge faster

With the storm having made landfall in Wrightsville, N.C., on the morning of September 14, insurers are bracing for large volumes of auto claims due to flooding and storm surge. We recommend that adjusters download the free ISO ClaimSearch mobile app (available on App Store and Google Play.) The mobile app allows users to scan VINs, view loss histories, and see loss locations on Google Maps as they are in the field.

Storm tracking and affected areas

Hurricane Florence made landfall on the coast of the Carolinas as a Category 1 storm Friday morning, with high wind gusts and a dangerous storm surge. The storm is expected to move southwest down the coastline and weaken to a tropical storm by Saturday.

Once the storm has passed, customers can order Benchmark hurricane reports to verify weather conditions at specific claim addresses.

The counties shaded pink in the image are predicted to have some portion of the county impacted by wind gusts of 70 mph or greater from Hurricane Florence, based on data from Verisk Weather Solutions Respond Hurricane product from Friday morning (9/14).

Unofficial Wind Gusts as of 8 a.m.:

Wilmington International Airport, NC: 105 mph
Cape Fear Community College, NC: 100 mph
Fort Macon, NC: 99 mph
Kirkland, NC: 98 mph
Federal Point, NC: 95 mph
Cape Lookout, NC: 90 mph
Topsail Beach, NC: 70 mph

Storm surge also increased throughout the overnight as Florence approached landfall and winds shifted to push ocean waters onshore. Storm surge inundation of 10 feet was reported in the New Bern, North Carolina, area this morning.

Forecast

Florence is expected to move westerly to even west-southwesterly today as she continues to travel slowly down the Carolina coastlines. As this occurs, the hurricane will continue to weaken and is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm as early as later today, but more likely tomorrow morning. Florence’s track will likely take the center of the tropical cyclone into the central South Carolina area tomorrow before Florence turns and begins heading in an increasingly northerly direction on Sunday into Monday along the spine of the Appalachians. Florence is likely to become a tropical depression on Sunday.

Impacts

Even though Hurricane Florence made landfall a short time ago, the effects of this system are really just starting.

Wind

Strong, gusty winds will continue throughout today across much of the eastern Carolinas and increasingly into the central portions of these states. Wind gusts of 70 mph or more will continue for some, especially within the eyewall region while it holds together. This puts coastal locations in southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina at high risk for significant wind damage today as the eye region continues moving slowly into these regions. Coastal communities and areas just inland from the current eye location just south of Wilmington, North Carolina, toward the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, area will be most at risk. By tomorrow, winds will continue to weaken but will remain strong enough to cause additional damage, especially to trees, which will become increasingly unstable as Florence’s heavy rainfall continues to saturate the soil.

Storm Surge

The threat from storm surge is just beginning for many, with the hardest-impacted regions thus far along the beaches of south-central North Carolina. Storm surge will increase today for the beaches of southern North Carolina and northern South Carolina as winds pivot and become onshore once the eye of Florence passes to the south of these locations. As a result, many of the coastal areas mentioned above that have just experienced or will likely experience very strong winds associated with Florence’s eyewall will likely soon be inundated with storm surge flooding. Storm surge flooding to around 10 feet will be possible in the hardest-impacted regions of southern North Carolina, with lesser but still significant amounts expected across northern North Carolina and South Carolina.

Rainfall

Heavy rains will continue to push slowly inland with Florence today and throughout the weekend. The forecast continues to call for rainfall totals of at least 6 inches for a good portion of North Carolina, northern South Carolina, and southwest Virginia. The greatest rainfall totals of 1 to 2 feet, with isolated amounts to around 3 feet, can be expected from south-central and southeast North Carolina into north-central and northeast South Carolina. This will result in catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding. Multiple flash flood warnings are currently in effect for southeast North Carolina, where up to a foot of rain has already fallen.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes will become increasingly likely today as Florence’s northeast quadrant (the region most likely for tornadoes in hurricanes) moves onshore. A tornado watch remains in effect for portions of eastern North Carolina. The threat for a few tornadoes will continue through tonight and into tomorrow, predominately focusing on eastern portions of the Carolinas.

Comprehensive resources to assist high-volume claims processing efforts

  • Check VINs in the field – The ISO ClaimSearch® has a mobile app on App Store and Google Play that lets users scan VINs, view loss histories, and see loss locations on Google Maps. Arm auto adjusters with this app, and they'll be able to remotely run VINs to speed claims processing.
  • Access weather reports for claims – DecisionNet customers can access weather-related reports to verify damage.
  • Match forecast to policies-in-force – The Verisk Weather Solutions team is delivering multiple daily updates to customers on the hurricane path. Overlaying the Respond forecast to active policies can help with estimating the storm’s impact to your book of business and aid in resource deployment.
  • Get post-storm aerial data – Geomni offers aerial imagery and data, including Image-to-Scope technology to import visual data into Xactimate estimates. Geomni also provides high-level imagery for selected catastrophes via an online web viewer – including historical and baseline views where available.
  • Collaborate with homeowners – With ClaimXperience, homeowners can send loss images and video directly to adjusters – as well as chat and receive real-time feedback about property damage.