Assurant looking to hire 100 in wake of hurricane damage in Houston

Assurant will hire about 100 new workers as it tries to help policy holders in Texas process claims and get back into their homes after Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Gulf Coast damaging thousands of homes.

The company’s Global Housing Division, based in Springfield, provides insurance and related services in partnership with financial institutions and other major clients. It has more than 1,900 workers, but will hire about 100 more full, part-time and temporary employees, said Ray Rafferty, vice president of operations center manager in Springfield.

READ MORE: Hospital top Clark County employer, reflects statewide trend

The company is also sending a team of workers from locations across the U.S. to Texas to help policyholders with processing payments related to repairing damaged homes.

“There’s a little bit of a lag between when these storms hit and when those claims start to come our way to process,” Rafferty said. “So we are ramping up now for those main areas, both customer service and processing.”

Information from the Texas Department of Insurance shows of the more than 2.8 million residential policies in the affected area, only roughly 20 percent have flood insurance. Assurant has had claims staff staged near the hardest hit areas since the beginning of the week, said David Blumenthal, a spokesman for the company.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Wind farms stall, solar grows as energy debate continues in Ohio

“They’re claims adjusters and obviously the first step there is emergency need,” Raffery said. “It”s people who need funds immediately to be able to find a place to stay or secure their home with any initial repairs so they can get stabilized.”

The company faced a similar situation several years ago when Hurricane Sandy hammered the East Coast, but Rafferty said it’s too early to compare the severity of the two storms.

After providing emergency funds, the company will also send teams to help clients answer questions and try to speed the recovery process as longer-term repairs begin. The additional positions in Springfield will help work with those customers and process the rising number of claims expected.

RELATED: Assurant sees net operating income fall 30 percent last year

The Assurant Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, announced last week it will provide a $100,000 contribution to the American Red Cross for its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The foundation also will provide a 2-for-1 match for all Assurant employee contributions made to the American Red Cross through September.

The company has about 1,900 employees and processes similar claims year round for smaller storms and other damage, Rafferty said.

“But when we have a catastrophic event like this we do have to ramp up significantly because those folks are going to be calling us to find out how the process works and to have their claim checks move forward so they can repair their homes.”

The company is mostly looking for customer care and processing specialists.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Springfield business to hire workers as hotel chain expands
Springfield business to hire workers as hotel chain expands

A Springfield call center for an international hotel chain will take part in two job fairs next week as the business ramps up for its upcoming busy season and continued growth. The Red Roof Inn is looking for about 15 hourly sales agents who will be based at the company’s contact center at 1650 Upper Valley Pike. Those hired would perform a variety...
New salon plans to open in Springfield in long-vacant store
New salon plans to open in Springfield in long-vacant store

A new hair salon that will aim to bring New York City flair to Springfield might be opening soon in a long-vacant store. Tom Thompson, a Springfield native hair-designer with 20-years experience in New York City, hopes to open a new salon at 109 E. College Ave. The Springfield Board of Zoning Appeals will meet Wednesday to discuss the business among...
Cold start to winter pushes local natural gas bills higher
Cold start to winter pushes local natural gas bills higher

The sustained cold is doing more than making us uncomfortable. It’s making energy more expensive. Natural gas provider Vectren is warning that bitter cold is leading to higher gas use — and that will mean more expensive bills. Natural gas delivery volume in its Ohio service territory since Dec. 15, 2017, is the second highest Vectren has...
Freight demand causing ‘perfect storm’ for local trucking industry
Freight demand causing ‘perfect storm’ for local trucking industry

A stronger economy has helped area shipping and logistics companies grow and increased freight prices and the number of orders for new trucks, a local business owner says. “Tonnage is up. And the amount of drivers is down,” Burch said last week in between meetings in Washington, D.C., where he was talking with other ATA leaders about infrastructure...
Need a job? Vets job fair will have dozens of employers
Need a job? Vets job fair will have dozens of employers

Dozens of employers will participate in a job fair geared to service members. The fifth annual “New Year, New Career,” is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center, 10823 Chidlaw Road near Gate 12A off Ohio 444 in Fairborn. MORE NEWS: Air Force Marathon newest challenge: Run three races for new medal...
More Stories