USAA to use drones to inspect hailstorm damage

Thousands of insurance claims flood USAA after hailstorm

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - It was a busy night and morning for insurance adjusters across the city after hailstorms pelted pockets of San Antonio.

USAA alone fielded thousands of calls and claims. As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, USAA reported 15,000 auto claims and 7,500 property claims.

"We are all hands on deck," said Catherine Reese-Woodard, USAA director of catastrophe operations. "We had everyone possible answering the phones to assist with first notice of loss. We have over 500 resources coming in from outside of the area to inspect losses for our members' vehicles and property. We're doing everything we can to help them as quickly as possible."

Reese-Woodard said there will likely be some delays in repairs because of the magnitude of the damage left behind by the storms. She said there are some things people can do in the meantime.

"We'd also recommend taking any kind of immediate precautions you need to protect your property," Reese-Woodard said. "Things like boarding up windows, putting tarps on the roof, whatever you need to do to keep it safe from further damage. Also, taking photos. If you have to spend any money to do that type of board-up, make sure to save the receipts to look at those when we get out there."

USAA will be testing drones to take images of damage this week in San Antonio.

"It's a way to inspect members' homes faster, potentially," said Kristina Tomasetti of USAA. "We will continue to do the traditional method of inspections in the field with contractors. This offers a possible way to get there sooner."

Reese-Woodard said at this point, if consumers haven't filed a claim, it might be faster to do so online at USAA.com or via the USAA mobile app.

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