Rigsby: State Farm called Katrina a “water storm”

When State Farm brought in hundreds of adjusters after Hurricane Katrina, one of those adjusters said, two company employees told them how claims would be handled.
“We were told this was a water storm,” former adjuster Kerri Rigsby testified this morning in a federal court hearing.

One adjuster was assigned to the federal flood and State Farm wind claim on each property damaged by both elements. State Farm told adjusters to “hit policy limits” on claims paid by the federal flood insurance program and an engineer would be sent out to determine whether State Farm owed any money for wind damage under its homeowner’s policy.

She said State Farm used new procedures after Katrina for claims investigations: a State Farm manager rather than the adjuster ordered engineering reports on properties subjected to surge and those reports were sent, unopened, straight to State Farm flood expert and catastrophe team manager Alexis “Lecky” King.

Rigsby repeated previous allegations that King ordered reports changed if they failed to conclude that water was the cause of a policyholder’s damage.