State Farm Insurance staging in Birmingham, preparing for Florence

Insurance agents standing by during Florence

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The damage toll from Tropical Storm Florence is expected to be extensive. When the first responders move out, the insurance agents will move in.

Until then, many of them are in Birmingham.

That includes between 1,000 and 1,200 State Farm agents in the Magic City from all across the country getting ready to deploy to affected states. At the company’s headquarters off Lakeshore Parkway, license plates from Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Colorado, and even as far away as California dotted the parking lot.

While agents are preparing to go, they’ll have a chance to do take some training courses that will cover policy language and standards that are specific to the states they’ll cover including the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia.

The company felt Birmingham was a strategic location to provide for agents.

“We’re here in the Birmingham area because here allows us to be close to where the storm occurred, but not too close so that we take away rooms for those who are looking for evacuation hotels, our utility workers that need to respond and first responders,” said Tony Rentz, a weather and catastrophe claims services manager with State Farm. “We’re close enough to the action to be close enough to respond to what’s happening to our customers, but we’re not in the way.”

Agents who are here will start heading up to the east coast no later than Saturday morning so they can get on the grounds and help folks start assessing the damage as soon as possible.

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