Prepare for property damage this hurricane season
With over a dozen major storms expected during this year’s hurricane season, which starts June 1 and runs through November 30, there’s no time like the present to evaluate the disaster response services and processes that protect your properties.
According to Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, 15 named storms, seven of which being hurricanes, are forecast to appear in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico during the 2023 hurricane season. CSU’s forecast, which aligns with predictions from privately held forecasters AccuWeather and DTN, also indicates that of the hurricanes expected, at least three will meet the criteria of a major hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.
How to pick the right property preservation provider
As storms grow in number, hit harder, and affect larger swathes of the United States, national property preservation providers like ServiceLink offer important advantages, especially for mortgage servicers whose portfolios cover multiple regions.
“Hurricanes can hit anywhere from Florida up through the Eastern Seaboard and across to the Gulf Coast of Texas,” says Anthony Scotese, Vice President, Product Operations, in ServiceLink’s Field Services division. “Having a property preservation partner that can aggregate the damage information and target impacted areas across geographies enables a much more efficient response.”
ServiceLink provides property preservation services that are in tune with the ever-changing industry requirements surrounding the preservation of properties. “Our standard reporting covers historical concerns and areas of importance from our clients, and custom reporting is available when needed,” says Scotese. “ServiceLink is also constantly evolving our product offering to meet the varying needs of customers including servicers, asset management companies and investors. ServiceLink Field Services (SLFS) monitors FEMA and weather indicators to watch for potential weather events and disaster declarations. When a disaster has been identified, SLFS communicates the awareness to our clients and offers services for inspections on their impacted portfolio. Servicers take this opportunity to initiate discussions with borrowers on their options in case they need assistance or an exception of any kind,” says Scotese.
The importance of proactive borrower communication
“Proactive and comprehensive communications from the property preservation company are essential to helping servicers and their borrowers protect their assets and get the insurance quotes they need,” says Scotese. “We offer servicers the peace of mind of having one source that helps them understand the impacts of the hurricane on their portfolio from a default — and non-default — perspective. They can find out which of their borrowers were and were not impacted, determine where disaster claims need to be filed and then help their borrowers file those claims, since the broad scope and traumatic nature of hurricanes can make it difficult for them to figure out what to do. We help our clients take their own proactive approach in managing that borrower experience.”
Efficiency is critical
Where repairs for roof damage, flooding, electrical and plumbing issues etc., are needed, ServiceLink can provide bids to get the work done, and oversee and provide progress reports on the repairs. “Addressing damages quickly after discovery can help prevent them from getting worse,” Scotese says, adding that, “ServiceLink also keeps its clients informed of any circumstances obstructing access to areas, thus causing delays in work performance or the ability of homeowners to return to their property.”
“Property preservation providers play an integral role with servicers.” Scotese concludes. “I can tell you we are ready, willing and able to assist our clients in managing disaster response at any level desired. There is absolutely no reason a servicer needs to panic when a storm hits — even in a dangerous hurricane season like this one. If they have the right partner, they can be assured of prompt, reliable support.”
For more information about ServiceLink Field Services, visit svclnk.com/servicers.