Ready For A Hurricane

By Amori Ogata
Wednesday - August 24, 2011
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By Amori Ogata
Vice President & COO of Zephyr Insurance Company Inc.

Hurricane season is from June through November, and while satellites have provided early warning signs to hurricane activity, everyone’s pressure always rises when a hurricane is nearing the Islands.

Hurricanes are unpredictable, but for the staff at Zephyr, “Hurricane Mock” hits the Islands every May like clockwork. The annual readiness test is staged by Zephyr, and it’s taken seriously because it allows us to evaluate how prepared we are to take care of our policyholders.

The first warning of Hurricane Mock triggers the rapid deployment of a team of claims adjusters who fly to Hawaii from the Mainland. Each adjuster is given the names of actual Zephyr policyholders who’ve filed a claim. These policyholders agreed to participate because it helps them know what to expect if there ever is real damage and loss from a hurricane. The adjusters have two days to go to all the policyholders’ homes, assess the “damage” to the properties and write them real checks. In real time, Zephyr carefully monitors each check issued to a policyholder during the exercise and tracks the processing of those checks to ensure everything goes smoothly for each policyholder.

Zephyr Insurance employees, (front, from left) Amori Ogata, Richard Toyama , (back) Nathan Jeffery, Leslie Door, Bobby Lee. Photo courtesy Zephyr Insurance Co. Inc.

Zephyr contracts with three national catastrophe claims-adjusting companies to settle claims and all who participate in the exercise. Whether a claim is sent by email, fax or phone to the centralized claim center, our mission is to have a response to each claimant within 48 hours.

Hurricane insurance companies do not receive claims on a daily basis like auto and health insurance companies do. However, when a hurricane strikes, there could be literally thousands of claims filed within a few hours. That’s why we invest our time and resources to conduct this exercise. Preparation is the key to a successful catastrophe claims process. Our goal is to help people get paid quickly and efficiently, so that they can begin to rebuild their homes and their lives.

For more information, call 440-5400 or visit

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