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Hail Damage Keeping Insurers, Glass Shops Busy

By Daniel Cherry | Published 27 Mar 2013 05:30pm | comments
A glass repair technician repairs a broken windshield
It's estimated there could be as many as 50,000 insurance claims following the massive hail storm that struck central Mississippi last week.  Insurance claims adjusters are still working through the thousands of vehicles damaged in the storm.
At the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, a worker at Safelite Auto Glass uses power tools to pry off a busted windshield. The glass repair shop and multiple insurance companies have set up satellite locations at the fairgrounds to serve more customers. John Rountree is with Safelite. He was called down from Memphis to help with overflow.
"We brought in area sales managers from around the country to staff it as well as area technicians from around the country to staff it", says Rountree.
Even as workers and insurers try to fix everyone's dents and breaks, not everyone is happy with the situation. Yvette Bryant of Clinton says she's tried to have her windshield replaced for days.
"They said, 'When do you want to come? I said, 'I'll wait until tomorrow morning, that way I know...' He said, 'We're getting it off the truck now.' But I get here this morning and it's not here", says Bryant.
Bryant had already been waiting more than an hour on Wednesday for her repairs.
"I'm ready to get back to normal. There are a lot more things I could be doing than standing out here in the freezing cold waiting on these guys to get their act together", says Bryant.
Estimates say the price tag of all the damage in Mississippi will be in the tens of millions of dollars. Jim Kachelmuss is a catastrophe services specialist with State Farm. He says State Farm has 5 locations opened up and they hope to be able to inspect between 600 and 700 cars per day when fully operational.
Kachelmuss says, "Unfortunately somebody has to be first and somebody has to be last. We'd love to be able to just turn a switch and an hour after an event we could just make it go away for everybody, but obviously that's impossible."
Insurers urge those with damage to be patient and make an appointment as they try to accommodate the thousands of damaged cars needing repairs. 


A glass repair technician repairs a broken windshield



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