HARTFORD (WFSB) - Hurricane Florence is putting insurance companies on high alert mode.

Many of them have been preparing to respond since last week.

Companies like Travelers and the Hartford already have people down in the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland, ready to move in and help their customers.

Florence is starting its powerful assault down south, but insurance companies are thinking of the aftermath.

Channel 3 stopped by Traveler’s National Catastrophe Center in Windsor.

That is where workers will be taking customer calls for damage claims.

The Vice President of the claim response team says hundreds of workers are on the ground in states that will be hit and many more are ready to respond.

“We have a national catastrophe team about 300 members total located across the country they’re being mobilized to help as quickly as possible and maybe pre-positioned maybe prior to the landfall,” said Don Florek, Vice President of Traveler’s Claim Response Team.

The Hartford also has customers in the hurricane’s path.

The chief claim officer says the company’s catastrophe mobile response unit is positioned in Knoxville.

On board is an accountant, small business operation with charging stations and WIFI.

And by this weekend, dozens of insurance workers will respond.

“It allows us to proactively communicate with our customers get people in position so that when the storm hits we can help our customers as soon as possible,” said John Kinney, Chief Claim Officer at the Hartford.

The insurance information institute estimates more than 750,000 homes in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia with a reconstruction cost value of $170 billion are at potential risk of storm surge damage.

Travelers says they have trained drone pilots to quickly assess damage.

“We have one of the largest drone fleets from a commercial stand point in our country we have trained more than 600 individuals to be licensed drone pilots and that application of technology will help us to quickly assess the damage in a very safe manner accelerating the claim process,” said Florek.

The Hartford developed a new app for its customers to connect with insurance workers.

“Provide real-time data for our people on the ground to run algorithms which losses should be prioritized before others and its created a wonderful customer experience. It’s frankly something we didn’t have two years ago that we have today,” said Kinney.

Most of all, both companies are asking people to be safe through Florence.

“Get to a safe area, protect your property, protect your family that’s what matters most,” Kinney said.

“Their safety is our priority and we’re going to be there and ready to respond and help them to recover as quickly as possible,” Florek said.

Health insurance companies like Aetna and Cigna are also allowing more flexibility for customers who need emergency care and prescriptions.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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