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Consulting meteorologist helps provide weather data for insurance claims

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 9:03 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Dozens of calls from homeowners have come into the KCRG-TV9 First Alert Weather team since the derecho hit with people looking for storm data to help with their insurance claims.

In some cases, insurers reach out, instead, to certified consulting meteorologists to answer those types of questions. These professionals are rare, with only around 250 in the world.

Morgan Yarker of Yarker Consulting is the only one in Iowa. She is based out of her northeast Cedar Rapids home.

“There’s not very many of us really around and what we do is you know pretty specific,” Yarker said.

Yarker mostly takes calls from insurance companies, trying to prove a weather event happened at a certain magnitude in a specific location. This helps people get their claims approved so they can make needed repairs.

”I feel like I’ve done my job if somebody has saved money,” Yarker said.

Many people have struggled to get their insurance claims approved since the derecho, and have turned to public adjusters like Caeden Tinklenberg to help.

“Our role is to come out to the property, document the damages, put together an estimate of what the loss is and present that to the insurance company,” Tinklenberg told us.

But sometimes after a weather event, insurance companies require proof as to what caused the damage, that’s where Yarker’s skills come in.

”It’s usually specific things like what the wind was doing, whether there was ice, whether there was hail,” Yarker said.

When Yarker isn’t providing weather data to insurance companies, she’s providing expert testimony in court. But Yarker told us she’d like to get more calls directly from homeowners trying to recover from storms.

”To help them out because I think you know I can provide, like all of us CCM’s can provide a good service,” Yarker said.

It’s a service that’s becoming increasingly important as insurance claims start with each damaging weather event.

You can check out the full list of consulting meteorologists on the American Meteorological Society website.

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