Storms in Minnesota & Wisconsin send claim staff into action to help customers
Heavy rainfall, flash flooding and hail leads to water and hail claims.
Local claim employees are teaming with catastrophe staff from American Family Insurance to help customers following a steady deluge of strong storms that swept through Minnesota and Wisconsin this week, damaging property and automobiles. An estimated 1,500 claims could come from the Minnesota storms, and up to 3,000 claims could be generated in Wisconsin.
Adjusters are contacting customers who reported claims and setting up appointments to inspect their properties. A drive-in site is operating in Middleton, Wisconsin to inspect customers’ damaged vehicles. The site is by appointment-only.
American Family Insurance customers who have storm damage should immediately contact the company's 24-hour Customer Care Center, 1-800-MY-AMFAM (692-6326) to report a claim. They can also report claims to their local American Family agent, or online at www.amfam.com/claims.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
Can I start to make repairs to prevent further damage?
You should protect your property immediately against further damage and theft. Use plywood, tarps or other materials to cover broken windows and damaged rooftops. Keep the receipts of any materials/services that you purchase to make these repairs so your adjuster can review them and reimburse you for expenses covered by your policy.
How will the inspection process work?
- When a hailstorm creates a large volume of claims, we will typically establish one or more drive-in sites where policyholders can take their hail-damaged vehicles to be inspected and receive payment for repairs, less their deductible. These inspections take place on an appointment basis only, so it's important that you first report your claim.
- If your home has sustained hail damage, an adjuster will contact you at one of the phone numbers you provided when you reported your claim. The two of you will schedule an inspection of your home, after which the adjuster will develop an estimate and issue payment for repairs covered by your policy.
Who do I call to make repairs?
You are free to select any contractor (home) or repair shop (auto) you wish. It is usually best to select one who has operated in the area for several years, is insured and bonded and gives you a written guarantee for the work performed.
I have flood damage. Who should I contact to report my claim?
- American Family Insurance policyholders who have flood damage should report their claims to our 24-hour Claims Customer Care Center at 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326) or their American Family Insurance agent.
- If you have federal flood insurance, you must contact your agent and file a claim under that policy. Your agent has information to help you with that process.
What constitutes a flood?
- Insurance companies generally define flooding as any accumulation of surface or subsurface water from any source. Flooding can occur due to a variety of situations, including heavy rains, melting snow, inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams and tropical storms. All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees. According to the NFIP, 25 percent of all flood claims occur in the low-to-moderate risk areas.
If I have flood damage and I have insurance through the NFIP, who is going to handle my claim?
- The National Flood Insurance Program contracts with insurance companies to sell and service its policies. If you purchased your flood insurance policy from an American Family Insurance agent, report your claim and we arrange for an adjuster to inspect and settle your claim following the terms of your NFIP policy.
About American Family InsuranceMadison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks 332 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam; Google+ plus.google.com/+amfam/.