12:22 PM

American Family donates $10,000 to Iowa disaster relief after derecho

Storm claims in state pass the 8,000 mark, with more expected


The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation is donating $10,000 for disaster relief and the company is assisting customers with claims after a rare derecho storm caused widespread damage across Iowa and the Midwest. 

The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation is donating $10,000 to aid disaster relief efforts in Iowa after a straight-line windstorm – commonly called a derecho – caused widespread damage throughout the region.

More than 200 employees from American Family’s catastrophe team and agency owners are already responding to more than 8,200 property claims filed with the American Family Insurance group in the state, approximately half of them in the Cedar Rapids area.

“We’re here in full force for our customers,” said American Family Insurance Catastrophe Claim Administrator Cindy Mattson. “We’re already visiting customers with severe damage and making appointments with everyone else. Our goal is to make the recovery process as easy for them as we can and as collaborative as possible.”

Half of the funds will go to the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), which has a six-county footprint, including some of the state’s hardest-hit communities.

The other $5,000 will go to the American Red Cross’ Iowa/Illinois derecho relief efforts. The Red Cross consistently shows up after disasters, providing broad support for those impacted.

Claims teams helping customers while protecting health and safety

After the Aug. 10 storm struck, American Family Insurance began immediately taking claims and assisting customers while maintaining safety for everyone because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When possible, claims are being handled virtually with some on-site inspections still being performed. In some cases, drones are being used and insureds are capturing interior damage in photos.

How property claims are handled is based on customer preference and safety for customers and adjusters alike. When on-site property inspections are needed, social distancing protocols will be observed to ensure health and safety.

Many of the 8,200 claims are a result of high winds that caused trees to fall on or go through homes, causing extensive damage. Widespread electrical outages have also resulted in claims.

Report claims

Customers who have not should report their claims as soon as possible – by phone at 800-MYAMFAM (800-692-6326), using the mobile app, online at or through their insurance agent.


What damages to my property might be covered?

Your homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for damage to your home and personal property caused by wind/tornado, hail, fire and smoke.

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.

Do I have coverage to replace damaged trees or remove tree debris caused by the storm?

Homeowners insurance generally does not cover damage to trees or the removal of tree debris from the property. If a tree has fallen on your home and caused damage, however, we pay to cut away that part of the tree so repairs can be made; most policies pay up to $500 for removing that part of the tree from the property. Check your policy for specific coverage.

The storm caused a neighbor’s tree to fall on my house. Whose insurance company should I report my claim to - the neighbor's or mine?

Report the claim to American Family Insurance. Since the cause of damage was an act of nature, your insurance policy applies. If the roles were reversed and a tree from your property fell on your neighbor's home, the neighbor's insurance policy would apply.


About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.