Midwest wind storms send American Family catastrophe team into action
Storms caused damage to property and automobiles in northern Minnesota and across Wisconsin.
A catastrophe team from American Family Insurance is joining local claim office employees as they help customers following intense wind storms that swept through the Midwest this week, damaging property and automobiles in northern Minnesota and across Wisconsin. An estimated 2,500 claims are expected from these storms.
Catastrophe field adjusters are assisting local claim employees as they contact customers and set up appointments to inspect their property.
American Family Insurance customers who have claims from storm damage should immediately contact the company's 24-hour Customer Care Center, 1-800-MY-AMFAM (692-6326). 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.
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.
How will the inspection process work?
If your home has sustained 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.
About American Family InsuranceMadison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks 332nd 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/.