American Family Dispatches Catastrophe Teams to Assist Ice Storm Victims in Kansas and Missouri

Jefferson City, Mo. (December 13, 2007) — Catastrophe teams from American Family Insurance are responding to assist residents whose homes and businesses were damaged from last weekend’s ice storms in the central and southeast Kansas counties of Cherokee, Crawford, McPherson, Reno and Saline, and the Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Joseph areas in Missouri.

Policyholders who have claims should contact their agent or American Family’s 24-hour Claim Call Center at 1-800-374-1111 to arrange an inspection of their property.

Our catastrophe team of adjusters and other personnel has already started reviewing claims filed by our policyholders.


How do I report my claim? To report a claim, please contact American Family’s 24-hour Claim Call Center at 1-800-374-1111 or your American Family agent.

What damages to my property might be covered? Homeowners and auto insurance policies generally provide coverage for sudden and accidental damage caused by sleet or freezing rain. Damage can occur from ice-covered tree branches that snap and fall onto homes, cars and fences; and downed power lines that cause power outages and refrigerated food to spoil.

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 so your adjuster can review them and reimburse you for expenses covered by your policy.

The storm has cut off power to my home. Do I have coverage for temporary lodging until power is restored? If the source of the power outage is on your property, i.e., incoming power lines that become disconnected from your home, homeowners insurance generally covers additional living expenses. This includes reasonable lodging and food expenses. Keep the receipts to share with your adjuster. If you are without power due to a widespread power outage occurring away from your property, homeowners insurance generally does not cover additional living expenses.

The power outage from the storm has caused food in my refrigerator to go bad. Does my policy pay for food spoilage in this situation? Homeowners insurance generally pays for food spoilage in these situations up to the specific limit in your policy, regardless of whether the source of the power outage was on or away from the policyholder’s property. The policy deductible does not apply. Keep a detailed list of the food items you had to dispose and share it with your adjuster.

The power outage from the storm has caused water pipes in my home to freeze and burst. Does my policy pay for repairs to the pipe(s) and resulting water damage? Homeowners insurance generally covers the cost of repairs in these situations, when the power outage is outside of the policyholder’s control. If the policyholder neglects to maintain heat in the home, however, coverage is not available.

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 fell on your home and caused damage, however, we will pay to cut away that part of the tree so repairs can be made; most policies will also 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 your insurance company. Since the damage was caused by an act of nature and not caused by negligence on the part of your neighbor, 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.

Is there anything I can do to help with the claim process? Begin to compile a list of personal property and belongings you believe were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Briefly describe each item, including its age, current value, make, model and serial number.

Who do I call to make repairs? You are free to select any contractor or repair shop you wish. It is usually best to select one who has operated in the area for several years, is insured and bonded, and will give you a written guarantee for the work performed.