American Family Dispatches Catastrophe Team to Assist Southeast Wisconsin Tornado Victims

Kenosha, Wis. (Jan. 8, 2008) — A catastrophe team from American Family Insurance is responding to southeastern Wisconsin to assist residents whose homes, autos and businesses were damaged from Monday afternoon’s tornadoes. Policyholders who have claims should contact their agent or American Family’s 24-hour Claim Customer Care Center (1-800-374-1111) to arrange an inspection of their property or vehicle.

The catastrophe team – as well as the company’s state-of the art catastrophe trailer – is based at the Country Inn & Suites at 7011 122nd Ave., Kenosha. Our catastrophe team of adjusters and other personnel has already started reviewing claims filed by our policyholders.

The trailer uses satellite technology and a gas-powered generator to link claims personnel at the storm site to the company’s headquarters in Madison, Wis. Fully equipped with computer work stations, phone lines, and a fax, the trailer allows storm adjusters to efficiently and quickly settle claims, often writing checks on the spot to policyholders.


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

What damages to my property might be covered? Your homeowners insurance policy covers tornado and wind damage to your home and personal property. The “comprehensive” section of your auto insurance policy provides coverage for tornado and wind damage to your vehicle.

Civil authorities have ordered me to evacuate my home. Does my policy pay for food and lodging during this time? Your homeowners insurance policy pays for additional living expenses for up to two weeks if you are denied access to your home by the civil authorities. This includes reasonable motel and food expenses. Keep copies of the receipts for your adjuster.

Can I get an emergency advance payment? Yes. If you have a covered loss and need emergency funds, we can provide you an advance payment. This advance payment will be applied to your final claim settlement.

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.

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.

When can I remove debris from my property? Document your storm-damaged belongings with photographs, video and/or a written list before disposing of debris. If this is not possible, please wait to remove the debris until an adjuster can help you with the documentation.

Does my policy have coverage for boarding pets? Yes, your homeowners policy covers the cost of temporarily boarding domestic pets if civil authorities prohibit access to your home. Keep copies of the receipts for your adjuster.

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 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 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.

My power is out, and it looks like it will not be restored for quite some time. Do I have coverage for food in my freezer and refrigerator that I’ll have to throw out it if power isn’t restored? Yes, homeowners insurance generally provides coverage for food spoilage from a storm-related power outage. Check your policy for specific coverage amounts, which is usually per refrigerator or freezer. Another great feature about this coverage is that your deductible does not apply.

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.