American Family Dispatches Catastrophe Teams to Assist Midwest Storm Victims in Ike’s Path

Madison, Wis. (Sept. 15, 2008) — Catastrophe teams from American Family Insurance are responding to water and wind damage that resulted when Hurricane Ike’s remnants roared through several of the company’s 18 operating states. The storm dumped heavy rains through portions of Missouri and Illinois, along with high wind and rain in southern Indiana.

American Family is expecting a total of about 2,000 property insurance claims in the St. Louis area; in the Peoria, Ill., and Chicago areas; and throughout southern Indiana. The company also is fielding auto insurance claims, including claims for flood damage and windstorm damage.

In addition to the catastrophe operations in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, American Family’s local claim offices are responding to wind- and rain-related damage in portions of Ohio.

American Family customers who have claims should immediately contact their agent or the company’s 24-hour Customer Care Center 1-800-MY-AMFAM (692-6326) to arrange an inspection of their damaged property or vehicle. Additional adjusters and other staff have been called in to assist with the claim response.

Standard property and business insurance policies do not cover flood damage. However, American Family and many other insurance companies participate in the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which contracts with insurance companies to sell and service its policies. To qualify for the NFIP program, property owners must live in a community that participates in the program.

The NFIP requires flood insurance to be in place at least 30 days before it provides coverage, unless the policy is purchased in connection with the making, increasing, extending or renewing of a mortgage loan.

In some instances, the federal government declares specified areas to be natural disaster sites eligible for federal funding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, residents who do not have flood insurance but whose homes were damaged by flooding should still file a claim with their insurance company in order to potentially qualify for federal assistance.

American Family customers can also purchase optional coverage for sewer backup and sump pump overflow, which extends coverage for certain water-related damages to the building structure and specific household appliances. The optional coverage must be purchased at least five days prior to the sewer backup or sump pump overflow.  

Questions and answers for American Family customers:

How do I report an auto or homeowners insurance claim? To report a claim, contact our 24-hour Claim Customer Care Center at 1-800-MY-AMFAM (692-6326) or your American Family agent.

How do I report a flooding claim? To report a claim under a flood insurance policy, contact your American Family agent.