American Family Insurance Dispatches Catastrophe Teams to Assist Red River Flooding Victims

Company also donates $5,000 to local American Red Cross chapter

Madison, Wis. (March 30, 2009) — Catastrophe teams from American Family Insurance are responding to water damage in the areas damaged by the Red River flooding. Customers reported damage from flooding in the Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn., area, as well as other portions of the Red River watershed.

The company so far has received about 50 property insurance claims related to Red River flooding. Access to some areas is limited, as authorities have evacuated areas that are at risk of more severe flooding.

In addition to responding to claims reported by its own customers, American Family is donating $5,000 to the Minn-Kota Chapter of the American Red Cross to assist in the local relief and recover efforts.

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 Administration, 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 Insurance agent.

How do I report a flooding claim? To report a claim under a flood insurance policy, contact your American Family Insurance agent. If you are reporting a claim under a National Flood Insurance Program policy, your American Family agent can get the claim process started or you can report the claim directly to the NFIP by calling 1-800-759-8656, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Mountain Standard Time.