American Family dispatches catastrophe team to help storm victims in North Dakota and South Dakota

Madison, Wis. (July 10, 2009) — A catastrophe team from American Family Insurance is responding to help storm victims in Dickinson, N.D., and the surrounding area, as well as the South Dakota communities of Lemmon and Yankton, following the wind and hailstorms that swept through the area on Wednesday.

The company has already received more than 600 claims from customers whose homes or vehicles were damaged from the storm, and is expecting a total of about 1,500 claims.

American Family customers who have claims should immediately contact the company’s 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-MY-AMFAM (692-6326) or their agent to schedule an inspection of their damaged property or vehicle.

Local agents and adjusters assisted customers with immediate needs, and the company brought in an additional 15 to 20 adjusters from the company catastrophe team.

The company expects to establish a vehicle inspection drive-in site at a location to be determined. Vehicles are inspected by appointment only, which customers can schedule when reporting their claim. The drive-in will operate 7 days a week, with appointment times available from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Questions and answers for American Family customers:

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

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

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.

How will the inspection process work? When a hailstorm creates a large volume of claims, we will typically establish one or more drive-in sites where policyholders can take their hail-damaged vehicles to be inspected and receive payment for repairs, less their deductible. These inspections take place on an appointment basis ’s important that you first report your claim.

If your home has sustained hail 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 make payment for repairs covered by your policy.

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.