American Family declares catastrophe for Pueblo hail storm

Madison, Wis. (July 30, 2009) —A catastrophe team from American Family Insurance is responding to Pueblo, Colo., following the powerful hail storm that hit the area Wednesday afternoon.

American Family customers in Pueblo have already filed 1,900 claims from the storm, including 1,300 auto claims and 600 homeowners claims. The company expects total claims could ultimately reach 4,500.

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.

Pueblo-area American Family Insurance agents and adjusters are already assisting customers with immediate needs. The company is bringing in additional adjusters and will establish at least one drive-in site to inspect hail-damaged vehicles. The exact location of the site is still to be determined.

Questions and answers for American Family Insurance 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 agent.
What damages to my property might be covered? Your homeowners insurance policy covers wind and hail damage to your home and personal property. The “comprehensive” section of your auto insurance policy provides coverage for wind and 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 only, so it’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.