Windstorms leaving widespread damage throughout Wisconsin, American Family Insurance reports

Oct. 27, 2010 —Teams from American Family Insurance have been dispatched to help customers across the state deal with the widespread wind damage. Fifteen claims adjusters have been called in from other areas to help American Family customers.

American Family customers have reported 400 claims after yesterday's gale-force wind storm. The company anticipates that number to climb to 2,000 or more, depending on the severity of the ongoing winds.

"We're seeing damage throughout the state of Wisconsin, mostly from trees or tree limbs falling on houses or fences, or from the wind ripping up shingles or siding," said Tracy Groth, operations administrator for the Wisconsin response. "In some instances, repairs will be very minor and may be less than the customer's deductible amount. Other losses are more extensive.

"Whether the losses are large or small, we'll get to our customers as soon as we can. American Family claims employees permanently located in Wisconsin are working with the additional adjusters brought in to help handle the storm claims."

American Family is the largest provider of homeowners and private passenger auto insurance in Wisconsin.

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

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 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.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, health insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 344th on the Fortune 500 list. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam