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American Family resumes St. Louis tornado response today

Claims surpass 60, more than 50 homes with heavy damage

Madison, Wis. (April 25, 2011) — Adjusters from American Family Insurance continue to meet today with St. Louis- area customers whose homes were damaged from last Friday's tornadoes and strong winds.

On Sunday, American Family received additional claims, pushing the total past 600, including at least 55 homes with heavy damage and four homes that were destroyed.

American Family operates a claim office and customer care center in St. Louis. In addition to staff from those locations, adjusters from the company's national catastrophe team arrived in the area Saturday and Sunday to begin meeting with customers who sustained storm damage.

The company has also brought in two satellite-equipped catastrophe vehicles, which function as mobile claim offices near the damaged areas. One of the vehicles is already up and running at the Maryland Heights Community Center, 2344 McKelvey Road. The company hopes to finalize a location for the second vehicle today.

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

Friday's storm damaged homes and businesses across parts of St. Charles County and metropolitan St. Louis.

While tornado and strong wind claims appear to be concentrated in the Maryland Heights, Bridgeton, Berkeley and Ferguson areas, American Family is also receiving claims for hail damage from other communities.

"We have a lot of customers whose lives were suddenly turned upside down, but we're here to help them as quickly as we can," says Dean Welton, who's leading the St. Louis catastrophe response. "We´┐┐ve already resolved several claims where the homes were destroyed by the storm, and we'll continue that process the days and weeks ahead."

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

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 tornado and wind damage to your home and personal property. The "comprehensive" section of your auto insurance policy provides coverage for tornado and wind damage to your vehicle.

Can I get an emergency advance payment?

Yes. If you have a covered loss and need emergency funds, we can provide you an advance payment. This advance payment will be applied to your final claim settlement.

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.

Is there anything I can do to help with the claim process?

Begin to compile a list of personal property and belongings you believe were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Briefly describe each item, including its age, current value, make, model and serial number if you have it.

When can I remove debris from my property?

Document your storm-damaged belongings with photographs, video and/or a written list before disposing of debris. If this is not possible, please wait to remove the debris until an adjuster can help you with the documentation.

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. Web: wwwqa.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam