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American Family Insurance helping Joplin customers recover from Sunday's devastating tornado

Madison, Wis. (May 23, 2011) — A catastrophe team from American Family Insurance is responding to Joplin, Mo., following a severe hail and wind storm that swept through the area on Sunday.

About 20 adjusters are part of the first response to the area, and additional adjusters will be brought in as needed.

American Family customers who have claims should immediately 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.

For customers without telephone service, the company is sending a catastrophe vehicle to the area. Once access is granted, the vehicle will be set up at 5643 N. Main St. in Joplin. Customers can stop by the vehicle to file their claim. Adjusters will also be visiting shelters in the area to attempt to locate customers and begin the claim process.

Vehicles are inspected by appointment only, which customers can schedule when reporting their claim. The drive-ins will operate seven 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 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. Web: wwwqa.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam