It already was a stressful time for Mike and Susie Kim when a devastating tornado took its toll in Joplin, Mo.

The day before, they rushed off with their family to Kansas City, seeking needed treatment for their son, Samuel, 9, whose leukemia was worsening.

"Everybody at the hospital said, 'God, how blessed you are, because you missed the entire tornado back home in Joplin,'" Mike recalls.

But Mike felt anything but blessed. He was already struggling with the emotional turmoil of having a very sick child. Meanwhile, he had learned the tornado damaged his house, leaving it temporarily uninhabitable. It was one more thing he had to deal with.

"When I drove into town, I couldn't believe it," says Mike. "Just looking at my neighborhood, I had tears in my eyes. Every emotion you can think of went through my mind: scared, upset, depressed, worried."

But he was also determined to take charge and work through everything.

Mike was nervous about having to deal with insurance claims and wanted answers. His anxieties were rooted in his fear of the unknown, mixed with what he calls "bad advice" from acquaintances who told him insurance companies were "horrible profit organizations" that would not help.

"In the beginning, I think everybody knew how I felt about the insurance industry," says Mike. His perspective shifted after regular conversations with his American Family Insurance agent, Bob Brown.

One of the first things Bob did was to arrange a personal meeting between Mike and members of the American Family catastrophe claim team that had set up shop in Joplin.

"Mike felt he was going to have to fight for anything and everything," Bob recalls. "He had a list of questions a mile long, and our adjusters answered them all."

In the months after the disaster, Bob and Adjuster Ryan Chase gladly kept in touch with Mike, guiding him through the claim process. Mike's trust and confidence in American Family grew with every interaction.

"My family and I are being very well taken care of," says Mike. "American Family is looking out for our best interests. The company is there to help us out."

Bob says it all boils down to empathy, compassion and meeting commitments to customers. That's what differentiates American Family from other insurance companies.

Mike and his family have moved back into their repaired home and are starting to rebuild their lives.

"Sometimes what you need is someone just to listen to you, and that's what American Family did for me," says Mike. "Along with making sure we got our home back and claims taken care of, American Family really listened to us and let us know, 'You'll be OK. We'll take care of you.'"