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Archive for Friday, May 11, 2007

American Family expects $6M n claims for Greensburg tornado

May 11, 2007

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— American Family Insurance Co. said Thursday it will pay out about $6 million in claims in Kansas, where a tornado destroyed a town.

The Madison-based company, which is Kansas' second-largest auto and homeowner's insurance provider, expects to have 250 to 300 claims following the twister in Greensburg and another storm in the northern central part of the state the next day, said spokesman Ken Muth.

As of Thursday, the company had received about 185 claims from throughout the area, primarily on homes but also on farms and small businesses, he said.

A team of 25 adjustors and other staff members was sent out after the storm hit the town of about 1,400 on May 4. At least 11 people died in tornadoes and storms that swept through the area.

The devastation, he said, was something they hadn't seen for some time. The tornado reached speeds of 205 mph and was 1.7 miles wide.

"We had staff members out there who have responded to tornadoes for a long time and they said they've never seen anything like this," Muth said.

Last year, American Family paid out a record $1.1 billion in storm losses following a string of spring storms across the Midwest. Wind and hail storms in Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and other states in the Midwest caused payouts to triple from the previous year.

American Family provides life, auto, homeowners, health and other insurance to customers in 18 states. It is the largest insurer of homes and automobiles in Wisconsin and employs more than 8,200 people.

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