Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company prepares as Hurricane Earl approaches east coast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2010
Elizabeth Stelzer 614-249-1025
Media Hotline 614-249-6349
Columbus, Ohio – As the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch for the North Carolina coast, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company claims representatives and agents are preparing to assist customers should Hurricane Earl become a weather-related disaster. As weather alerts and reports from around the country track the storm patterns, Nationwide has people and resources in place to respond quickly to customers’ needs.
If policyholders experience storm damage they can call the Nationwide claims hotline at 1-800-421-3535 or contact their local agent.
“Claims reported by our customers will be assessed quickly to assure fast and quality service,” said Ken Enscoe, Nationwide’s director of catastrophe claims operations. “It’s important for us to prepare early and be ready to act quickly for our customers.”
Nationwide urges policyholders to review their insurance policies as part of preparation. Policyholders also can take the following steps now to help prepare:
• Before an event, examine your property to ensure there are no physical
and/or liability hazards present.
• Find out if your home meets current building code requirements for high-wind regions. If you are uncertain, call a qualified professional architect, engineer, building contractor, or your local building department.
• Protect the four critical areas where wind can enter: roof, windows, doors and garage doors. Either you or a building contractor can build and install temporary protection, such as approved wind shutters or plywood on windows and coverings for patio and entry doors, strengthen and stiffen garage doors, and install heavy-duty door hardware.
• Turn off power and water.
• Move anything in your yard that can become flying debris inside your house or garage.
• Protect mementos in waterproof containers and/or take the items with you if you evacuate. Other household items can be replaced.
• When working outside, replace gravel/rock landscaping material with shredded bark and trim trees in precarious positions.
• Read and understand your insurance policy.
o Be sure you have adequate homeowner and auto coverage and that the deductibles you have selected are reasonable for your needs.
• Take inventory of valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and the date of purchase. You can also send an inventory to a family member outside your region for safekeeping.
• Make sure important documents, such as an insurance policy or mortgage papers, are stored in a safe deposit or fire safe box.
• Speak with your agent in detail about an appropriate deductible level. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium.
• If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage, since these items have limited coverage under the terms of your homeowners policy. Additional premium will be required for this increase in coverage.
• Flood water that enters into a home may be covered by the specialized flood coverage underwritten by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and is available for purchase through most Nationwide Insurance agents. Check with your agent about flood insurance policies.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including car insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide and the Nationwide Framework are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.