Nationwide prepares for Hurricane Ike
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2008
Elizabeth Stelzer (614) 249-1025
Columbus, OH — Nationwide claim representatives and agents are prepared to assist customers should Hurricane Ike 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 its customers’ needs.
Policyholders with storm damage should 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.”
Storm centers are planned for areas hardest hit to receive and handle claims from customers. Claims representatives will set out from these locations to assess property damage.
“It's crucial for policyholders to know about their insurance coverage before a storm hits. Advance planning is key to surviving the aftermath of a hurricane,” added Enscoe.
Policyholders can take these steps now to help prepare for a hurricane event:
- 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 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 and endorsements.
- Be sure you have adequate coverage and deductibles reasonable for your needs.
- Examine your homeowner coverage, as well as auto policies.
- Inventory valuables and contents in the home with pictures or video. Note the approximate value of each item and at 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 your insurance premium.
- If you have expensive or specialty items (i.e. jewelry, furs, silverware, cameras, collectibles, etc.) speak with your agent about broader coverage, as special limits of liability do apply under a homeowners policy.
Nationwide insures 166,000 homes and more than 224,000 vehicles in Texas, and is the 10th largest property and casualty insurer in the state. Currently, Texas is in the potential path of Ike.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks 108th on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide and the Nationwide Framework are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.