Insurance Adjustors Write Checks for Destroyed Homes in Iowa

November 16, 2005

Insurance adjustors surveyed tornado damage in central Iowa, with one saying the devastation equals that of Hurricane Andrew that hit Florida in 1992.

“I worked Hurricane Andrew and it looks a little bit like Homestead did,” said Myron Amdahl, a team leader for State Farm Insurance Cos. “Just very severe devastation, but it was very limited. We don’t have a lot of claims, but the ones we have are quite severe.”

Two homes surveyed early Monday were declared total losses. The homeowners were immediately issued checks.

“We just spent $300,000 here in the last hour, so we’re seeing pretty significant damage,” Amdahl said. “They’re certainly comforted when they get a check in their hands, that seems to help. They have an awful lot of things on their plate and its just one less thing to worry about.”

State Farm had 30 homes insured in Stratford and Woodward and eight were categorized as severely damaged.

One home had been lifted off its foundation and moved about five feet, Amdahl said.

Homeowners seem to be holding up well, but still were recovering from the shock of the unusual November tornado that swept through central Iowa on Saturday evening, killing a woman and destroying about 40 homes in Woodward and 30 in Stratford.

“People are somewhat dumbfounded about how this occurred,” said Steve Wolver, a claims adjustor for Allstate Corp.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Allstate had four claims from the storm with damage ranging from a few shingles missing on the roof of one house to serious structural damage to others.

The community was rallying to help those left without a place to live.

About 20 high school students were helping pack the belongings of the resident of the home Wolver was surveying, he said. Allstate will help relocate the homeowner until decisions can be made about repairs.

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