Recovery Begins for Nationwide Policyholders After Wilma

Recovery Begins for Nationwide Policyholders After Wilma



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Columbus, OH–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 27, 2005–Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., the country’s seventh-largest property and casualty insurance company, has claim representatives and agents actively assisting customers in Florida in response to the damages caused by Hurricane Wilma.

Policyholders with storm damage should call the Nationwide claims hotline at 1-800-421-3535 or contact their local agent.

“We’re attempting to respond to those policyholders hardest hit first. Uninhabitable homes are definitely a priority,” said Ken Enscoe, Nationwide’s director of catastrophe claims operations. “And, we’re not just waiting for those calls to come in. Our claims associates and agents are traveling through those communities hardest hit to check in with policyholders, since power and telephone access is limited. Nationwide is here to help our customers when they need us most.”

Nationwide has activated its National Catastrophe Team, which will bring more claims representatives to areas with the greatest concentration of damage.

“Our claims force will work seven days a week and our agents are assisting with the claims reporting process so we are able to continue to provide exceptional customer service,” said Enscoe.

Nationwide has assigned more associates in call center operations and extended shifts to address policyholder calls.

If the homeowner has access to the home, they are encouraged to safely make temporary repairs to prevent further interior damage or loss.

Damage incurred by property owners will be unique to a particular property and will vary depending on the individual circumstances. Here are some suggestions that may assist policyholders, who are able to access their property safely, in protecting their property:

— Be safe! Make sure your electric source adjacent to the damaged area is disconnected.

— Holes in roofs and broken windows should be covered with plastic or plywood and the property should be secured to prevent theft or vandalism.

— If water is flowing into the home, shut off the water supply.

— Only use an appliance designed to remove standing water, such as a wet/dry vacuum.

— To prevent the growth of bacteria and mildew, immediately place all moist content materials in a dry location.

— Separate content items, such as upholstery, fabrics or other colored items to prevent color bleeding. Blot or wipe wood furniture to remove excess moisture.

— If content items are too heavy to remove, place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and carpeting. Open furniture doors and drawers to expedite drying.

— Place large buckets or pans underneath sagging ceilings. If possible, punch small holes in sagging ceilings to relieve trapped water.

— Use fans to circulate air and assist with drying after removing standing water and establishing it is safe to reconnect electricity. In the summer months, use an air conditioner and dehumidifier if available. Keep thermostat set at or below 70 degrees—increasing the thermostat could promote growth of bacteria and mildew.

— Retain damaged items to allow for proper evaluation.

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $157 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks 99th on the Fortune 100 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 http://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.

Recovery Begins for Nationwide Policyholders After Wilma