BLOOMINGTON — State Farm and Country Financial have received more than 1,500 homeowner and auto insurance claims from the wave of tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and heavy rain over the weekend.
As of Wednesday, State Farm had received about 540 homeowner claims and about 400 auto claims from the impacted areas, said spokesman Dave Oloffson.
He said the statistics are not broken down by county or city.
“State Farm is responding to our customers' needs in the impacted areas, and we are seeing damage concentrations in Christian County and additional areas hit by severe weather,” Oloffson said via email.
Country Financial spokesman Chris Stroisch said the Bloomington-based insurer had received 584 auto and property claims statewide, with 220 of those coming from Taylorville. Three claims have been received from McLean County, where four tornadoes touched down in rural areas near LeRoy, Colfax and Ellsworth.
“The most common types of claims we're seeing is from tornado, wind and hail damage,” he said in an email.
The latest figures from the National Weather Service confirm that 27 tornadoes touched down in Illinois on Saturday, the largest December tornado outbreak in the state's history. The previous record was 21 tornadoes on Dec. 18-19, 1957.
The most severe of the tornadoes, rated EF3, hit Taylorville about 5 p.m. Saturday, severely damaging or destroying 34 homes, causing major damage to 66 homes and leaving 406 homes damaged but inhabitable.
Both Country Insurance and Bloomington-based State Farm are encouraging their customers to report their claims as soon as possible.
About 30 Country Financial claims adjusters have been assigned to Taylorville and the company has set up a temporary claims office there.
The temporary office at the Christian County Farm Bureau, 400 W. Market St., Taylorville, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Country Financial customers can visit that office, call 866-COUNTRY (866-268-6879) or go to www.countryfinancial.com to start the claims process, said Stroisch.
State Farm policy holders can submit claims through their agent, by calling 800-SFCLAIM (800-732-5246), using State Farm's mobile app or through its website, www.statefarm.com/claims.
“If they had to make emergency repairs to their home or car, they should submit receipts to their claims adjuster," said Stroisch. "Plus, they should provide photos of any damaged property to their adjuster as well.”
State Farm also suggests taking pictures of damaged property, keeping notes and using an inventory list to help adjusters assess damage.
State Farm recommends contacting licensed vendors for repair estimates and making sure the estimates are signed by the vendor and approved by your adjuster or agent before having major damage repaired.