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July 08, 2005   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
July 08, 2005

Click here to visit the Alfa Storm Center.
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- With hurricane season in full swing, Alfa Insurance is gearing up to handle claims and is advising policyholders of what they can do to minimize the threat to their lives and property.

Alfa President Jerry A. Newby said the company has been updating its disaster preparedness plan to better serve its customers.

"After Hurricane Ivan, Alfa handled more than 57,000 claims totaling more than $325 million," Newby said. "That experience highlighted the value of our experienced, localized customer service team, but it also gave us an opportunity to identify areas where we can improve. Our highest priority is to help our policyholders get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible."

In preparation for Hurricane Dennis, Alfa has put its claims adjusters on standby across the Southeast and is prepared to relocate additional personnel to affected areas if needed. In addition, Alfa is the only insurance company with service centers in all 67 Alabama counties. Those offices have implemented new procedures to simplify the claims process. Alfa also has supplies and generators on hand to get storm centers up and running, should they be damaged or lose power.

Additionally, Alfa has added a severe storm center page on its website (www.alfains.com). This comprehensive site provides useful information about preparing for hurricanes and other weather-related disasters. There are also links to emergency resources and a section where Alfa will release storm-related news should it be necessary. This new section of the website will help policyholders protect their lives and property now and expedite claims following the storm.

Newby said policyholders should first make sure their families are safe because "property can be replaced; lives can't." Once it's safe to return to a storm-damaged area, policyholders should take any steps necessary to prevent further damage and then contact their local Alfa service center to file a claim.

Other tips for policyholders include:

• Discuss hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

• Put together a survival kit that includes the following: radio with fresh batteries (NOAA weather radios are recommended), flashlight with fresh batteries, extra batteries, first aid kit, prescriptions and medications, fire extinguisher, drinking water, bathing water, non perishable food and a can opener. Fill up the tanks of each vehicle with gas.

• Locate your insurance policies and know the coverages you have. Call your agent with any questions. Remember that flooding is not covered under standard homeowner policies and is written through the National Flood Insurance Program.

• Write down the name, address and telephone number of your Alfa service center/agent.

• Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos. This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property. Keep this information, along with a copy of your policy, in a safe place and make sure you have access to it if you are forced to evacuate your home.

For more storm tips, visit www.alfains.com.

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