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Recovering from a tornado in Washington, Illinois
Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged in the central Illinois town of Washington on Sunday, November 17, 2013 when a powerful EF-4 tornado swept through the community. The next day Westfield was there meeting with customers and helping them recover from this devastating event. In the following video series, three customers share their stories about the tornado, the losses they experienced and how Westfield made a difference for them in putting their lives back together.
"Westfield Made the Whole Situation Easier"
Customer Steven from Pennsylvania
"We previously had our insurance needs in the hands of several providers. We saw a need to try to consolidate those policies to a single agent and hopefully a single insurance company. After numerous referrals, we contacted Howard Insurance Company in Butler, PA. and worked closely with Gretchen Pass of Howard. She helped us overcome all concerns and recommended we move all of the policies to WESTFIELD. A year later we look back and that decision was the right one! We could not be happier or more impressed with Howard Insurance or Mrs. Pass. It has been a great experience for our family. Three cars, two homes all protected by Westfield. Also, thank you for your sponsorship of Hometown High Q . . . On KDKA TV in Pittsburgh. Excellent youth program. Looking forward to long relationship with Howard Insurance and Westfield. THANK YOU!"
"I was totally impressed…" – Customer Brenda from Tennessee
“My son hit a tree in the road during a storm. My agent, Ann Anderson got my son a rental car and his truck was taken to the body shop of my choice. I was totally impressed with Westfield Insurance. This was the most excellent customer service I have ever received from any insurance company before. Now having experienced this excellent customer service, it only adds to the other positive things I would say about Westfield. Ann Anderson is the best and she represents an excellent company. Thank you for your outstanding service. Westfield Insurance is the best!”
"A Good Night's Sleep" - Customer Wanda Dean from Ohio
Wanda Dean and her daughter were away visiting family. Her neighbor called unexpectedly and told her to rush home. Her house was on fire! Wanda's home was extensively damaged by an electrical fire.
Her Westfield Agent, Dave Bedell, immediately went to work. He referred her claim to the Richfield Service Office, where Geoff Woodruff shared coverage information and options with her. Wanda chose to make repairs to her home rather than demolish it. Her best Christmas present ever came on December 22, 2011, when she moved back into her fully repaired home. Wanda made her way up to her new bedroom looking forward to a good night's sleep.
"Please know that I sing the praises of Westfield Insurance, and my adjuster Geoff Woodruff, whenever the opportunity presents itself. I learned many life lessons through this strange twisted path of a fire on life's journey. I also found many blessings, and among them were Westfield Insurance and Geoff Woodruff."
"Within 12 hours from my first call ..." - Customer Brenda from Iowa
We had claims to Westfield on two different occasions. The first was for a crack in the windshield. It was literally less than 24 hours, and Westfield had called us and set up an appointment to have the repair made, which was done in less than 72 hours. The repair man came right to our house! When he could not do the repair, Westfield took care of getting a glass replacement company out to our house the next day.
Last August our basement flooded due to excessive rains in Iowa. Again, Westfield returned my call extremely fast. Within 12 hours to my first call to my agent, Westfield called me back, set up an appointment for ad adjuster to come and assess the damage. We had a check to make the repairs in about a week after the flood occurred. Westfield also followed up with phone calls to see how the repairs were going.
"We have told many of our friends and family ..." - Customer Frank from Ohio
Our daughter's car was stolen along with her apartment key, iPod, CDs and credit cards. My wife and I live in Ohio, and our daughter is a student at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Just over 3 weeks later, we received a check for the losses. We can't thank you enough for all of your help and concern with this difficult experience.
The fact that payment was made directly to Enterprise Car Rental was also a great help to us. We have told many of our friends and family members about the great service that we have received from you and Westfield Insurance. Thank you again for all of your help.
"My neighbors are so envious of us ..." - Customer Gregory Rosson from Bay Village, Ohio
Our Home was hit with a hail storm in May of 2010. The day after the storm, I noticed holes in my vinyl siding done by the hail. I called my insurance agent, Terry Johnson at Dawson Insurance. A insurance adjuster called me the next day to set up an appointment to come over to look at the damage. He knew that the damage was caused by hail. He told me we need to look at the roof also.
Well, the roof was also damaged. Our adjuster, Mike, was very knowledgable on what needed to be done to repair the home and what the cost would be to fix all the damage. This was the first time we ever had to put in a claim, and it was all new to us. Mike acted on our claim very fast and we had a check in just a few days. Mike also worked with our contractor that we hired making sure that the repairs were going to be done right and up to the housing codes.
Our house was the first one done on our street with all the repairs made. My neighbors are so envious of us.
"He treated us as regular people ..." - Customer Donna Law from Souderton, Pennsylvania
We had a flooded powder room that caused so much water odor and mess, it was devastating when it happened. However, our claims adjuster, Dave, was superb in his assistance to us. He was right on time for his review, he was pleasant and treated us as regular people, not just a customer. Our agent's office, John Fretz Agency, is also superb. The staff and the owner were courteous and advised us on exactly what to do. They are a small local company who truly understands being a community business. We have been with the Fretz Agency and Westfield for approximately 20 years, and I have also signed up with them to take care of my business properties. We are happy customers and we appreciate the value of service, commitment and professionalism from these companies, and Dave, our claims adjuster. It is my hope that Westfield Insurance will also acknowledge both Dave for his excellent service, what an asset, and the Fretz Agency for theirs as well. Thank you Dave; Fretz Agency and Westfield.
Customers Franklin and Evelyn Van Weezendonk from Morrisville, PA
Westfield Insurance was truly a pleasure to deal with. A bright point amid a negative incident. Their appraisal was fair, explanations were clear, the payout fast and the people courteous.
Customer Gregory Slabaugh from Tullytown, PA
I would recommend Westfield based on claims service. The adjuster was reasonable and willing to work with my body shop so we could get repairs made quickly. This was important to to me because I plow snow and needed my truck to be ready in the event of snow. The adjuster did a good job of balancing my interests and those of Westfield.
Customers Mark and Lori Horsley from McCordsville, Indiana
The Horsley's camper was replaced within days
"A tornado hit our home in May 2008. My husband and I were less than a mile from home when we hit a wall of wind and rain that nearly wrecked our car. Finally, making it to our driveway, we were devastated by the first sign of damage to our property. Our brand new 5th Wheel, which we had only made 2 payments on , was on its side. It landed on top of our transformer box and was stopped from rolling further by our security light.
"We were new to the world of camping. After a Fall Break camping trip the year before with our two children and family friends, we were hooked. We bought the 5th Wheel and spent the next few weeks shopping and getting it loaded up ready to go. However, along with the camper going down, so did our plans for the camping trip we had planned in just two weeks.
Much to my surprise, we found out the dealership where we purchased our 5th Wheel still had one identical to ours on the lot. That was great news, but the camping trip still seemed to be nearly impossible since we still had to deal with insurance. We contacted our agent and to our surprise, Westfield had someone out right away. Within days our 5th Wheel was totaled and paid off, and we found ourselves signing papers once again on our brand new camper. Thanks to Westfield and the help of our family and friends, we were able to get our new camper home and loaded up just in time for our camping trip."
Customer Donald Scholl from Milford, Ohio
"We have been Westfield policyholders for quite a few years and have had little reason to test just how responsive you would be in the event of a claim. That changed this week when 75mph winds came through our southern Ohio area and uprooted several of our trees and damaged our roof. We called our agency, C. Edward Lovins, in Milford, Ohio, on Monday, September 15, 2008. The very next day we received a letter letting us know Westfield had been notified and to contact them for futher assistance, if needed. I did not expect to see a claims adjuster for some time but on Thursday morning Mr. John Drennen from Westfield called and said he would be here before 9:00 a.m. on that day. Wow!
John arrived at 8:40 a.m. and was both friendly and personable. We looked at and discussed the damaged, John took out his ladder and went on the roof and inspected the damage there and said there was considerable more damage than what could be seen from the ground.
He went to his truck, wrote up the claim and then presented me with a check. I'm sure Mr. Drennen, here on assignment from West Virginia, was quite the busy man but he represented your company extremely well. Give that man a new white hat!
My wife and I are very pleased with the service you have given us and the way Lovins Agency responded. Our neighbors are all still waiting for their insurance companies to respond; maybe I'll tell them about Westfield. My wife has already recommended you to three of our friends."
Customer Rae Lynn Cummin from Kettering, Ohio
A letter to Bob Joyce, Westfield Chairman and Westfield Group Leader
Dear Mr. Joyce:
I would like to extend my appreciation to your company for an exemplary job handling the windstorm which affected Ohio in September. The Dayton, Ohio Claim Team did a particularly excellent job, and I wanted to personally express my gratitude.
Tim and fellow adjusters proved themselves to be the best in the field. As you can imagine, I received numerous complaint call from clients; however, not one of those calls came from a Westfield client. Your staff, under severe pressure, quickly contacted individuals and re-assured clients their claims would be settled in a timely manner. In fact, I have never called the claims department and received anything but exceptional service. I commend each and every one of your team and appreciate their help and patience during a difficult time. You have a staff which garners pride and admiration.
As an agent in Dayton, Ohio, I have always been extremely loyal when writing insurance with Westfield. The underwriting staff is helpful, knowledgeable, and above all friendly, which is unusual and appreciated. I look forward to solving issues with Meagan Buckley and her support staff in the future.
Personally, I have been insured through Cincinnati Insurance Companies for over fifteen years, but as of 11/21/08, I will not only be an agent for Westfield, but a client. I believe in your company and admire the standards your employees represent. With sincerest gratitude and highest regard, Rae Lynn Cummin
Customer Bruce St. Yves from Big Lake, Minnesota
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone at Westfield Insurance who we have worked with in handling this claim. Every person we have dealt with did everything they could to make the claim process quick and painless for us. Having dealt with a similar hail storm with our previous provider, I was worried that it was going to be difficult to get this claim processed. Each person who we spoke with was courteous and helpful and made sure to take care of any questions we had. Thank you again to everyone at Westfield for the outstanding service."
Customer Marion Campbell from N. Huntingdon, PA
I could not ask for any better response for the claim and the completion of the work. The insurance rep called the next day after reporting the claim. The contractor scheduled my work and completed it beautifully as scheduled. I received the check in days when the work was done.
Customer Mark Richards from Washington Courthouse, Ohio
A letter to a Westfield agent:
I really wanted to thank you and Westfield Insurance for the outstanding job you did on my insurance claim from the wind storm. I was pleasantly surprised that within a short period of time after I contacted you I received a call from a claims adjuster out of West Virginia and my claim was processed in an almost unbelievable time frame. My claim was approved and I actually had my roof repaired in 5 days.
I have two of your customers that live on my block and have heard the same comments from them. The level of customer service and professionalism I have experienced with you and your agency has been fantastic and I have told numerous friends and neighbors. I work at a community bank that prides itself in great customer service and in my eyes that means the same level of service no matter the transaction and you have provided that whenever I have a question and during this recent storm.
I wanted to thank you, your staff and your associates for your hard work and going the extra mile to get our home repaired. Good news about service somehow never seems to be brought to our attention as often as bad and I wanted you to know how I felt. Thanks again!!!!!!!
Customer Pinette Sofranko from Mt. Lebanon, PA
I was impressed by the quick response to my claim and the immediate payment i received. The claim rep was very professional and respectful. I can't imagine wanting to have my insurance needs met with another carrier.
Customer Michael T. Ridenour from Canton, Ohio
"Late Saturday afternoon on July 26th the Avondale section of Canton experienced one of the worst hail storms in its history. Hail stones approaching 3" in diameter pelted every house in the neighborhood for about 10 minutes.
Following the storm we assessed the damage and felt rather lucky that only 9 screens and several pieces of siding were beyond repair. However, we thought it would be prudent to report this loss to our insurance agent, Barbara of Executive Insurance Group. We e-mailed her to inform her about the hail damage and included pictures which clearly indicated the ferocity of the storm. We received an acknowledgement from her on Sunday morning advising us that Mary would be reporting this to Westfield Insurance and that a claim adjuster would be contacting us shortly.
We were called by the Westfield insurance adjuster on Monday, and Tuesday he visited our home to inspect for damage. In addition to the screens and siding he also noted that our roof was severely damaged and would need to be replaced. He also noted a torn patio table cover and grill cover and included those items as lost as well. On Wednesday we received partial reimbursement for this claim which enabled us to begin the repair process - just 3 business days following the storm!"
Mary was also very helpful in explaining the claim process as it was our first in all the years that we have been homeowners. She also recommended several reputable roofing companies. Our roof has been replaced and we couldn?t be happier.
When relating our insurance experience to our neighbors we realized what really first class service we had received. Some of them were still waiting for an insurance adjuster to check their homes. Others experienced confrontation with their insurance companies. Needless to say, we were VERY PLEASED with our insurance experience. Barbara and Mary really made us feel that they genuinely cared. Now that's CUSTOMER SERVICE!!"
Customer Thomas M. Underwood, Underwood Motors, Inc. in Wooster, Ohio
"Westfield Insurance stands with my wife and me as the very best run, most honest insurance company in the world. I have dealt with them since 1989 and even before dating back to the 70?s. There is not a finer group of people on this earth. Thank you so much for your concern."
Customers Michael and Ellen Millott from Cloverdale, Ohio
"Thank you for your expediency and fairness in processing our flood claim last August-September '07. By far it was the worst disaster we endured in 20 years of marriage. In hindsight we were so fortunate to have switched to Westfield before the disaster. My entire neighborhood had nothing but horror stories about their insurance settlements and the painful process prior. We highly recommend you to everyone who asks."
Customer Kelly Fenley
"I wanted to let you know that both Wendy and the folks at Westfield Insurance have been wonderful to deal with. They truly helped me out and made my experience dealing with an insurance company phenomenal. I did not expect to have such a "hassle-free" time when dealing with submitting my claim.
Honestly, my contractor even made a comment about how stress-free he felt when dealing with Wendy and the overall company as a whole. He stated that he wished he was with a company like Westfield. My contractor advised me that ALL insurance companies should be this hassle-free when having to file claims.
She along with Westfield Insurance are a true asset to your organization, and I just wanted to let you know that I hope to continue to be a customer of Westfield for many years to come. It's evident when employees of a company are treated well because the outcome of that always filters to customers. Obviously, Westfield is setting a precedence and doing something right if they are able to retain employees like Wendy.
I hope you have a great day and hope that Wendy along with Westfield Insurance is provided praise based on their performance. I know I am not the only one who has experienced this phenomenal treatment from all of them."
Customer Gayle Lewis, Florida West Coast Inc./Culligan Tampa/Culligan Sarasota in Fort Myers, Florida
"My claims representative showed the utmost patience in the fact that the owner of the company has been out of town and unable to sign the Proof of Loss form. When I called her regarding some questions on how to fill out the forms she was very helpful and courteous. She really made a bad incident much easier to deal with."
Customer Terri Cole, Ice Cream Barn in Weston, WV
Appeared as a Letter to the Editor in The Weston Democrat on March 12, 2008
"I know how most people feel about insurance companies. You pay, pay, pay and then it just doesn't cover that one particular thing. I would like to tell you all about my experience with Westfield Insurance, from G.J. Garton Insurance Company.
On Friday, February 29, I was getting ready for "opening day." I had gone to Sam's Club, and on my way back I received a phone call saying my shop had about 6 to 8 inches of water in it. The pipes upstairs had ruptured.
I called Garton Insurance from my cell phone, and Jackie answered my call. She was very understanding and compassionate. She also assured me that help was on the way. I was 16 miles from Weston, and by the time I pulled in, Chris from Garton Insurance was already there, taking care of business. He told me I was completely covered. Scott and Rod were also there using a ShopVac and mop.
Later that same evening, Bill from Westfield Insurance called to tell me he was sending Normal of Preferred Plumbing and Heating from Elkins to dry out the walls, floors, etc., and not to worry. Saturday morning, just like the adjuster said, Preferred Plumbing was there setting up the newest technology for such a crisis. It was great. This dried out everything in two days.
First thing Monday morning they sent a plumber. He fixed everything. Tuesday, a drywall crew came to fix the ceiling (the water pressure tore it down, too). Bill, the insurance adjuster, was even going to send a cleaning crew. But I assured him I could do that. So, in less than a week, I was once again ready for business. All because I picked the right insurance company.
So if you're looking to buy insurance, based on my experience, I would look no further and highly recommend Westfield Insurance through G.J. Garton Insurance of Weston. They truly made my crisis a nearly stress-free one. When I really needed them, they were there. Hats off and thanks to all of you.
Customers Jim and Susan Hayes from Chardon, Ohio
"Jim and I both want to say how impressed we have been with Westfield Insurance. I guess everyone has heard 'nightmare' stories about insurance companies, but without a doubt we have told many that our experience has been totally positive and without hassle. On the night of the fire I stood in my kitchen and had to think who we had insurance with and wondered just what was going to happen to our home and all our 'stuff.' When we moved to Chardon from Florida we had no clue who to get and just knew we needed insurance. I vaguely remember the agent telling me to be sure to have replacement value insurance. Today we can truly say that Westfield has left a lifetime impression on us."
Customer Pam Riesen from Celina, Ohio
"I am writing this letter to advise you how much I appreciate the most
professional and expedient service I received from Dawn during an accident while
I was on vacation. We were traveling from Ohio to Oklahoma when we were
involved in an accident in St. Louis which totally disabled our car and
interrupted our schedule. The accident was not our fault. Dawn was
so helpful during the entire process, from making sure the rental car was
arranged, speaking with the car dealership to arrange payments for the repair,
and taking care of our trip interruption expenses.
Dawn was a breath of fresh air (from past dealings with the insurance industry) and I believe she is a valuable asset to your company. We are very pleased with the service we received from Westfield and Dawn. We will recommend your company to our business associates and friends."
Customer Sheila Flora from Kokomo, Indiana
"On October 20, my father-in-law died after an extended battle with cancer. On October 22, my two sons had each left our home in a different vehicle. It had just started raining, and at a stop sign not far from our home my youngest son slid his vehicle into the back of my other son's vehicle. Both boys ended up in the emergency room on backboards. Luckily, both boys were okay.
Tom serviced our claim. He made a very difficult situation easier. Both vehicles were a complete loss. Tom made arrangements and kept me informed of everything that was going on. You always hope you never have to use your insurance, but Westfield and Tom did a good job. Thank you."
Customer Mike Coleman from Loveland, Ohio
"Your claims department is wonderful . . .
I had my first automobile accident over the weekend. As a result, I needed to work with the claims department of your company. I filed the claim by phone on Sunday with your 3rd party. They did a great job. I spoke to my agent's office yesterday morning and by late morning, Teresa from your Cincinnati claims office contacted me. She was wonderful. She gave me an overview of the process and answered all of my questions. She also assured me that she would contact the other person involved in the collision to make sure they were being taken care of. Also, by the end of the day, your adjuster had been to the body shop and the wheels were in motion to begin the repairs on our vehicle. Oh yes, and the most important, we had picked up a rental car by 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon. That was wonderful!
The funny thing was that my wife and I were recently talking about looking for a different insurance provider - maybe a larger company that is well known for their great service and low rates. In the end, I don't think we will be looking anywhere else. Westfield's service is excellent."
Customer Roger Ramseyer from Smithville, Ohio
"Yesterday, our farm was hit with 70 mph wind and as a result, lots of damage. It was my pleasure to meet Gabe, your claims service representative. He was terrific! He was professional, fast, efficient, and fair. You have a super employee in Gabe. Thank you so much for your great service in our time of need."
Customer Bill Harr from Strongsville Ohio
"In March of 2007, I was involved in a frightening auto accident on a bridge span. Though the party at fault claimed they were covered and I had nothing to worry about, it wasn't until later that week that I discovered they carried the bare minimum the state requires, limiting their liability to only $7,500. That figure just about covered my headlights and one airbag! This was troubling to say the least, since the car was beyond repair. My agency, The Oswald Companies, and the good folks at Westfield picked up the ball and could not have made the process smoother. I cannot express enough, my gratitude to Joyce in the Cleveland Service Center, and Lee (the adjuster) who absolutely went above and beyond the call to put things right again. I've had many opportunities to change carriers, and have been repeatedly promised lower rates and personal service. Though I am pleased to say that I've been fortunate to avoid many claims, Westfield has always, unquestioningly, stepped to the plate and delivered. I hear many horror stories about folks' experiences with their insurance company when it comes time to pay. With people like Joyce and Lee, and Diane at Oswald, you are assured of my unwavering loyalty as a client. Please forward this note and my gratitude to them with my compliments on their excellent, personal service."