September 14, 2005
Jewelers Mutual Helps Katrina Victims Through Transition
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., Neenah, WI, reports that it is lending support to policyholders who were impacted by the damage from Hurricane Katrina. To date, the company is: extending the time period for renewing policies and paying premiums; providing coverage for commercial policyholders' merchandise while transporting it from their businesses to more secure locations, as well as while the merchandise is at the temporary locations, at no additional premium; paying for loss of income under the civil ordinance coverage for businessowners policies; and having adjusters visit all commercial policyholders in the hurricane areas, whether or not they've reported a claim. "We want to help our policyholders through this difficult time," said Darin
Kath, president and COO.
In terms of extending the time period to renew policies and pay premiums, JM says that means commercial and personal jewelry policyholders in the affected areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, have until Oct.31 to renew policies and pay premiums if their policies expire between Aug. 26 and Oct. 31. "If policyholders in the hurricane-hit areas haven't been able to pay their premiums, we'll extend their policies," said Kath. "We're also providing coverage at no additional premium for commercial policyholders who want to remove their merchandise from their businesses and transport it to more secure locations. The majority of their merchandise was in safes at their businesses."
Jewelers Mutual isn't requiring policyholders to move their merchandise, however some jewelers are concerned about the safety of their jewelry, particularly their customers' items. If jewelers have had opportunities to get their merchandise out of their buildings, some have hired armored carriers to pick up and transport the jewelry to new locations, such as another one of their stores if they have multiple locations, a colleagues's jewelry store, or a bank for temporary storage until they decide on the future of their businesses. Jewelers Mutual is providing coverage while the jewelry is in transit, as well as while it is at the temporary location, for no additional premium.
The company also is paying commercial policyholders who have businessowners policies up to three weeks of loss of income under the civil ordinance coverage. Policyholders should contact Jewelers Mutual's Claim Department for more details.
"We are prepared to help our customers through this crisis both financially and with the necessary people resources," said Kath. "Our adjusters are currently in the southern states assisting customers and will continue until they have visited all of our commercial policyholders in the hurricane areas, whether or not they've reported claims to us." Insurance adjusters for the company have been visiting policyholders in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, and parts of Louisiana. As of Sept. 13, Jewelers Mutual's adjusters were granted special permits to enter sections of New Orleans. They are ready to assist other New Orleans policyholders as soon as authorities will allow them to enter the damaged areas.
Jewelers Mutual is helping in other ways:
- When the hurricane season began, Jewelers Mutual mailed a Hurricane Preparedness Guide to commercial policyholders in the hurricane-prone states. After last year's hurricanes in Florida, the company created the guide to help customers prepare for and recover from hurricanes. The guide offers information about developing a business continuity plan and protecting merchandise. A free downloadable version of the guide is available on its Web site at www.jewelersmutual.com.
- As always, policyholders who need to report claims can contact Jewelers Mutual 24 hours a day, seven days a week at its toll-free number, 800-558-6411.
- The company contributed to the American Red Cross to support the relief efforts in the areas affected by the hurricane. In addition, the 150 company employees raised contributions through fund-raising activities to donate to the organization.
"Our thoughts are with all of our policyholders and everyone impacted by this disaster as they recover and begin to rebuild their lives and businesses," said Kath.