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NEWS STORIES

Local Company Flooded With Hurricane Sandy Insurance ClaimsSubmitted: 11/08/2012
Story By Matt Doyle

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MERRILL - A Northwoods company finds itself hit hard with claims from the East Coast.

Church Mutual Insurance in Merrill is handling 530 claims between New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The company insures around 98,000 churches nationwide.

Nearly 10,000 of those are in those three states.

Brian Arndorfer is the Vice President of Claims.

He says claims started coming in right away, but understands churches aren't always top priority.

"You have people that are out of their own homes and in flooded situations, they have to be concerned about their personal well-being and safety first," Arndorfer said.

"Secondly, their homes, so third in line might be the Church property. So they're less likely to report that first. There will naturally be a delay in reporting church losses at the time of a tragedy such as this."

Church Mutual has 100 adjusters out in the field assessing damage.

One of the biggest challenges is getting to the damaged areas.

He says insuring churches is a niche business.

"We do have art objects, priceless or near priceless stained glass windows," Arndorfer said.

"It's a specialty in knowing how to deal with a claim of that nature. In fact we know of one situation in New York where the stained glass windows have been blown out in the storm and there's water damage into the building."

Most claims should be completed over the next few months, but some could take up to a year or longer.

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