Steve Knetchel was winding down a normal Wednesday night on the couch with his wife, and Jeopardy. Knetchel has proudly lived in his home since the early 70’s and enjoyed spending evenings in his family room addition. A loud, crunching sound suddenly interrupted their quiet and moments later a shallow rooted, massive Golden Maple tore through their ceiling. Immediately, Steve and his wife were surrounded by glass, wood, branches and debris. Miraculously, the trees fall was slowed by the family car parked outside. This may be the only reason the tree did not crush Steve and his wife where they sat, they were able to be pulled out by neighbors with minor cuts and abrasions. What followed was almost a year of rebuilding as 90% of Steve’s home was affected by the tree that rolled and crushed through his home and belongings.
Steve had insurance, his neighbor, whose property the tree was on – did not.
With the tree removed, home cleaned up and secured by 6pm the next day it was then time to focus on next steps. Where to live? How to rebuild? Where to start? Luckily for him, Steve had always been a big believer insurance and was properly covered. Auto-Owners worked with him at every turn. Steve and his wife were able to choose their home away from home – Homewood Suites, storage units for belongings were arranged, food allowances were discussed, and contractors were suggested. When the painter needed to be paid – Steve was given a check to cover it. When supplies needed to be bought, again a check. The decision on finishes and options was entirely up to Steve and he even was able to squeeze in a few upgrades, at his expense. Due to the extent of the damage, the process took 8 months from start to finish, but Steve summed up his experience like this…” Thank God for insurance”!
By being Steve’s local agent, I was able to be involved by acting as a liaison during the process as well. When tragic things occur like a fire or tornado our first response as a community is to reach out and help. But the fact is if you have insurance you should never have to not feel safe or be at the mercy of the community. Your insurance is a contract and there are many options to choose from, guiding you through that process and supporting you in times of tragedy are what I have spent my life and career dedicated to. I am proud to work with companies that provide thorough, unwavering support for their customers when they need it most!