Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm announced today that the Insurance Department's Fire and Tornado Fund has issued a check in the amount of four million dollars to the Northwood School District in advance of a claim settlement for damages caused by the F-4 tornado that ripped through Northwood on August 26, 2007.
The four million dollar check is in addition to previous advances totaling over $500,000. The check will be presented today during a meeting of the School Board and representatives from the Fire and Tornado Fund.
The purpose of the Fire and Tornado Fund is to provide property insurance for buildings owned by the State's political subdivisions. The Fund is administered by North Dakota's Insurance Department. "A Fire and Tornado Fund insurance policy functions exactly like a business or homeowner policy," explained Hamm. "If a property suffers damage the policy will cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding the structure, whichever is less."
The Northwood School District's Fire and Tornado Fund insurance policy has two limits: one to cover the school building valued at $8.3 million; and, the second to cover personal property and building contents valued at $1.4 million. The District's policy has a total deductible of $5,000.
According to Commissioner Hamm, "Adjusting a claim of this size is a complex process, but we treat all Fire and Tornado Fund claims the same, whether it involves a fire, vandalism or something as catastrophic as an F-4 tornado. With Northwood, we have presented an estimate of the claim value to the School Board that was prepared by an experienced engineering and architectural firm."
"While no settlement offer has officially been made, we expect to reach a resolution by the end of the year," added Commissioner Hamm.
Northwood residents and businesses who are having difficulty resolving tornado damage insurance claims are encouraged to call the Insurance Department's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-247-0560.