Our Blog

Policyholder Claim Story: Aven in Virginia

July 13, 2016

The Catastrophic Event

On February 23 and 24 of 2016, according to the Weather Channel website, at least 61 confirmed tornadoes ripped across 10 states on the eastern coast of the U.S. Aven and her family were among those who witnessed this outbreak first-hand. She recounts the events of that Wednesday, “We had tornado warnings all day on the 24th”. This prompted her and her husband to take the kids and the animals to the basement. “We heard a loud roar, and my husband and I looked at each other and knew it was coming.” They found the safest part of the basement, the bathroom, and huddled together.


“We heard the roar of the freight train go over us very quickly; it only took about 45 seconds to rip the roof and entire second story off of our home.” Though she did not know at the time, Aven’s family home had lost not only the second story roof, but the entire second floor. This floor held the kids’ rooms, and in an instant, all of their belongings were scattered about the community. The two family vehicles were buried by debris. Trees were downed all over the community.

According to the NBC12 News website, the damaging event was classified as an EF-3 tornado, with winds up to 140 miles per hour. The tornado’s path reached 400 to 500 yards wide, cutting a 28-mile path through parts of Virginia. The news station, quoting the State Police, reported at least 25 people injured and at least 30 buildings damaged. Aven and her family were in shock, but thankfully, no one was hurt.

Aven then focused on reporting a claim to her agent, Riverland Insurers. She was able to visit their website on her iPhone and report the claim. The family home and vehicles were insured with Goodville Mutual, so she clicked on the Goodville claims link and called the 24 hour claims service. “I spoke directly to a claims rep. that night….I had a claim number and a call from Angela [at Goodville] by 8 AM the next morning.”

The Day After

On Thursday, the day after the tornado, Aven and her family began combing through the damage. They focused their efforts on valuables most easily damaged, such as photos.

The adjuster called and emailed Aven by 8 AM. He later visited the location of the claim and stayed for several hours.

That same day, Aven was approved for a $5,000 advance. This was used to help purchase essentials for the kids, as their bedrooms were hit the hardest. Aven’s daughter was able to recover a few belongings, but her son’s bedroom was completely lost.

Two Days After

On Friday, two days after the tornado, volunteers showed up to help load salvageable items from the house. The family secured what was left of their home, and after Aven heard back from Goodville, the family had the rest of the house demolished.

Aven’s family decided to move into a rental home. They signed a 6 month lease with a local Real Estate company, and Goodville issued a check for the lease (just two days after the storm).

The Impact

Once the independent adjuster finalized his report, Goodville Mutual declared the home a total loss. A check was issued to the family on March 8.

In Aven’s neighborhood, 5 homes were declared total losses. “One other was with Goodville, and they were also very pleased [with the claim].” Only 2 of these homes are being rebuilt. Aven and her family decided against rebuilding their home not only because of the destruction to the physical building, but because of the terrible memories associated with the place. “The children have not gone back to the house since the night of the tornado; we wanted to shield them from the devastation.” The family sold the lot where the house once stood, helping to finance the purchase of a new house. Aven is set to close on July 15 and move the family in August, finishing out the 6 month lease on the rental.

When asked about the coverage they were provided by Goodville Mutual, Aven stated, “We were very pleased with the Home Cover Plus endorsement that gave us extra coverage for my husband’s boat and trailer, as well as the deductible waiver.” The deductible was waived because their home was a total loss. The family plans on insuring their new home with Goodville as well. Looking back now, Aven states, “Goodville made this devastating experience so much smoother”. She is “very pleased with the rental”, and “the company along with the adjuster were great.”

While you may hope to never use your insurance for a difficult claim, you can feel confident knowing, if that time comes, Goodville will support you.

This blog entry is created for informational purposes only. Any viewpoint or sponsorship of outside parties involved in the blog entry does not necessarily represent Goodville's stance as a company. The blog should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.