How Nationwide helped rebuild a small town and business
Pilger, Nebraska: “The little town too tough to die.”
That’s the motto for this small rural village with a population of 352. Two years ago, that motto was put to the test when two twisters touched down almost simultaneously a mile apart, according to NBC News reports. The rare twin tornadoes devastated about 75 percent of the town, killing at least two people and injuring more than a dozen others.
“I knew what a tornado could do, but you never think it would hit your place,” said Dan Oswald, a Nationwide member who lost his seed business. “I didn’t even recognize it. Indescribable. You don’t know what street you’re on or what you’re looking at because you don’t have any landmarks or anything in your memory that tells you where you’re at.”
But thanks to the help of two Nationwide employees and an independent agent, Nationwide was able to process Oswald’s insurance claim before the governor even landed to declare a state of emergency. Since then, the seed dealer has rebuilt and increased the square footage of his facility by 66 percent.
Oswald now represents one of more than 18,000 commercial catastrophe claims that Nationwide has paid since May 2013. And he puts a face to the people Nationwide continues to help for weeks, months or even years following a catastrophe. Whether it’s a tornado, ice storm or even a storm like Matthew, Nationwide helps its members after disaster strikes.
“We feel the claims people are where the rubber meets the road,” said Kenny Bauer, a Nationwide claims employee who helped Oswald soon after the tornadoes touched down. “We never really get to see the rebuild part. We’re always there on the onset of something like this happening. But to come back and see Dan flourishing and doing so well, it really makes us feel good. We’re able to rebuild lives. That’s what Nationwide’s promise is.”