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Elk City AFR Insurance Agent Responds Quickly Following Tornado Damage

Gary Paxson, second from left, and his daughter, left, reviews his AFR Insurance homeowner’s policy with his agent, Melody Cummings, Crow Insurance Agency, and Brett McGavock, AFR Insurance property claims manager

Storm debris littered the streets in all directions from Gary Paxson’s neighborhood on the southern edge of Elk City known as Fairway Estates Addition or the Golf Course.  Paxson was stunned when he came out of his neighbor’s storm shelter and saw his house was destroyed by the May 16 tornado. 

“It happened so quick,” Paxson said, “less than 5 minutes from the time the sirens went off, I joined the neighbors in their shelter, heard a big whoosh and then it was over.” After living in this house he called home for more than 30 years, Paxton was left with nothing but memories.

Packing winds of 111 mph or higher, the tornado was rated as an EF2.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Melody Cummings was sitting in her car, charging her phone, looking up policy numbers of her insureds and getting the claims process started.  Cummings owns the Crow Insurance Agency in Elk City.  She sells AFR insurance to residents in Elk City and the surrounding area.

Cummings’ house was dark as they had lost power due to the storm, but she knew her insureds needed help.

“My major concern was getting some money to them as soon as possible as I knew two of them (insureds) didn’t have anything, they couldn’t even find clothes after the storm hit,” Cummings said.

“I wanted to email our claims department with our member’s names and policy numbers so we could get the process started as soon as possible,” Cummings said. 

The veteran AFR Insurance agent knows her insureds because she lives there too. 

The thing about having a local AFR insurance agent is the fact we really care about our insureds. People who have AFR Insurance have a company that truly cares about them. We go beyond what’s required. We even pray for them. They have our hearts!

Melody Cummings, Crow Insurance Agency
Paxson’s home was destroyed by a May 16 tornado that struck the southern edge of Elk City

Cummings had four insureds suffer damage from the storm, but she is thankful no one was injured.

My family has had this business since 1960 and this is the first time a tornado has hit the town,” Cummings said. 

Paxson can attest to the great care and service of AFR Insurance.

“They’re good people,” Paxson said.  “That’s why I bought insurance here, they’re local so if I have questions I can walk right in to get answers.”

The claims experience for Paxson is no surprise to Brett McGavok, AFR Insurance property claims manager.

“It’s an honor to have insureds like Mr. Paxson and to be able to take care of them,” McGavok said.

“You pay insurance premiums and hope nothing happens, but when disaster strikes, we get to make good on our promise, and that’s what we do, deliver on a promise,” McGavok said.

“Melody’s quick actions allowed us to get money to our policy holders so they can quickly get back their lives,” McGavok said.

McGavok said the claims process is what separates insurance companies.

“Having a local agent where the policy holder knows their agent is really important,” McGavok said.  “They may not know the claims adjuster but they know the agent and trust them to take care of them.

View the full issue of AFR Today

Summer 2017

AFR Insurance rewards fire departments, scholarship recipients, Farmer Veteran Coalition, more