The site of a tornado in southern Ohio that leveled the home of Richard and Virginia Meyer.

Response to tornado shows meaning of ‘On Your Side’

Buckeye Farm News

The Bethel, Ohio, home of Richard and Virginia Meyer had been filled with memories. But now it is nothing but a memory.

“We were sitting in chairs in the basement and we could hear the tornado coming. It does sound a lot like a train,” said Virginia, a member of the Clermont County Farm Bureau board of trustees. “We could hear the house being destroyed above us and we feared for our lives, then we thought, we probably aren’t low enough, so we sat on the floor and waited.”

The tornado ripped through the Meyers’ 180-acre farm in southwest Ohio. It leveled the family’s home, several barns and outbuildings and damaged the homes of their children, who live nearby.

Most of the Meyer families are Nationwide Insurance customers for their farm, homes and vehicles. Nationwide agents and claims representatives were on the scene as soon as emergency authorities provided access to the area and were working hard to help the family pick up the pieces.

“Nationwide showed up almost as soon as the storm was over,” said Richard. “They’ve been wonderful agents (and claims representatives) that have gone above and beyond.”

Virginia said one of those claims representatives, Jason Cloud, spent five days helping clear debris, tarp the roofs, restore services and estimate the damage at her home. By the fifth day, she had a check in her hand for the house, garage and barn, as well as additional money for farm equipment and contents of the house.

When George Spedding, Nationwide associate vice president, went to check on the Meyers, he said it was easy to see their appreciation for Cloud.

“The connection the family had with Jason was emotional and real,” Spedding said. “They saw how much he cared for them as a result of this traumatic event. This is the part of our job that means so much and Jason could not have done it any better.”

But the quick turnaround of their claim isn’t what impressed the Meyers the most. Virginia said their farm insurance agent, David Doyle, had another surprise in store.

“David came back and he wasn’t alone. He brought four cars loaded with people from Nationwide,” Virginia said. “They spent the day, in the mud, helping us pick up tree limbs and debris.”

Armando Arredondo was one of the agents who helped in the cleanup.

“Hearing the story in detail, from the mouth of our policyholder, standing in the rain, under a roofless kitchen of a destroyed home was an experience I will never forget,” Arredondo said.

Doyle has been in the insurance industry for 35 years and said he’s never seen the devastation that he saw in Clermont County this spring. He was impressed not only by the quick response of the claims representatives to do their work, but the additional effort Nationwide made to provide volunteers to help clean up the area.

“I pulled up to the house and there were three Nationwide branded cars on the street because of our multiple families that were affected in the area. That is the true meaning of being ‘On Your Side’,” Doyle said.

Contact your local Nationwide agent, call 1-877-OnYourSide, or visit the Nationwide website, tailored to Ohio Farm Bureau members. 

Ohio Farm Bureau is a sponsor of Nationwide.

Photo courtesy of Nationwide.


Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.

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