COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., one of the country's largest property and casualty insurance companies, has received more than 22,000 claims in the past week for damages from Hurricane Charley. Overall, Nationwide estimates it will receive more than 50,000 claims and losses approaching $400 million.

"Policyholders have reported almost 800 large loss homeowners claims --losses of $25,000 or more -- and 15,000 homeowners claims thus far," said Ken Enscoe, Nationwide's director of catastrophe claims operations. Overall, Nationwide projects almost 40,000 homeowner and 4,600 auto claims.

Nationwide is responding to those policyholders and communities hardest hit first. Claims associates and agents are actively supporting policyholders by providing payment for immediate living expenses and property damages. To date, more than 8,000 checks have been issued.

"Our adjustors are working around the clock, seven days a week and we have more than 650 employees supporting our efforts," said Enscoe. "In areas where power or telephone access is limited, our claims associates are visiting policyholders even if they haven't filed a claim."

The overwhelming majority of projected losses are in Florida, where Nationwide anticipates more than 50,000 claims and $377 million in losses. Nationwide is the state's third-largest property insurer, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Web site. Nationwide insures more than 300,000 homes and nearly 305,000 vehicles in Florida.

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