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To experience firsthand how the insurance industry is responding to the tornado that took out a large swath of Joplin, Mo. on May 22—the EF5’s path through the city was nearly a mile wide and about 7 miles long—I “embedded” on June 7 with State Farm Insurance, spending the day with a local agent, two catastrophe claims representatives and an auto-lines specialist so I could witness the company’s concerted response to the devastating storm that left more than 150 dead and 1,000 injured.

In the accompanying video, you’ll see footage that shows just how extensive and intense the damage was. We also visited with a State Farm agent who has been active in Joplin for 25 years; and we went onsite to a policyholder’s home that had been leveled by the storm with two dedicated catastrophe-claims specialists.

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