If the tornado and severe weather damaged your home, contact your insurance company or agent to file a claim as soon as possible. These tips will help make the process go smoother:
Keep a list of everyone you talk to at your insurance company. Be ready to answer questions about the damage.
Make a list of the damaged property. Take pictures or video. Don’t throw anything away until your insurance company tells you to.
Take steps to protect your home from further damage. Cover broken windows and holes to keep the rain out and prevent vandalism or theft.
Try to be there when the insurance company comes to inspects the damage. If you can’t stay in your home, leave a note with information on where they can reach you.
Ask your agent about additional living expenses. If you have to relocate to make repairs, your insurance policy may pay for some of the costs.
- Get written estimates on company letterhead with clear contact information.
- Get more than one bid. That will help you decide which offers are too high or too good to be true.
- Beware of contractors who only have out-of-town references, or who solicit door to door.
- Check references and phone numbers. Call the Better Business Bureau to see if a contractor has complaints.
- Don’t pay upfront, and don’t make your final payment until they finish the job.
- Beware of offers to waive your deductible. The contractor could be submitting false information to your insurance company.
- Never sign a contract with blanks.
If you have questions about your insurance coverage, call TDI’s Help Line at 1-800-252-3439 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, see: Help after the storm.