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Common Sense Tips for Storm Victims

People today know more about what it’s like to live through severe weather than previous generations of Americans.

Weather patterns in the past several decades have become more unpredictable and severe due to climate change. Tornados have become more common in areas where they were never known to occur… and hurricane activity has been increasing each year with longer and more intense storms.

Whether or not you believe, or disbelieve that this is attributed to climate change, the fact still remains that victims of severe weather need guidance as to how to navigate the insurance system when their property sustains damage.

It’s important to check your homeowners and business insurance policies for coverage limits and deductibles. Storms are considered ‘Acts of God’ or ‘Acts of Nature’ and an insurance company cannot cancel, refuse to renew or increase the amount of a premium on a homeowners policy based solely on this type of incident.

And if you are a renter, you should look to their landlord’s insurance policy to cover actual building damage… but not damage to any personal belongings. The latter would be covered by a renter’s insurance policy.

And please know that if you are living in a state that has recently been the location of a severe storm, you can contact your state’s insurance department with questions or concerns about how to manage weather-related property damage.

Five simple tips to help storm victims initiate recovery

Contact your agent

Contact your insurance company promptly if you determine you need to file a claim.

Check the State Insurance Department

If you cannot find your insurance agent or insurance company’s contact information, your state insurance department may be able to help you locate it.

Take pictures of any damage

Take pictures of the damage, and make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp of other materials. Further damage will likely not be covered by your insurance policy.

Keep your receipts

Keep the receipts for materials you buy and for any expenses related to damage to your home or business.

Do not make permanent repairs

Wait until your insurance company has inspected the damage to make permanent repairs.