Tuesday, 30 April 2024 07:01

Insurance Experts Answer Coverage & Claims Questions After Destructive Tornado Outbreak in the Plains & Midwest Featured

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CHICAGO – Following the deadly and destructive tornado outbreak that impacted states in the Plains and Midwest regions, particularly Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa, insurance experts are answering key questions about insurance coverage and providing helpful information to help impacted residents begin the recovery process.

“Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by the devastating outbreak of tornadoes,” said Karen Collins, vice president of property and environmental for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA). “The insurance industry’s overwhelming priority when disaster strikes is to help their customers rebuild their lives and restore their property. The first step to recovery after your property is damaged or destroyed by severe weather is to file a claim with your insurer as soon as you can safely do so.”  

To help impacted residents begin the recovery process, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is answering common questions related to insurance after a disaster:

My home was damaged or destroyed. What should I do now?

  • Reach out to your insurer or agent as soon as you can safely do so to file a claim. Insurers can be reached 24-7 through their toll-free claims number or via text, app, or website.
  • Secure your property from further damage or theft, if possible.
  • Make an inventory of what was lost or damaged and photograph the damage to provide to your insurance adjuster. Compile receipts, descriptions, and photos of your home’s contents.
  • Be aware of unscrupulous contractors or other third parties seeking to involve themselves with the insurance claims and damage repair process following a natural disaster. It is important to carefully consider any proposals from contractors, public adjusters, and lawyers offering to help with the insurance claim and damage repair process. Before signing any contracts, call your insurer first to report the damage and get your claim started.

 Is damage to my home and vehicle caused by severe storms and tornadoes covered by insurance?

  • Damage associated with severe weather events, like tornadoes, is typically covered under a standard homeowners, renters, or business policy.
  • Damage to a vehicle is typically covered if the policyholder’s auto policy includes comprehensive insurance coverage.

 What if I cannot live in my home due to damage or because it is being repaired?

  • Ask your insurer if your policy covers additional living expenses, which can help pay for things like temporary housing, restaurant meals and laundry.
  • Keep all receipts for such expenses so you can discuss them with the adjuster.

 I have reported my claim; now what should I do?

  • Take steps to prevent further damage. However, do not attempt permanent repairs or dispose of any damaged property before an adjuster can see it to assess the extent of your damages. If debris is dangerous, homeowners should carefully document their losses and then dispose of the debris.
  • Photograph or video any perishable items and retain all receipts for emergency repairs and additional living costs to substantiate claims.

 

Additional APCIA Resources:

APCIA’s Tornado Recovery Booklet

How to Avoid Contractor Fraud & Abuse

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.

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