With the recent devastating storms and tornadoes that have damaged homes and property throughout Missouri and the St. Louis area, and with summer storms sure to continue, it is important to be mindful of certain steps to take to ensure full and timely recovery.
Dealing with storm or tornado damage will often involve filing a claim with your insurance company, a process that can be daunting and confusing. The Missouri Department of Insurance has compiled several useful tips for dealing with an insurance claim in the immediate aftermath of severe weather.
A few things to take care of immediately are the following. First, you should contact your insurance agent or company as soon as possible. It is also important, as soon as it is safe to do so, to make temporary repairs necessary to prevent further damage. Often, further damage (such as subsequent rain damage caused by a broken car window) will not be covered by insurance. Any materials you buy for repairs should be reimbursable, however.
It is also helpful to survey the damage, make a list of all property destroyed or damaged, and take pictures if possible. Do not make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage; this may lead to your claim being denied.
Finally, if you believe that your insurance company has not handled your claim properly, it may be prudent to file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance at http://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/complaints/index.php, or to hire an attorney to represent you. For more helpful tips and resources regarding severe weather issues offered by the Missouri Department of Insurance, be sure to visit http://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/weather/index.php.