AUSTIN, TX – May 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Consumers who suffered property damage as a result of the recent severe weather should contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to begin the claims process. If you’re having trouble reaching your company, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 1-800-252-3439. Insurance specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer your insurance questions and to help you with company contact information.
Homeowners insurance generally covers losses from wind and hail. Getting the claims process started is the first step in making repairs. The following tips will help make the claims process smoother:
Contact your insurance agent or company promptly. Keep a record of all contacts you have with your company. Be prepared to answer questions about the extent and severity of the damage. Homeowners policies generally won’t cover damage from flooding, but consumers with flood insurance can contact their agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-888-379-9531 or visit www.floodsmart.gov.
Make a list of damaged property. Photograph or video the damage if possible. Don’t throw away damaged items until an insurance adjuster has had a chance to see them.
Take steps to minimize further damage. Make only repairs necessary to protect your home and property from further damage, such as covering broken windows and holes to keep rain out and prevent theft. Don’t make permanent repairs until instructed by your insurance company. Save all repair receipts.
Try to be present when the insurance company’s adjuster inspects the damage. Be sure your address is visible. If you moved out of your house temporarily, leave a note or a plywood sign with your temporary address, phone number, and name of your insurance company.
Ask your agent about additional living expenses or loss of use. Your policy may pay for some of your expenses if you are unable to live in your home because of a covered loss. Provide documentation regarding your expenses.
For more information: For answers to insurance questions, help with a claim, or to report suspected insurance fraud, call the TDI Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439. Help is available in English and Spanish. Also visit TDI’s StormLink page for information to help you recover from a storm: www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/storms/index.html.