AUSTIN, TX – October 28, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Consumers who suffered property damage in the recent severe weather in the North Texas area should contact their insurance company or agent to file a claim as soon as possible. Initiating this process is the first step toward getting money to begin making repairs.
In general, homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for losses due to wind and hail, and in certain conditions may provide coverage for losses due to wind-blown rain. The following tips will help make the claims process go smoother:
- Make a list of your damaged property. Photograph or videotape the damage if possible. Don’t throw away damaged items until the claims adjuster has seen them.
- Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect your home and property from further damage. Cover broken windows and holes to keep rain out. Do not make permanent repairs before a claims adjuster inspects the damage.
- Keep a record of your repair expenses and save all receipts.
- Try to be present when the adjuster inspects your damage. You may also have your contractor present at the inspection or have the contractor review the adjuster’s report before settling the claim. Don’t accept an unfair settlement.
- Find a reputable contractor to make repairs. A major weather event that causes significant losses can lure unscrupulous contractors who may try to exploit the emergency conditions associated with the event. Verify the contractor’s references, have a written contract before repairs begin, and pay only as the contractor completes the repairs. Be wary of a contractor who demands full payment before the job is started.
Consumers with any questions or concerns about their insurance coverage are encouraged to contact the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). TDI is prepared to help consumers obtain prompt responses from their insurance carriers. TDI assistance is available in both English and Spanish.
- TDI Consumer Help Line: 1-800-252-3439 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- On the web: TDI Storm Resource Page: www.tdi.state.tx.us/pubs/consumer/cb042.html
Please Help Prevent Insurance Fraud
If you suspect fraud, please call TDI’s Fraud Hotline toll-free at 1-888-327-8818.
For more information contact: PIO (at) tdi.state.tx (dot) us