Tornado destruction – insurers rush in

Association urges residents to contact their providers as soon as they can safely do so

Tornado destruction – insurers rush in

Catastrophe & Flood

By Kenneth Araullo

Following a weekend of deadly tornadoes and severe weather in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, insurers are actively working to assist policyholders with the claims and recovery process, according to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).

The APCIA advises residents who have experienced damage to their homes, vehicles, or businesses to contact their insurers as soon as it is safe to do so. The association is also providing answers to common insurance questions to help affected residents begin their recovery.

David A Sampson, president and CEO of APCIA, commented on the situation and its results on people’s lives.

“As a resident of Cooke County and a ranch owner in Era, Texas, I have personally seen the devastation and grieve for those who lost loved ones. First responders have provided exemplary service and compassion following these tragic events,” he said.

Sampson emphasized that insurers’ primary goal during disasters is to help customers rebuild and restore their property. He acknowledged that many residents have suffered significant losses and need assistance navigating their next steps. Sampson reassured residents that insurers are ready to help.

What should policyholders do following the catastrophes?

To aid residents in starting the recovery process, the APCIA has provided guidance on common insurance-related questions after a disaster. Homeowners who have experienced damage should contact their insurer or agent as soon as it is safe to do so to file a claim. Insurers are available 24/7 through their toll-free claims numbers, text, app, or website.

The association noted that it is important to secure the property to prevent further damage or theft if possible. Making a list of what was lost or damaged and photographing or videotaping the damage can be helpful for sharing with the insurance adjuster. Residents should gather receipts, descriptions, and photos of their home’s contents.

The APCIA also warned of the need to be cautious of unscrupulous contractors or third parties seeking to get involved with the insurance claims and repair process. Before signing any contracts, residents should call their insurer first to report the damage and start the claim.

Damage from severe weather events, such as tornadoes, is generally covered under standard homeowners’, renters’, or business policies. Damage to vehicles, meanwhile, is typically covered if the auto policy includes comprehensive insurance coverage.

If residents cannot live in their homes due to damage or while repairs are being made, they should check with their insurer to see if their policy covers additional living expenses. This coverage can help pay for temporary housing, restaurant meals, and laundry. It is important to keep all receipts for such expenses to discuss with the adjuster.

After reporting a claim, homeowners should take steps to prevent further damage but avoid making permanent repairs or disposing of any damaged property before an adjuster can assess the damages.

If debris is dangerous, it should be documented carefully before being disposed of. Photographing or videotaping any perishable items and keeping all receipts for emergency repairs and additional living costs can support claims.

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