Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Insurance agent advises what to do first after storm damage

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — What’s the first thing you should do if your home or car sustained storm damage?

To make sure you remember everything accurately and have proof of what happened, insurance agents recommend you take as many pictures as you can, as soon as possible.

“It’s really important to make sure there’s documentation. A lot of times you don’t remember things that have been damaged, when there’s time to make claims, when there’s time to get reimbursement. So it’s just so much easier for you and your agent if there’s a record of the damage,” said State Farm agent LaTasha Johnson.

Johnson says the next step is to prevent more damage from happening.

“If you have water that’s pouring in, if you can get a bucket or find some way to cover it, we want you to do that. If there’s a hole in the roof we want you to see if you can get a person to repair it so that it doesn’t cause further damage to any of your property,” Johnson said.

Then it’s time to call your insurance company or agent to get the ball rolling on your claim.

Your agent will verify your policy number, what your policy covers, and what your deductibles are, as well as even suggesting vetted contractors for repair work if you ask.

She says to keep track of every receipt because that’s what your reimbursement will be based on when you turn them all in at the end of the process.

However, Johnson says one thing you should not do is get caught up in emotion to the point that you risk your safety.

She says while it may be tempting to try to salvage what you can from the destruction, you need to be as safe as you can.

“If there’s a situation where there’s some damage, you don’t want to be in there trying to find belongings or sentimental property. Make sure it’s safe before you ever go in,” she said.

She says the sooner you file a claim, the sooner your insurance agent should be able to help you restore your property to what it was before the damage happened.

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