What do do after a tornado strikes

By Cindy Waxer on May 2nd, 2012

The last thing homeowners want to worry about in the aftermath of a tornado is whether or not they're processing their insurance claims properly. But filing a claim doesn't have to be a complex endeavor. By following these simple steps, homeowners can start rebuilding their homes - and lives - in no time.

  1. Document the damage. List every piece of property damaged by a tornado in as much detail as possible. Better yet, take photographs and/or record video of your property for greater accuracy. However, if your property was destroyed entirely and you no longer have any records, work from memory as best as you can.
  2. Make repairs. If your roof requires immediate protection or your windows need replacing, go ahead and make any necessary repairs to protect your property from further damage. Save your receipts so that you insurance company can reimburse you for every penny spent.
  3. Keep receipts. If you need to relocate or spend a few nights in a hotel, keep track of your expenses. Many homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for the cost of additional living expenses.
  4. Keep an eye out for mobile claims units. Often located in the parking lots of big-box hardware stores or roving around the neighborhood, these units can ensure you get the help you need - fast.
  5. Establish a connection with a designated insurance representative. Jot down the representative's name and employee identification number. Better yet, write down the dates and times of your correspondence with a particular agent.

Despite following these rules, some homeowners may run into difficulties when settling their claims in the event of a tornado. The Insurance Information Institute offers some great advice for clearing up matters as quickly as possible. Steps include:

  1. Speak up and let your insurance agent know that you're dissatisfied with your insurance company's handling of your claim.
  2. Go to the top of the company by writing to an insurance agency's claims manager or president. Include copies of any important documentation.
  3. Contact your state insurance department for expert advice and assistance.
  4. Seek legal counsel. A reputable attorney may be able to help you resolve your claim. Just remember that even initial consultations can cost money, so make sure all your papers are in order and that you get the fee structure in writing.

Get Free Home Insurance Quotes
Enter Zip code :
Featured Insurance Quote
Facebook 470 flares Google+
470 flares ×