Steps to help impacted residents recover


CHICAGO — Deadly tornadoes and severe weather left significant destruction in Ohio this week. As residents begin to focus on the recovery process, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) recommends reaching out to your insurer or agent as soon as you can safely do so to file a claim. Insurers can be reached 24-7 through their toll-free claims number or via text, app, or website.

“Our thoughts are with those who have been impacted by the violent weather,” said Joe Roth, assistant vice president of state government relations for APCIA. “The first step to recovery after severe weather damages or destroys your property is to file a claim with your insurer. Most severe weather events, like tornadoes, are covered under a homeowners, renters, auto, or commercial insurance policy.”

APCIA’s Tornado Recovery Tips

Secure your property from further damage or theft.

Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage and get your claim started.

Make an inventory of what was lost or damaged and photograph the damage to provide to your insurance adjuster. Compile receipts, descriptions, and photos of your home’s contents.

Be aware of unscrupulous contractors following a natural disaster. Contact your insurer, agent, or local business bureau for references on potential contractors and ask for certificates of liability and workers compensation before signing contracts.

If you are a business owner, keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively affected due to the tornado and keep a list of extra expenses during the interruption. Prepare records to show the income from the business before and after the loss.

Many standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide reimbursement of additional living expenses when the property is determined to be uninhabitable due to a covered loss. The additional living expense provision helps with paying for increases to necessary living expenses such as temporary housing, restaurant meals, overnight parking, and laundry services, but check to see what your policy covers.

Tornado victims should anticipate a high volume of direct communications from third parties seeking to involve themselves with the insurance claims and damage repair process. It is important to carefully consider any proposals from contractors, public adjusters, and lawyers offering to help with the insurance claim and damage repair process.

“Before signing any contracts, call your insurer first to report the damage and get your claim started. Your insurer and agencies like Better Business Bureaus can help with recommendations on repair companies and contractors,” added Roth.

APCIA offers resources with helpful information for those impacted by severe weather, as well as preparedness tips for those living in tornado-prone areas.

No posts to display