A tarp covers the roof of Cee Anne Ernspiker's kitchen after a tree damaged her kitchen roof.
Cee Anne Ernspiker
The damage to Cee Anne Ernspiker's kitchen.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The day after the storm is when most insurance claims are filed as homeowners see the damage for the first time. It can be a hassle dealing with insurance companies. That's why WAVE 3 News is going through what you need to do before and during the process.
Cee Anne Ernspiker knew her kitchen needed tidying up when she got off work, but not this much. "It's a big mess on the inside of the house."
A tree landed on Ernspiker's house.
"It smells real bad," she said.
While the situation stinks, Ernspiker did the right thing and immediately took photos of the damage - exactly what insurance agents recommend so you can prove what happened before clean up.
"You want to make sure you document," said Josh Haines, a State Farm agent.
Policy holders should contact their agent immediately so an adjuster will be assigned to your claim.
In addition, those who suffered damage from a storm should:
- Take reasonable steps to prevent additional damage if permitted by public safety authorities and if you will not endanger yourself.
- Closely inspect property and cars for damage. Note and photograph any damage.
- If required to seek temporary housing, check your policy for "loss of use" coverage.
- Be sure everything is considered in your claim. Back up claims with written estimates.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
- Obtain a list of reputable contractors from your insurance carrier, the Better Business Bureau or a specialized consumer organization.
- Contact multiple contractors and obtain more than one estimate.
- Do not allow a contractor to inspect your property when you are not home.
- If you give a contractor permission to inspect your property, personally watch them conduct the inspection.
- Obtain, in writing, the terms and conditions of the project.
- Avoid signing a contract until the document is reviewed fully and/or discuss the terms of the contract with a legal representative or a trusted adviser.
- Pay the contractor by check or credit card, rather than in cash, and do not pay in full until all work has been finished.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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