DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Those who have experienced damage to their home as a result of bad weather may have also tried to file a claim. But taking pictures and contacting an insurance agent is just the start of the process.
The National Storm Damage Center has some things people should keep in mind to protect their homes and property:
- When assessing the damage and taking pictures, get some additional "storm proof" -- search online for news stories of the storm hitting your area, so you have proof if its ever required
- Contact several reputable storm repair contractors and get three written proposals
- Once that contractor is chosen, request an insurance adjuster inspection with the contractor present -- remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company and may have an incentive to deny a claim. The contractor works for the client and he or she should make sure the adjuster plays fair
- Above all, a person should read their insurance policy carefully and understand their rights
The Storm Damage Center says if a claim is denied, another thing to remember is most state laws prohibit insurance companies from canceling policies for filing claims in an Act of God storm damage situation, and they can't single a person out for a rate increase. And if the insurance company is going to raise rates, they have to raise everyone's rates in the person's area. A person is entitled to meet with three insurance adjusters.
So if a person is denied, they should ask for a second assessment.