TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The severe storms that ripped through the west coast also impacted areas of the southeast, particularly in Cape Coral where the National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado destroyed dozens of homes over the weekend. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) says the first step to recovery is contacting your insurer to begin the claims process.
“Homeowners should contact their insurance company or agent through their toll free phone number, app or website. Insurers plan for catastrophes and are prepared to assist homeowners immediately,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI’s regional manager of state government relations. “Company adjustors are now in the field helping homeowners and renters begin rebuilding,” added McFaddin.
Most severe weather related events like hail and tornados are covered under either a homeowners, renters or commercial insurance policy. Renters insurance covers a policyholders’ personal possessions damaged by tornados. Windstorm and hail damage for cars is covered by the comprehensive coverage in an auto insurance policy.
PCI’s Tornado Recovery Tips:
• Secure property from further damage or theft.
• Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage.
• Inventory losses and photograph damage to provide to your insurance adjustor. Save receipts.
• If you are a business owner, keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively affected due to the tornado or storm 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 damage. This provision helps with paying for increases to necessary living expenses such as temporary housing and restaurant meals. In addition, extra expenses such as overnight parking and laundry services may also be covered. Additional living expense coverage does not pay for all living expenses, so contact your insurance company or agent for a list of what your policy will cover.
• Be careful about 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.
PCI's Tornado Headquarters offers vital information for those impacted by tornadoes, as well as preparedness tips for those living in tornado-prone areas. Follow us on twitter @PCIAA and use #tornadosafety as we continue to provide tips on what to do before and after a tornado.
Here’s a list of PCI Member Company Toll-Free Policyholder Claim Numbers: http://bit.ly/PCITollFreeNumbers
PCI’s Online Tornado Recovery Magazine: