July 13, 2015
Missouri Department of Insurance will be in Barry County on Wednesday to assist residents with insurance needs
Residents affected by storms are encouraged to contact their insurance company now
Jefferson City, Mo. - A consumer specialist from the Missouri Department of Insurance will be at a Multi-Agency Resource Center in Cassville on Wednesday to assist residents impacted by the recent flooding and storms. The specialist will be at the Barry County Family Support Division and Children's Division, located at 208 E. Eighth St., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The representative will be able to provide consumers with assistance understanding their insurance policies and the process of filing a claim as well as company contact information.
Residents affected by storms and flooding who have not already contacted their insurance agent or company should do so immediately.
Policyholders who have questions or concerns about their insurance coverage should contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
"Local residents who have questions about their insurance policies or claims should meet with our consumer specialist at the Multi-Agency Resource Center," said John M. Huff, director of the department. "We can answer general insurance questions and may be able to assist with the claims process if you have reached an impasse with your insurance company."
The Department of Insurance offers these tips for consumers affected by the storms:
- Contact your insurance agent or your company's toll-free claims number as soon as possible. If you have lost the contact information, the department may be able to help you locate it. Visit insurance.mo.gov or call 800-726-7390.
- Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp or other materials to keep out rain. The same goes for a broken car window. Otherwise, further damage will likely not be covered by your insurance policy. Keep the receipts for materials you buy so you can be reimbursed.
- Don't make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage. If you do, your company may not reimburse you.
- Once your claim is processed, get estimates from contractors or auto repair shops known to you or recommended by someone you trust. Be suspicious of strangers who offer to do repairs for you.
- If you believe your insurance company has not handled your claim properly, file a complaint with the department. The department will determine whether your insurance company has followed Missouri law in processing your claim.
- Don't let contractors inspect your property if you're not watching. Some unscrupulous companies will cause damage to drive up the repair cost, and your insurance company will likely not cover the additional cost.
- Don't pay the whole repair bill in advance. Pay in full only when the work is completed according to your agreement.
Business owners can visit the department's "Small Business Insurance" Web page, which offers information on commercial property, business interruption insurance and more. The department recently produced a video podcast that discusses flooding and what a typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover. The video is posted on the department's website.