May 12, 2016
Department of Insurance offers guidance to Missourians impacted by storms
Tips for filing claims, preventing further damage
Jefferson City, Mo. - Following the recent St. Louis-area storms that produced baseball-sized hail and high winds, the Missouri Department of Insurance reminds Missourians with insurance questions or concerns to contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
"Residents who sustained property damage from recent storms need to assess the damage and review their insurance policies," said John M. Huff, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "The department is here to assist Missourians experiencing issues filing a claim with their insurance company."
The Department of Insurance offers these tips for consumers affected by the storms:
- Depending on the severity of your loss, you may want to consider obtaining damage estimates to help you determine whether to file a claim.
- Contact your insurance agent or your company's toll-free claims number if you determine you do need to file a claim.
- If you have lost your insurance company's contact information, the department may be able to help you locate it. Contact the department at insurance.mo.gov or by calling 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 and animals. 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.
- Do not 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.
- Do not 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.
- Do not pay the whole repair bill in advance. Pay in full only when the work is completed according to your agreement.
- Business owners can refer to the department's small business insurance page, which offers information on commercial property, business interruption insurance and more.
- If you believe your insurance company has improperly handled your claim, file a complaint with us.