May 23, 2019
Missouri Insurance Department offers guidance to Missourians impacted by severe weather events
Tips for preventing further damage and assistance with filing claims offered
Jefferson City, Mo. - Following last night’s tornadoes and other severe weather throughout Missouri, the Department of Insurance reminds Missourians with insurance questions or concerns to contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline for assistance at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
"Once you and your family members are safe, it’s time to focus on the damage to your property and report a claim to your insurance company," said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "The Missouri Department of Insurance and the entire insurance industry are prepared to assist Missourians as they undertake the recovery process."
The Department of Insurance offers this Post-Disaster Claims Guide and these tips to help answer consumer’s immediate questions:
In the immediate aftermath:
- 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.
Contacting your insurance company:
- 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.
- Use this resource for information about how to contact many of the insurance companies to file a claim.
- 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.
- If you believe your insurance company has improperly handled your claim, file a complaint with us.
Business owners can refer to the department's small business insurance page, which offers information on commercial property, business interruption insurance and more.