July 02, 2015

Department of Insurance offers guidance to Missourians impacted by severe weather

Tips for filing claims, preventing further damage

Jefferson City, Mo. - Following last night's severe weather that impacted parts of the state, the Missouri Department of Insurance is reminding Missourians if they have questions or concerns about their insurance coverage to contact the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.

Individuals and business owners who sustained property damage should immediately contact their insurance companies.

"Yesterday's round of severe storms was powerful, including reported tornadic activity near Kansas City," said John M. Huff, director of the department. "Consumers who sustained property damage need to act now. Move quickly to protect your property from further damage and file claims with your insurance companies."

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 for your insurance company, 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. 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 us. 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 refer to the department's "Small Business Insurance" Web page, which offers information on commercial property, business interruption insurance and more.

The department recently released 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.

 

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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