Eastern Washington suffered some significant storm damage this weekend when high winds ripped through the area, toppling trees, cutting power lines, and damaging cars and homes.
Here are some general claims guidelines. Be sure to check your policy for your specific coverage:
- Damage to structures caused by wind, wind-driven debris, and falling trees and tree limbs is generally covered by your homeowners and business insurance policy.
Damage to vehicles would normally be covered if you carry comprehensive coverage on the vehicle.
- Contact your agent or insurer right away, they can walk you through the claims process.
If the damage is severe enough that you cannot remain in the home, your policy may include some coverage for temporary living quarters.
- Be sure to document the damage by taking some pictures from different angles.
Try to mitigate and minimize further damage, such as covering a broken window or leaking roof, if you can do it safely.
Be sure to keep receipts for any of the work you do or have done so that you can get reimbursed.
Avoid making any permanent repairs or discarding damaged property until your insurance company can document the damage or loss.
As always, you should be sure to read your policies to make sure you understand what is and what is not covered and ask your agent to explain anything you don’t understand or think is unclear.
For more information check out the Homeowner insurance claims and disaster-preparedness tips at the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s web site.