DALLAS, Texas — As residents and business owners begin the recovery process from this weekend’s tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) urges those impacted by the storm to work closely with their insurer.
“Insurance adjusters are in the process of helping storm victims and the good news is that most severe weather-related events like tornadoes are covered under a homeowners, renters, automobile or commercial insurance policy,” said David A. Sampson, president and CEO of APCIA. “Even though some insurers may not be in their offices due to COVID-19, insurers are prepared to assist homeowners immediately when contacted via their toll-free phone numbers, apps or websites.”
APCIA encourages individuals with damaged property to use their insurer or agent as a resource in helping to access the services needed to handle a claim and take the proper precautions to make sure they are hiring a reputable contractor to complete the job.
“Once you have filed your claim, there are a number of things you can do to help expedite the recovery process such as photographing the damage and making an inventory of what was lost and damaged,” added Sampson.
APCIA’s Tornado Recovery Tips:
- Secure property from further damage or theft.
- Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage.
- Inventory losses and photograph damage to provide to your insurance adjuster. Save receipts.
- If you are a business owner, keep detailed records of business activity that is negatively affected due to the tornado and keep a list of extra expenses during the interruption. Prepare records to show the income from the business before and after the loss.
- Many standard homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide reimbursement of additional living expenses when the property is determined to be uninhabitable due to a covered loss. This provision helps with paying for increases to necessary living expenses such as temporary housing and restaurant meals. In addition, extra expenses such as overnight parking and laundry services may also be covered. Additional living expense coverage does not pay for all living expenses, so contact your insurance company or agent for a list of what your policy will cover.
- Be careful about unscrupulous contractors following a natural disaster. Contact your insurer, agent or local business bureau for references on potential contractors and ask for certificates of liability and workers compensation before signing contracts.