How to file insurance claim after severe weather
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - After tornadoes ravaged the Pine Belt and parts of South Mississippi last week, thousands were wondering what to do, where to go and who to call on.
The first step, in most cases, is contacting your insurance company.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says it’s important for those looking to file insurance claims to do so as soon as possible.
“Most people try to file their claim after they try to take care of family matters,” Chaney said. “Sometimes, it takes as much as a week or few weeks. We have plenty of time for someone to file a claim, but you need to do it as soon as you can.”
Claimants should be sure to take pictures of and write down all missing or damaged items.
“Take pictures of your damage if you can do that, if you’re able to do so,” Chaney said. “Contact your insurance agent immediately if you’ve got down power lines especially after these high windstorms that you’ve had.”
As for repairs, only do what’s necessary. Permanent repairs should only be done after you’ve had your home inspected by an insurance company.
Chaney said customers should also be aware of the benefits that come with their policy. Some, not all, insurance companies have assistance programs set up to help customers with various expenses following emergency situations like storms.
“If you have to move out of your home and go to a hotel, motel, or relatives, they will give you cash immediately to attend, or go to a motel, or stay with a relative, and expenses like buying gasoline,” Chaney said.
Above all, be safe.
“Don’t try to go back into a home that’s been severely damaged cause you might hurt yourself.”
For a more comprehensive list of tips for filing an insurance claim, visit the Mississippi Insurance Department’s website at mid.ms.gov.
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