Tornadoes often cause widespread destruction, leveling and demolishing homes and businesses.
As an Indiana landowner, your standard homeowners or business insurance policy likely covers damage caused by tornadoes. However, it is important to file a claim quickly, for a couple of different reasons.
Read your policy and check for deadlines
First, there is probably a deadline by which to file your claim. Review your policy carefully and look at the claim filing deadlines.
Next, if you are a business owner, the damage done may prevent you from reopening your business for quite some time. You need compensation from your policy as soon as possible to help you cover your losses and repair your damage to get your business up and running again.
Once you file your claim, there are many steps you must take. These tips can help improve the chance of your claim being accepted.
Make a list of all damaged property. Take photos and videos of the damage. Make sure they are high-quality and taken from many different angles. This allows the insurance company to see the full extent of the damage.
Make only necessary repairs
You may need to make some repairs yourself but only make ones that are necessary to prevent additional damage or keep your property safe.
Save receipts for any repairs you make. Avoid making any permanent repairs until you resolve your claim with your insurance company.
Additionally, save receipts for any additional living expenses you incur because of the damage, such as hotel receipts if you are forced to move out of your home.
When you contact your insurance company, have your contact information and policy number ready. Document all conversations with your insurance agent, including the date, time and what was said. The same goes for
Even if you do everything correctly, your claim may be denied. There are various reasons that claims get denied.
Sometimes the insurance company simply needs more information or documentation. Other times it was a clerical error on their end that can be fixed with a quick phone call.
In some cases, the reason is more complex. Contact your insurance claims adjuster and explain your position.
Appealing a denied claim
If this does not work, you can usually dispute the denial by filing an appeal. As with filing the initial claim, there is a deadline to follow the appeal that you must meet.
Your homeowners or business insurance policy will explain the appeals process that you must follow. Filing an appeal generates a review of your denied claim.
Submit as much evidence and documentation as possible to support your position that your damage should be covered. Keep your documentation organized. This makes a difference in the strength of your case.
If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can try filing a formal complaint with Indiana’s insurance commissioner.
Handling disaster recovery for your home or business is challenging. It helps to have someone to help you through this difficult time.