What to do if your home is damaged by a storm

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When severe weather hits, it’s possible for your home or property to be damaged. The Texas Department of Insurance has guidelines for what to do if this happens.

First, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage. Take pictures and video of the damage, but don’t throw anything away until your insurance adjuster tells you to.

Then make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Remove standing water and cover broken windows and holes to keep the rain out. Do not make permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster sees the damage.

Keep a list of the repairs you make and keep the receipts.

When it comes to filling out a claim, TDI has a list at the insurance company phone numbers or you can call the department directly at 800-252-3439. TDI’s guidelines for filing a claim are below:

  • Record everyone you’ve talked to about your company.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
  • Ask for an advance payment if you need help quickly.
  • Ask about living expenses. Most policies will cover some of the costs you incur if you are unable to live in your home due to damage that is covered by your insurance. Keep your receipts for these expenses.
  • If you need shelter or emergency food or water, contact Red Cross at 800-733-2767.

When you are ready to repair your home, make sure your adjuster and company have your current phone number and try to be there when the adjuster visits and points out any damage.

Also, make sure your address is visible from the street, even if you have to put up a sign with your address in the yard.

Get multiple quotes from contractors and compare them to the adjuster’s report before settling the claim.

Keep proof that you paid the deductible on the claim. State law makes it illegal for contractors or coverers to offer to waive a deductible or promise a discount on your deductible. It also allows insurance companies to request proof, such as a receipt or canceled check, that you paid the deductible.

For more details and guidelines visit Texas Department of Insurance website.

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