CHICAGO – In the aftermath of the deadly tornado outbreak that caused massive destruction across multiple states, insurers are helping their policyholders begin the recovery process. With reports of more than 1,000 homes destroyed in Kentucky alone, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) urges residents impacted by the tornadoes to reach out to their insurer as soon as possible to file a claim and ask if their policy covers additional living expenses, which can help pay for temporary housing. Insurers can be reached 24-7 through their toll-free claims number or via text, app, or website.
“While no insurance policy can adequately compensate for the loss of life and property suffered by so many people, survivors should contact their insurer or agent as soon as possible to begin the claims process,” said Jeff Brewer, vice president of public affairs for APCIA. “Insurers are committed to serving their policyholders in their time of need by quickly reviewing every claim to pay for covered losses.”
Most severe weather events, like tornadoes, are covered under a homeowners, renters, auto, or commercial insurance policy. 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. The additional living expense provision helps with paying for increases to necessary living expenses such as temporary housing, restaurant meals, overnight parking, and laundry services, but check to see what your policy covers.
Tornado victims should anticipate a high volume of direct communications from third-parties seeking to involve themselves with the insurance claims and damage repair process. It is important to carefully consider any proposals from contractors, public adjusters, and lawyers offering to help with the insurance claim and damage repair process.
“Before signing any contracts, call your insurer first to report the damage and get your claim started. Your insurer and agencies like Better Business Bureaus can help with recommendations on repair companies and contractors,” added Brewer.
APCIA’s Tornado Recovery Tips
- Secure your property from further damage or theft.
- Contact your insurance agent or company representative as soon as possible to report damage and get your claim started.
- Make an inventory of what was lost or damaged and photograph the damage to provide to your insurance adjuster. Compile receipts, descriptions, and photos of your home’s contents.
- Be aware of 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.
- 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.
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.