HARRISBURG, Pa., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the aftermath of recent severe wind, rain and flooding in some areas of the state, acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine says there are steps consumers can take to simplify the insurance claims process and cleanup of their property.
"If you need to report property damage from recent storms, it's essential you contact your insurance company as soon as possible," Consedine said. "Insurance companies must respond in a timely manner to review the damage and provide the claim service you might need."
Some helpful tips:
- Give your agent or insurance company representative a detailed description of the damage to your property. Once the company is notified, an adjuster will contact you as soon as possible to arrange an inspection of the site.
- Video or photo documentation will help with the claims process and aid the adjuster in the investigation.
- Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Make two copies—one for yourself and one for the adjuster.
- Keep canceled checks, invoices, receipts or other papers that will help the adjuster determine the value of the destroyed property.
- Make whatever temporary repairs you can. Cover broken windows and damaged roofs and walls to prevent further damage. Save the receipts for any supplies and materials you buy since your insurance company may reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs.
- If your home is severely damaged and you need to find other accommodations while it's being repaired, keep a record of all expenses, such as hotel and restaurant receipts.
- If you do not have flood insurance, damage to your home or its contents due to rising water is not likely to be covered.
If your claim is denied, review the terms of your policy for what is, or is not, covered. You may also file an appeal to your insurance company's claims manager or contact the Insurance Department. Also, be aware that numerous claims filed in a short period of time could result in a surcharge to your policy.
For more information, visit www.insurance.pa.gov or call the department's toll-free, automated consumer hotline at (877) 881-6388, or either of the department's Bureau of Consumer Services' regional offices: Harrisburg at (717) 787-2317; or Philadelphia at (215) 560-2630.
Media contact: Rosanne Placey or Melissa Fox, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance