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Hamm offers claims advice in the wake of violent storms
 
Bismarck — North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm is advising consumers to follow some simple steps following the storms that recently hit the area.
 
The storms, which have been rolling across the state over the last week, have done damage in varying degrees from Bismarck to New England to Grafton.


“There are significant reports of damage to homes, cars, commercial and public buildings,” Hamm said. “Insurers have already brought in adjusters from across the region to start working claims and we encourage policyholders to contact them immediately after finding damage.”
 
Besides contacting insurers, property owners are encouraged to follow these steps to make sure their claim is handled as quickly as possible:
 
  1. Make necessary emergency repairs to prevent any further damages. If the damage requires immediate repair, advise your agent as soon as possible, so that your claim can be processed on a priority basis. Remember to keep receipts and records of any repair you make to prevent further damage.
  2. Watch and listen for information on whether your insurance company has set up an emergency claims service center in the area.
  3. Inventory all property damage for your insurance company's adjuster, the person the company will likely send to assess your damages. Be sure to identify and save all personal property that was damaged in the storm for the adjuster to look at.
  4. When choosing contractors, be wary of businesses that may be storm chasing. Ask for references. The Secretary of State can tell you if they are licensed to do business in North Dakota.
  5. Work with your agent and company to resolve any problems you may have with your claim. If you cannot resolve the problem, contact the Insurance Department at 701.328-2440, or toll free at 1.800.247.0560 for assistance.
  6. Above all, be patient. A severe storm causing extensive damage and involving thousands of claims will take time to process. Working cooperatively with your agent and company can make processing your claim more efficient.
While there have been several different weather events already this spring, the Bismarck/Mandan area storm that occurred on June 17 seems to be one of the largest claim events for 2016. So far, 8 of the top 10 insurers have reported $39,029,080 in damages to private property owners. Additionally, the Insurance Department’s Fire and Tornado Fund has been notified by 5 Bismarck area state and political subdivisions of damages to public facilities which adds to the already mounting claims from previous June storms elsewhere in the state. The Fund expects almost 100 claims and millions of dollars in damages from previous storms.

For more information on how to submit an insurance claim and general insurance policy information, visit the North Dakota Insurance Department web site at www.nd.gov/ndins/.
 
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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
Toll free 800.247.0560
Fax 701.328.4880

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