Poolman Advises Consumers in Wake of Recent Hail Storms
Posted on 7/26/2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Poolman
July 26, 2005
Bismarck, ND-Commissioner Jim Poolman is advising consumers to stay calm and follow a few thoughtful steps in making their insurance claims for property damages incurred in the storm.
Make necessary emergency repairs to prevent any further damages. Covering a broken window on homes or cars, for example, can prevent damage to carpets, curtains and upholstery. Remember to keep receipts and records of any repair you make to prevent further damage. You may also consider taking photos of the damage.
Determine if the damage is severe and requires immediate repair, or if the repair can wait until after your company assesses the damage. If the damage requires immediate repair, advise your agent as soon as possible, so that your claim can be processed on a priority basis.
Contact your insurance agent. Your agent will notify your company of your claim and provide you with information on how your company will proceed with it. The catastrophe teams are here and ready to work. It just delays the process if you wait. If you think you have damage, call your insurance company right away.
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.
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.
Be aware that in the wake of storms like this, contractors may try to gouge consumers on prices. If you need to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General - Consumer Protection Division. In addition, some companies may not be licensed. Check with the Secretary of State to find out if the contractor is licensed. If you are using a transient merchant, contact the Attorney to check whether or not they are licensed to do business.
Stay tuned to local television and radio, and keep an eye on the newspapers for updates on insurance issues.
Above all, be patient. A severe storm causing extensive damage and involving many claims will take time to process. Working cooperatively with your agent and company can make processing your claim more efficient.
"Following these steps can greatly increase the efficiency of the claims process," Poolman said.