Insurance Agents, BBB Advise How To Repair Storm Damage

Kimberly Foley

Insurance Agents, BBB Advise How To Repair Storm Damage

CREATED Apr. 10, 2013

Omaha, NE -- On Wednesday morning, a lot of folks grabbed the phone to call their insurance company after a hail storm the night before.

Insurance agents across the metro were swamped with calls today, and they said there are a number of things to keep in mind when trying to get the repairs done.

"You see a lot of folks calling in because of the time of day," said Matt Dougherty, a State Farm insurance agent. "(The storm) occurred in the evening, and it was really unexpected. A lot of folks didn't have an idea the storm and the threat of hail were coming."
Dougherty said typically after storms like the one on Tuesday, there is an influx in claims.
"It's a ton of claims for roofs, siding and vehicles," he said.
Dougherty pointed to two important things to know about filing a claim.
The first thing he suggested is know your policy.
"(Today) it's been a lot of, 'Are we covered? What is my coverage? How much is my deductible?' said Dougherty. "It's a really good idea to know some of that stuff, especially before these things happen."
He also said it's important for people to know weather related incidents will not single-handedly raise your rates.
"Weather related claims tend to be claims that you're not rated for in terms of a rate increase or issues with the policy," said Dougherty. "Non-weather related claims have more of a direct impact on your rates than anything."
The Better Business Bureau is also trying to help people with repairs.
The BBB is warning people about what it calls 'storm chasers.'
Jim Hergarty, the CEO of the local BBB, said these people move from city to city following big storms.
The nature of their business is to be in town when work is available, and then they leave.
Hegarty said if any labor or warranty issues come up, the person who repaired your home is already off to the next place.
He recommends making emergency repairs like covering windows or skylights.
He said to contact your insurance agent, get several bids and to use someone who is local and well established.
"You want to be leery of people who just show up and knock on your door," said Hegarty. "If they've got out of town tags or they're not a recognizable name -- those are the sort of red flags you would want to watch for."
If one has any doubts about company, Hegarty said the business review can be checked online or at the BBB.
Hegarty said the most important things to remember when picking a company are take your time and be thoughtful.