Are you insured against wind, hail?
PORTLAND - A storm packing high
winds and marble-sized hail that swept through Treasure Valley
Tuesday has left many wondering if home, business and auto insurance
will cover the damage.
and business insurance does cover damage
caused by wind and hail to the structure of your home or business
and your belongings. If you have Renters
Insurance, only damage to your personal possessions is covered.
Vehicles damaged by wind-driven objects,
falling trees and hail also are covered if the owners have Comprehensive
Coverage under their Auto Insurance
policies. Home, business, renters and auto insurance policies
"It's important for homeowners, renters
and business owners to understand what is and what is not protected
against damage caused by wind and hail," said Karl Newman, NW
Insurance Council president. "If you experienced significant damage
from yesterday's storm, call your insurance agent or company immediately
to file a claim."
NW Insurance Council offers the following
coverage facts for wind and hail damage.
What's typically covered:
- Damage to your home from wind, falling trees and hail.
- Removal of trees that have fallen on buildings.
- Damaged personal property (both home and renters) inside
a damaged building.
- If you can't occupy your primary residence due to storm
damage, additional living expenses such as increased housing
costs, extra food costs, furniture rental, and storage fees.
- Costs for reasonable temporary repairs to prevent further
damage to the building or contents.
- Damage caused by wind, falling trees and hail - if you purchased
optional Comprehensive Coverage.
What's typically not covered:
- Removal of trees that have fallen in your yard without damaging
- Upgrades that weren't part of your home before the storm.
- Wind or hail damage to your vehicle if you don't have Comprehensive
- Damage to personal belongings inside the vehicle such as
cell phones, computers and GPS navigational systems
What to do if your home or vehicle
has been damaged:
- Document damage and take pictures.
- If safe to do so, make temporary repairs to prevent further
loss from rain or wind. Save receipts for reimbursement.
- If your home or property is damaged by a wind or hail, contact
your insurance agent or company to file a claim immediately.
Filing a claim quickly enables your
insurance company to get to you sooner.
- Use only licensed, reputable building contractors and be
sure they get the proper building permits.
What to avoid if your home or vehicle
has been damaged:
- Avoid contractors who ask for a large deposit up front or
bids that are remarkably low. This may indicate a willingness
to cut corners or leave work unfinished.
- Don't pay a lot for temporary repairs unless authorized
by your insurance adjuster. You could get stuck with the bill
if the repairs are deemed excessive.
- Don't discard anything that is damaged until it has been
examined by your adjuster. You could miss out on coverage
for that item.
For more information on how to protect
your home, business and vehicle against disasters, call (800)
664-4942 or visit www.getreadynw.org.
Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving Idaho,
Washington and Oregon.