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Contact:

Karl Newman, President
Darrin Sanger, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (206) 624-3330/(800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
karl.newman@nwinsurance.org Follow at Twitter.com/karljnewman
darrin.sanger@nwinsurance.org
Follow at Twitter.com/darrinsanger

Storm: 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.

Standard home 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 include deductibles.

"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:

Your Home

  • 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.

Your Vehicle

  • Damage caused by wind, falling trees and hail - if you purchased optional Comprehensive Coverage.

What's typically not covered:

Your Home

  • Removal of trees that have fallen in your yard without damaging a building.
  • Upgrades that weren't part of your home before the storm.

Your Vehicle

  • Wind or hail damage to your vehicle if you don't have Comprehensive Coverage.
  • 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.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Idaho, Washington and Oregon.