Karl Newman, President
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (206) 624-3330
Fax: (206) 624-1975
are you insured?
PORTLAND - Yesterday's thunderstorms slammed Western Oregon with
strong winds, lightning, hail and rain and left a trail of damaged
homes, businesses and vehicles. Nearly 50,000 residents were without
power for most of the night. Fortunately, Homeowners and business
owners insurance policies cover damage from thunderstorms.
"With the recent spate of bad weather, homeowners, renters, vehicle
owners and business owners who are insured can be confident that
their insurance companies are here to help them get back on their
feet," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president.
Homeowners Insurance and Business Insurance policies cover damage
to the structure of your home or business and your belongings
caused by wind, falling trees, lightning and hail.
If you have Renters Insurance, only damage to your personal possessions
is covered. Damage to vehicles caused by falling trees or other
wind-driven objects is covered if you have optional Comprehensive
Coverage on your Auto Policy.
NW Insurance Council offers the following coverage facts for
damage caused by yesterday's thunderstorms:
What's typically covered:
- Damage to your home from wind, falling trees, lightning
and hail. Your policy protects you regardless of whether trees
fall from your property or a neighbor's property.
- 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 and furniture rental.
- Costs for reasonable temporary repairs to prevent further
damage to the building or contents.
- Damage caused by wind and falling trees, flooding and fire
caused by lightning - if you purchased optional Comprehensive
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.
- Damage to the interior or exterior of your home or business
caused by surface water from an outside source is not covered.
- Damage to your vehicle if you don't have Comprehensive Coverage.
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 windstorm, 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, call (800) 664-4942 or visit www.nwinsurance.org.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, consumer education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Oregon, Washington