Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter.com/nwinsuranceinfo
to do in the aftermath
SEATTLE - As with many disasters, windstorms can wreak havoc
across a region, severely damaging homes, businesses and vehicles.
Fortunately, wind damage is covered under standard homeowners
and business owners insurance policies.
Vehicle owners with optional Comprehensive Coverage in their Auto
Insurance are also insured.
"Insurance companies really show their value to customers following
a catastrophe like a windstorm," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance
Council president. "It's frustrating to deal with a windstorm
loss, but it would be financially devastating to many if they
hadn't insured their homes and businesses."
The Hanukkah Eve Windstorm that struck Western Washington and
Oregon in December 2006 caused nearly $220 million in damage and
more than 61,300 insurance claims.
Knowing what to do immediately following a windstorm can help
you more quickly get back on your feet. NW
Insurance Council offers the following key points and recommendations
for homeowners and business owners who experience wind damage:
Filing A Claim:
- If you have damage to your home or business, don't wait to
file a claim. Filing quickly will reduce
the time it takes to get your claim settled.
- If you've filed a claim for minor damage that doesn't impact
your ability to live in your home, consider getting several
repair estimates before your adjuster arrives. This will help
your adjuster settle your claim more quickly.
- If you have minor damage, please be patient. Adjusters are
working to handle the most severely damaged properties first
and will make it a priority to reach your property as soon as
Damage from neighbor's trees:
- Damage to your home from wind and falling trees is covered
under most insurance policies, regardless of whose property
the tree fell from.
- In cases where negligence can be proven, your neighbor's insurance
- If your neighbor's tree poses a future risk to your property
due to leaning, disease or root problems, claims experts recommend
asking your neighbor to correct the problem. If the neighbor
refuses to act, follow up with a certified letter stating your
concerns. File a copy of the letter with your insurance records
and provide it to your adjuster in the event of a future loss.
This will help the adjuster investigate whether or not there
was provable negligence on the neighbor's part.
Additional Living Expenses:
- If your home is unsafe to occupy due to physical damage from
the windstorm, most policies provide for Additional Living Expenses
that exceed your normal expenditures.
- General power outages occurring off your insured property
are excluded from coverage under most policies. While you may
elect to seek other accommodations due to a power outage, cold
weather alone does not qualify you for coverage under your insurance
Frozen and Refrigerated Food Spoilage:
- Many companies exclude coverage for spoiled food unless a
power outage is caused by a loss on your property, such as a
tree severing the power lines attached to your home.
- Some companies provide up to $1000 coverage for frozen and
refrigerated food spoilage after 72 hours of continuous power
interruption. Check your policy for coverage information.
For more information, call (800) 664-4942 or visit www.nwinsurance.org.
For information on how to prepare your home, business and family
for a natural disaster, visit www.GetReadyNW.org.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon