Apr. 29—Overnight storms moved through central
Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions by vehicle and home owners after hail and wind damage, from the
Liability insurance alone will not cover hail damage, nor will a collision policy. Vehicle owners with comprehensive coverage may, however, be eligible for help with repairs to the interior, exterior and glass of their automobiles.
Typically, hail and wind damage is covered by a standard homeowners' insurance policy. However, the policy may have limitations. Check with your provider to see if you have higher deductible for hail or if there are exceptions for cosmetic damage to structures. Some areas may even have separate hail-specific deductibles, or exclusions because of the frequency of this kind of claim.
"Insurance carriers have 30 days to acknowledge claims and 60 days from proof of loss before they must pay, deny, or investigate the matter further," said
If a claim takes an unreasonable amount of time, Heigle recommends property owners contact the claims adjustor's supervisor to escalate the issue. If the problem is still not resolved, a formal complaint against the company can be filed with the
If you don't own your home, a renters' insurance policy will typically cover your belongings inside the dwelling in the case of damage caused by a weather related event including hail and wind, according to StateFarm.com and Allstate.com.
The website is designed as a survey to collect information to provide state and local authorities a clearer picture of where and to what extent damage has occurred.
Different survey entries are requested for those with multiple agricultural, business and residential losses at the same address. Should disaster relief be made available, participation may help government officials expedite the process for home and business owners to access aid.
When dealing with damages after a storm, the
Heigle added that homeowners should be careful of those contractors who seem to appear on consumers' doorsteps overnight.
"Do not sign any forms from door-to-door roofing companies. Call a contractor you know or trust to inspect your roof," she said. "Companies offering to pay your deductible to get your business may cut corners on repairs or use inferior materials to offset the deductibles."
No contractor should ever expect payment up front, Heigle added. Instead payment should be held until after the job has been completed to your standards.
If approached by a contractor that seems to be operating a fraudulent business, try to research the company through the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board.
"[The Construction Industries Board] maintain a database of registered roofing contractors and if companies have had complaints filed against them," Attorney General
Hunter added that while it can be hard to stay patient, it is important to take time in making the decision about who to allow to work on your home. It may keep you from falling prey to common schemes.
"A good company or contractor will let you take your time and make your own decision," he said. "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is."
Hunter also said to be sure to ask companies if they are insured and licensed. You have a right to know this information as it protects you from being held liable should someone get hurt or cause further damage to your property.
Ultimately if you or someone you know falls victim to a scam, you can file a complaint with the AG's office consumer protection division by calling 405-521-3921 and asking to speak with a consumer representative.
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