By Alejandra de la Torre, Alejandra de la Torre Agent State Farm Insurance
As the ice thaws, Texans are getting a better understanding of the damages caused by last week’s winter storms. The most common damages suffered were as a result of burst pipes, falling trees and power failures. As home and business owners begin to tackle the cleanup and repairs, they are looking for answers. Some of the questions we are getting in my office are can I be reimbursed for food spoilage? Is tree removal covered? Can I get my hotel stay reimbursed? The answer to these questions can be found in your insurance policy. As this can be a complicated document, it is important to consult your insurance agent to determine what your policy does and does not cover. When deciding whether or not to file a claim, there
are some important things to consider:
– Make sure you check what your deductible is. Many coverage’s are subject to your deductible.
– If you stayed at hotels do to power outage or no water. Many insurance will not cover you hotel stay. If you or your family had to evacuate your home due to storm damage, your policy might cover your cost.
– If you do have a claim keep in mind plumbers and restoration are two to four weeks out. Get your name on as many waiting list as possible. Also insurance companies are dealing with many claims, don’t wait until they call you to get your contractors or plumber.
– Take pictures of everything, before, during and after getting work done…if you think you are taking too many picture take more! Keep every receipt, and itemized list of the damages.
– Keep your family safe and try to mitigate the damage.
In some situations the damage may not be covered by insurance. In these instances, there may still be help available from the federal government. If you have loss that your insurance doesn’t cover consider filing a claim with FEMA. FEMA can’t duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance however, if insurance does not cover all of your damage, you may be eligible for federal assistance. The fastest way to apply is online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
If you don’t have internet access you can register by calling 800-621-3362 or TTY: 800- 462-7585. The phone lines operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT each day.
Here are some Q&A from Texas Department of Insurance