Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak offered the following advice for Oklahomans dealing with damage from Tuesday's tornado outbreak:
What to Do if Your Home is Damaged:
Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and all relevant information as soon as possible. Cooperate fully with your company or agent, asking what forms, documents and data you will need to provide in order to process your claim.
Take photos or video of the damage.
Make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage to the property (for instance, covering broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls), but do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement with them on the cost of appropriate repairs.
Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs that might be covered by your insurance policy.
If your home is damaged to the extent that it is unlivable, ask your insurance provider if you have coverage for living expenses incurred while repairs are being made. Save all receipts to document these costs.
What Damage to Your Home is Covered?
Commissioner Doak notes that damages caused by wind, wind-driven rain, trees or other falling objects, and the collapse of a structure are covered under most standard homeowners policies. However, you should review your individual insurance contract to determine specific coverage and exclusions. Check your policy and call your insurance agent or company for clarification with specific questions.
What Damage to Your Home is Not Covered?
Commissioner Doak cautions that the following weather-related events are usually not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies:
Interior storm-water damage when there was no damage to the home's roof or walls
Removal of fallen trees from the property, unless those trees land on and damage the roof and walls of the home
Food spoilage due to power outages
Water damage from backed-up drains or sewers
When to Contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department
If you have a dispute with your insurer or agent about the amount or terms of a claim settlement, Commissioner Doak encourages you to contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at http://oid.ok.gov or (800) 522-0071.