The Missouri Department of Insurance encourages owners to act quickly if they sustained home or car damage in the recent hail and wind storms.

The Missouri Department of Insurance encourages owners to act quickly if they sustained home or car damage in the recent hail and wind storms.


Getting insurance involved early is critical, says insurance director John M. Huff. If storms in your area cause property damage, take these steps to maximize your recovery:




Contact your insurance agent or your insurance company’s toll-free claims number as soon as possible. Some insurance companies set up mobile claims units with staff in areas hit hard by storms.

Make temporary repairs needed to prevent further damage. For example, a hole in the roof should be covered by a tarp or other material to keep rain out. Same goes for a broken car window. Otherwise, further damage will likely not be covered by insurance. Keep the receipts for materials you buy so you can be reimbursed.

Don’t make permanent repairs until your insurance company has inspected the damage. If you do, your claim might be denied.

Once your claim is processed, get estimates from contractors or auto repair shops known to you or recommended by someone you trust. Be suspicious of solicitors who offer to do repairs for you.

If you believe your insurance company has not handled your complaint properly, file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. The department will determine whether your insurance company has followed Missouri law in processing your claim.

Don’t let contractors inspect your home if you’re not watching. Some unscrupulous companies will cause damage to drive up the repair cost, and your insurance company will likely not cover the additional cost.

Don’t pay the whole repair bill in advance. Pay in full only when the work is completed according to your agreement.

Even if you haven’t been affected by spring storms, it’s always good to do a complete home inventory, Huff says. A complete list of possessions makes it easier to file insurance claims.


To download a free checklist, visit http://insurance.mo.gov/aboutInsurance/publications/ and click on “Home Inventory Checklist.” Or, Huff suggests taking digital photos or video of possessions.


For general questions or to file a complaint, call the Insurance Consumer hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit http://insurance.mo.gov.