Insurance commissioner offers tips for filing claim for winter storm damage

Insurance commissioner offers tips for filing claim for winter storm damage

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In many ways it seems like last month’s winter blast was just adding insult to injury.

The storm forced many to file claims with their insurance company even as they are struggling to recover from last season’s hurricanes.

First, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says if you need to file a claim from damage due to the winter storm of a couple of weeks ago, it is best to do so promptly.

For some the winter storm will make their third claim in the last seven months after the two hurricanes. It may be roof damage from ice. For others, pipes that burst causing damage.

Donelon says the first thing to do is to stop any winter storm damage from getting worse.

“Take pictures of what you’re doing. It’s easy to do with your cell phone, and keep receipts for whatever reasonable expense you incur in order to stop the spread of the molding, further incursion of water,” he said.

Also, unless a homeowner is at fault in some way, slip and fall cases are usually covered on residential policies.

“The typical slip and fall case on ice caused by the winter storm is certainly covered by all residential policies,” Donelon said.

He says claims due to winter storm damage should not be used against a policy holder in terms of price increases or loss of insurance.

“Do not hesitate to file a claim. This is an act of god event. Like a hurricane, like a tornado, this is a weather-related catastrophe,” he said.

People will have to pay their policy or all perils deductible.

Donelon says anyone who thinks they are not being treated properly by their insurance company may contact his office and file a complaint if needed or call 1-800-259-5300. For more tips click here.

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