Tips on filing insurance claims for storm damage, avoiding scamm - KCTV5 News

Tips on filing insurance claims for storm damage, avoiding scammers

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Storm damage in Blue Springs. (KCTV) Storm damage in Blue Springs. (KCTV)

With widespread damage across the KC metro, many people were filing insurance claims on Thursday.

A local State Farm agent opened his office at 9 a.m. and by 9:30 a.m., he was already slammed with calls from dozens of people in the Kansas City area.

During violent weather outbreaks, lightning, hail, and high-speed winds can combine to create destruction that leads to thousands of insurance claims.

Here is advice from insurance agencies on what to do as we prep for more storms.

The first thing you need to look out for are what insurance agents call “storm chasers.” They are scammers who knock on your door and offer to handle every aspect of filing and repairing from beginning to end.

They get your insurance information, make the call to the agent, file the claim, and promise to repair. However, once they get money either by scamming you or your agent, they never return.

Be sure to always use a local contractor and one with good reviews.

The Johnson County District Attorney sent out a warning on Thursday, telling people to watch out for others who will try to take advantage.

From tree trimming and debris collection, to pricey home repairs like your roof, scammers can take your money and then hit the road, leaving the state without a trace. 

So, here’s what the D.A. wants you to know:

  • Don’t give out personal info to anybody coming door-to-door.
  • Ask for the business’ verifiable local phone number and address.  
  • Be suspicious of vehicles with out-of-state license plates. 

Ask for proof of registration, as well. Roofing companies are required to register their business in Kansas. You can also contact city hall to make sure the business has the licenses needed to make those repairs. 

To check out a business for yourself and see if it’s licensed before you sign any contract, click here.

Next, with more storms rolling in, mitigate the damage already done.

“So, get a tarp out,” said Farm Bureau Agent Josh Duhon. “Cover that damage. You want to prevent any further damage from ensuing."

Or, you can call a roofing company to come out and do patchwork until the insurance adjuster can get to your home.  

Next, know your deductible.

People often lose money by filing first and later realizing their deductible is higher than the damage done.

Finally, be proactive and take pictures. The more the better.

“Take your iPhone, walk around your house, open every closet, every door, every pantry, to get an inventory of your contents,” Duhon said.

You should have pictures of your home and belongings before disaster strikes, and on file, too.

Those pictures, coupled with the pictures you take of the damage done, will be solid proof for your claim.

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