|7951 E. Maplewood Avenue, Suite 130
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming
Contact: Carole Walker, Executive Director
303-790-0216 or toll free 800-355-9524
Insurance Adjusters Survey Damage from Yesterday's Cheyenne Hail Storm
July 13, 2011 – Wyoming insurance adjusters spent the day surveying damage and answering phone calls from residents hit by a powerful hail storm that tore through downtown Cheyenne yesterday evening.
Reports of golf ball-sized hail in Cheyenne, as well as area southwest and northeast of the capitol city pummeled homes, property and cars. Fortunately, homeowners insurance covers damage from wind and hail, and damage to vehicles from hail and flooding is covered if you carry comprehensive insurance on your auto policy. Though it is still too early to estimate the total cost of this storm, insurance companies are busy surveying damage and will meet with customers throughout the coming weeks to begin the claims settlement process.
Some carriers are bringing in catastrophe teams and will be setting up claims centers or mobile units in Cheyenne to help handle the high volume, speed up the claims process and take care of customers.
"Cheyenne residents who suffered damage from yesterday's storms should contact their insurance agent or company representatives immediately," says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "Serious losses will be given priority, so take photographs and document damage, and then make temporary repairs. Be sure to keep any receipts, as those will likely be covered as part of your claim settlement."
How to file an auto claim:
How to file a property claim:
Claims Filing Advice:
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association has this advice for affected residents filing claims for damage.
- Be prepared to give your agent or insurance representative a description of any damage. Your agent will report the loss immediately to your insurance company or a qualified adjuster. Some companies also have 24-hour, 800 numbers for claims assistance.
- Take photos of damage. These will help with your claims process and will assist the adjuster in the investigation.
- Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. Be sure to make two copies—one for yourself and one for the adjuster. Your list should be as complete as possible, including descriptions of the items, dates of purchase or approximate age, cost at time of purchase and estimated replacement cost.
- Make whatever temporary repairs you can. Cover broken windows, damaged roofs and walls to prevent further destruction. Save receipts for supplies and materials you purchase. Your company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs.
- Secure a detailed estimate for permanent repairs to your home from a reliable contractor and give it to the adjuster. The estimate should contain the proposed repairs, repair costs and replacement prices.
- Serious losses will be given priority. If your home has been destroyed or seriously damaged, your agent will do everything possible to assure that you are given priority.
Tips for Hiring a Contractor:
Hiring a reputable contractor to do repairs or construct a new home is critical. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to choose a contractor. Also check with the area Better Business Bureau. Make certain they are licensed and have adequate insurance coverage.
Don't become a victim of disaster fraud. After a natural disaster, professionals often go from door-to-door in damaged neighborhoods, offering clean up or repair services. Many of these business people are reputable. Others are not. The dishonest ones may pocket payment without completing the job or use inferior materials and perform shoddy work not up to code.
- Get more than one estimate. Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.
- Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, materials, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.
- Demand references and check them out.
- Ask to see the salesperson's driver's license and write down the license number and license plate number.
- Ask for proof that the contractor is bonded, carries liability insurance, and covers his/her workers with workers compensation insurance.
- The contractor's business card should have a verifiable street address and office phone number.
- Never sign a contract with blanks; unacceptable terms can be added later.
- Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished. Request a lien waiver indicating the contractor has paid its subcontractors and suppliers.
- Insurance coverage may be rendered void if intentional misrepresentation by a policyholder is discovered.
- If you believe you have been approached by an unlicensed contractor or adjuster, or have been encouraged to fabricate an insurance claim, contact your insurance company or call the National Insurance Crime Bureau Hotline at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).
Log on to www.rmiia.org for more information.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.