|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
Coloradans Wake Up to Storm Damage from South Denver to Colorado Springs—Sounding the Alarm that Peak Severe Weather Season Has Arrived!
June 7, 2012 – Mother Nature put on a weather show late last night—lighting up the skies with waves of lightning, pounding hail and driving rain that left some neighborhoods in South-Metro Denver and Colorado Springs looking like winter in June. As residents of these areas wake up and observe damage to property and cars, they should document any damage, take photos and contact insurance agents or company representatives.
"Do make some temporary repairs if you have damage to your home and hang on to any repair receipts as those are likely reimbursable if you file a claim," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "If you think you have damage to your roof, put safety first and don't climb up there. Wait for your adjuster to come inspect it."
Select a Reputable Roofer:
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.
In fact Governor Hickenlooper signed SB-38 into law just yesterday, and it provides added consumer protections for Colorado homeowners, such as requiring identification, scope of work and allowing the homeowner to rescind the contract within 72 hours. It also prohibits the waiver of insurance deductibles.
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.
- 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).
For more consumer information on insurance topics, logon to www.rmiia.org.
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.