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Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111
Serving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Wyoming
Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Tom Hirsig (307) 777-7401
Carole Walker, Executive Director, RMIIA (303) 790-0216
Eastern Wyoming Residents Begin the Recovery Process in the Aftermath of Yesterday's Twister near Wheatland, Wyoming.
June 8, 2012 – Residents near Wheatland are surveying the damage left behind by a quarter-mile wide tornado that touched down just west of town late Thursday afternoon. The storms also brought golf-ball sized hail and high winds to Eastern Wyoming that reportedly heavily damaged five homes, damaged at least a dozen others and knocked over train cars.
Homeowners who experienced damage to property and cars should document any damage, take photos and contact insurance agents or company representatives. For homes that are heavily damaged or destroyed, those residents will have coverage under their insurance policy for additional living expenses to live elsewhere while their homes are uninhabitable.
The Wyoming Department of Insurance is joining with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association to provide advice for affected homeowners as they begin the rebuilding process.
"The Wyoming Insurance Department stands ready to help consumers as they work with their insurance companies to repair and rebuild their homes from yesterday's tornado," says Commissioner Tom Hirsig. "Our hearts go out to those who have lost their homes and will provide whatever assistance we can in helping them through the recovery process."
"Wheatland area residents who suffered damage from last night's tornado should contact their insurance agent or company representative immediately. Homeowners who are staying elsewhere need to let their company know how they can be reached," says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "Homeowners insurance also typically provides homeowners some extra out-of-pocket living expenses when they are forced out of their home due to a total loss, severe structural damage or a mandatory evacuation resulting from a tornado or other natural disaster."
Contact the Wyoming Insurance Department:
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.
The Wyoming Insurance Department is responsible for regulating the business of insurance in the state of Wyoming. The department provides optimum consumer protection and support to Wyoming residents by investigating consumer complaints and resolving issues on insurance matters.
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.