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Post-storm consumer tips from State Farm

Posted at 4:06 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 16:06:15-05

LANSING, Mich. — In the wake of strong winds and storms across Michigan, many residents are faced with the prospect of recovering from damage to homes, vehicles, and other property, and other related challenges.

State Farm encourages customers to start the insurance claim process as soon as they can.

We share these tips to help with the storm recovery and insurance claim processes:

  • Make temporary repairs to damaged property: When it is safe to do so, those who’ve experienced property damage should have reasonable temporary repairs made to prevent further damage (for example, patching holes or covering windows to prevent rain from entering the house).
  • Depending on your coverage, repair costs may be reimbursed. Save receipts if you purchase items such as tarps and plywood or other supplies to make repairs.
  • Document damage by taking photos and recording video.
  • Working with contractors: While there are many good and reputable contractors in the state, be wary of those who might try to capitalize on the storm.
    • Ask for recommendations
    • Be aware of door-to-door solicited repairs
    • Get multiple written estimates
    • Always have a written, detailed estimate
    • Don’t pay up front. Always inspect the completed work before payment.
    • If making repairs, consider upgraded roofing materials (upgrades could result in insurance premium discounts).
  • If you have experienced a power outage, never use candles for emergency lighting, use flashlights.
    • Disconnect appliances, equipment or electronics that were on when the power went out.
    • When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage computers, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. Leave one light on so you know when the power returns.
    • Your homeowner policy may cover spoiled food and other damages as a result of power outages, subject to the deductible. Check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers damages resulting from outages.
  • If your home is uninhabitable, your insurance policy may cover temporary housing expenses. Check with your insurance agent to confirm.
  • Use generators safely. If you have a portable generator, only run it outdoors with adequate ventilation. Never use a generator indoors or in attached garages. The exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly if inhaled.

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