As insurance adjusters respond to thousands of claims in the tornado-ravaged southeastern and south central United States, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) offers tips to help affected home and business owners expedite the recovery process.
"Our condolences go out to all Americans affected by this catastrophic tornado outbreak," Christopher Hackett, PCI's director of personal lines policy, said in a statement. "We know that many lost loved ones and many more suffered catastrophic property damage."
Massive thunderstorms, hail and more than 200 reported tornadoes swept through a wide swath of the country over the weekend beginning April 15, with severe weather hitting North Carolina and Virginia the hardest.
Most losses from tornadoes, windstorms and hail are covered by renters or home insurance policies. Tornado losses are covered by the windstorm peril under a home insurance policy, and windstorm or hail damage to cars is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
PCI recommends customers immediately contact their insurance agents or company representatives and inspect their property and cars for damage. Other tips from PCI:
• Take photographs of damage to create an inventory of losses, and save receipts to assist with claims.
• Secure property from further damage or theft.
• Check the background and legitimacy of repair contractors and contact the insurance company to get names of reputable contractors.