A damaging ice storm hit the Dakotas and Minnesota on April 11, 2013, leaving many homes and businesses without electrical power. This was especially true in Nobles and Jackson counties, as well as in other communities across southwestern Minnesota and South Dakota. Additionally, the heavy ice caused power poles and trees to snap and fall, crushing many residential and commercial buildings. Such property damages from the ice storm have caused many homeowners and business owners to submit property insurance claims.
Our insurance claim attorneys want you to get the best possible outcome and claim settlement from your insurer. Follow these tips when submitting your claim:
- Mitigate your property damages. Prevent any further damage from taking place. A tree may have already fallen on your roof and crashed through your window. This was out of your control. However, you can take action against additional damage by putting a tarp on the roof, boarding up the windows, and making other necessary temporary repairs.
- Report property damages to your insurance company. It is always best to send along pictures of the damages.
- Take inventory. If it is safe to do so, look through your house or business to determine what items are damaged. Take pictures of anything damaged. Make sure you do not throw anything out until the insurance adjuster inspects your property.
- Choose a contractor carefully. Beware of repair fraud scams that occur after disasters. Do not hire anyone who comes knocking at your door. Do your own research, get referrals and hire an established company. Never do business without a written contract, and never pay the entire amount up front.
- Have your chosen contractor write up an estimate and compare it with the estimate from the insurance adjuster. Do not accept any offer the insurance company makes you. Unfortunately, many insurance adjusters undervalue property damages.
- Document all expenses if you cannot live in your home or work in your commercial building due to the damage. Save receipts for temporary relocation and any other expenses you have incurred from the ice storm damage.
Even without direct property damage, the loss of light and heat can cripple a community, including businesses. For example, the largest employer in Worthington, MN is JBS Swift pork plant, which slaughters about 19,000 hogs each day. JBS Swift was forced to close down after the ice storm due to power outages. Unfortunately, this was the case for many businesses across the area, both large to small companies.
If your home or business sustained considerable damage, consider working with an experienced insurance litigation lawyer on your residential and commercial insurance claim. This way, you can rest assured knowing that you are receiving the best claim settlement possible for your property losses. To find out more, call the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 for a free consultation today.