Weigh damage, read coverage terms and check contractors before hiring
Nashville, TN – As temperatures change, storms can result, bringing damage to our homes. The Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) would like to offer consumers some tips for interacting with insurance companies and for selecting contractors.
Tennessee’s Board for Licensing Contractors has found that unscrupulous, unlicensed contractors like to take advantage of homeowners anxious to rebuild after disasters. Be sure to hire only licensed contractors and check them out with the Board.
- As soon as possible after an event affects your home, check the damage to see whether you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.
- If you choose to contact your company, locate a copy of your policy and read through it. Make a thorough inventory for your adjustor of all of the items missing from or damaged in your home.
- Take pictures, if possible, of all damage – inside and outside, from several angles – to get full documentation before any repairs are made.
- Secure and protect your property against further rain or other damage as much as possible without making permanent repairs, so that the adjustor can see and document the full extent of the damage,
- Keep receipts for expenses of protecting your property from further damage.
- Follow the claims-filing procedure set forth in your policy. If there is a dispute, follow the company’s dispute process.
- Many larger companies have quick-response teams that come into areas of heavy damage to process large numbers of claims as quickly as possible. Others will not send someone out unless you call them. Call your company to be sure.
- Call TDCI’s Consumer Insurance Services with insurance issues at 800.342.4029, or its Consumer Affairs division hotline for non-insurance issues at 800.342.8385.
- Consumers may verify a license status by calling 800.544.7693, or may check TDCI’s website for various trades at http://verify.tn.gov. Consumer tips can be found at http://tn.gov/commerce/boards/contractors/consumers.shtml.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/, @TNCommerceInsur (Twitter), http://on.fb.me/uFQwUZ (Facebook), http://bit.ly/ry1GyX (YouTube)