This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Tornado Damage: Cleanup And Insurance Claims





Standard home insurance policies include coverage for tornado damage. But there are steps homeowners can take to minimize the damage and get back on track.

"I always tell people documentation, communication and cooperation are the most important elements of any claims settlement," says Logan Harrison, chief deputy commissioner at the Indiana Department of Insurance. "We recognize that homeowners are going through a really tough time but if they're able to keep those three things in mind, it will make their lives much easier."

Write it down

Before you can begin documenting the damage to your home and property, it's critical that you determine whether or not it's safe to remain in an area that's been hit by a tornado. After all, downed power lines, gas leaks and broken glass are accidents waiting to happen.

"Make sure it's safe to go back into your neighborhood," warns Julie Rochman, president and chief executive officer at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety in Tampa, Fla. "Safety always comes first. You want to make sure that emergency operations people have first cleared the area [for you] to go back."

Next, begin documenting the damage. "Be as detailed as you can," recommends Jeanne Salvatore, a spokesperson for the III. "You want to make lists and take photographs."

Rochman agrees, adding that "taking video is also a really good thing to do. That's because a lot of videos include time and date stamps for greater accuracy."

That's not to suggest that you should delay making minor repairs. While it's critical to document every bit of damage, Salvatore says, "If you don't have a total loss, you also want to make basic or interim repairs to prevent additional damage."

Putting a tarp over a damaged roof, boarding up blown-out windows or sweeping up broken glass won't impact your insurance claim. Remember to "save your receipts for things like tarps and plywood, because you'll be reimbursed by your insurance company for the costs of those repairs," says Salvatore.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs