Date: July 1, 2014
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Commissioner Ted Nickel Statement on Storm Damage,
Flooding in Southeastern Wisconsin
Madison, WIWisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel expressed concern for the citizens of Southeastern Wisconsin facing yet another major storm last night with more severe thunderstorms moving through the area tonight.
"This part of the state has been hit by several major storms in the last few weeks, and many homeowners may be facing property damage. Fallen trees and damaged roofs have been common in these storms, and some home and business owners are facing major damage as a result," stated Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel. "Facing these losses can be overwhelming, but with more storms on the way, the most important thing is to make sure you to protect yourself and your family."
Commission Nickel suggested the following tips in dealing with the aftermath of the storm:
- Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim. Make sure you provide a telephone and/or e-mail address where you can be reached. Your insurance company may also have representatives on the scene immediately following a major disaster to speed up the handling of claims.
- Pay attention to local news to find out if state and federal agencies are available on-scene to help with relief efforts.
- Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. It will help to take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items. Do not throw out any damaged property without your adjuster's agreement. If local officials require the disposal of damaged items before the insurance company's claims adjuster can inspect the damages, take photos and keep a swatch or other sample of damaged items for the adjuster (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs). For more information on completing a home inventory please visit oci.wi.gov/pressrel/0612homeinv.htm.
- Separate damaged items from undamaged items.
- To avoid scams, make sure to take your time. If you feel pressured to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate. Rebuilding your home or business is important, but quickly signing a contract with an unscrupulous party can make a bad situation worse.
- Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
"It's important to take photos after any severe weather event where you have damage to your property," noted Nickel. "Take photos of the damage and do not move or pick up anything until the insurance company claims adjusters are able to see the damage. We also want to let people know that we're here to help."
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Web site has numerous helpful publications including the "Consumers Guide To Homeowner's Insurance" (oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-015.htm) and "Personal Property Home Inventory" (oci.wi.gov/pub_list/pi-224.pdf) which is a worksheet for consumers to list their personal property. There are also specific insurance publications for small business owners, mobile home insurance, condominium insurance and information on how to settle property insurance claims. All of these publications can be found on the OCI Web site at oci.wi.gov/pub_list.htm.
You can contact OCI with questions at 1-800-236-8517 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
If you need to file a complaint, you can file a complaint online via OCI's Web site (oci.wi.gov). Additionally, you can obtain a complaint form by calling 1-800-236-8517, or by printing a form from OCI's Web site. All complaints must be in writing. You can mail completed complaint forms and copies of any supporting material to:
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
P. O. Box 7873
Madison, WI 53707-7873
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.