Check your insurance policy before severe weather hits - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Check your insurance policy before severe weather hits

MADISON (WKOW) -- State insurance officials have some advice for homeowners, to prepare them for severe weather: check your insurance policies before storms hit.

A typical homeowner's policy provides coverage for damage that is the direct result of severe weather, including hail and high winds. But for flooding, homeowners must purchase a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Plan.

Endorsements are also an option to protect against damage from things like sewer backup and sump pump problems. An endorsement is a special coverage portion that adds extra coverage to a typical policy. But the OCI recommends consumers review all endorsements closely before adding them.

"Consumers should be aware there are a variety of coverage available for homeowner's insurance. What is included in one policy may not be covered in another," said Sean Dilweg, Commissioner of Insurance. "Consumers need to understand their policy so that they can make any needed adjustments. A little planning now can save time and money in the future if you have to make a claim."

According to the OCI, if your home is damaged by a storm, consumers should take the following steps:

  1. Notify your company or agent as soon as possible to begin filing an insurance claim.
  2. Make any necessary repairs to protect yourself from further loss or damage as soon as it is safe to do so.
  3. Make a list of damaged items and start collecting receipts from the cost of repairs.
  4. Take photographs of the damage for the insurance company.
  5. Don't throw away furniture or expensive items damaged by the storm. Your insurance adjuster will want to see these.
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