Storm damage keeps insurance adjusters busy - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Storm damage keeps insurance adjusters busy

Posted: Updated: Jun 17, 2014 07:27 PM
TOWN OF VERONA (WKOW) -- Laura Roberts took shelter in the basement during the storm that hit her Town of Verona home early Tuesday morning.

She said she didn't hear any loud noises, other than thunder, but woke to find an estimated half of her property's 250, large, hardwood trees tossed about her yard.

"It's pretty surreal," she said.

"What I noticed is I could see the sky through all the trees, which I usually don't see" Roberts said. "I could see it all the way around my house."
None of the broken or uprooted trees fell on Roberts' home. But she said many of the lost hardwoods were more than 100 years old.

"The house could be fixed," Roberts said. "But the (old) trees can't be replaced easily."

Laura Reetz, a senior property field adjuster with American Family Insurance, surveyed the damage to the Roberts house Tuesday afternoon.
Reetz put the damage total at less than $3-thousand dollars. Although she said that does not include the damage to the trees. Reetz said American Family Insurance offers limited coverage for tree damage. That coverage typically kicks in when "trees land on a covered property," Reetz said.

As an insurance adjuster, Reetz said she surveys all the components of a home starting with what's visible from the ground level -- like the siding, doors and windows.

Reetz later climbed onto the roof to examine the shingles and gutters.

"The (Roberts) home had some flying debris. There are some shingles that were damaged by flying debris," Reetz said. "There was also some wind damaged shingles, where the wind actually took the shingle and tore it."

"Debris also landed on the gutters and caused dents," she said.

Reetz said storms like those seen early Tuesday morning make for very busy days. But she said in the cases of smaller claims, like Roberts', she was hoping to have checks issued to homeowners by the end of the day Tuesday.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer issued the following statement on the storms in southern Wisconsin:

"The immediate aftermath of the storm will be stressful and painful for those whose homes or businesses have been damaged by the storm," Schwartzer said.

"With more fast moving storms and additional rain in the forecast for Tuesday evening, the most important thing is to stay safe," he added in the statement.

Schwartzer said it's important that homeowners who see their property has been damaged take lots of pictures for documentation. He said it's important to notify your insurance company immediately so it can send an adjustor, like Reetz, to come up with a damage estimate.

Schwartzer said homeowners should "contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days."
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