THE AFTERMATH: Got wind-damaged property? Here’s what to do next

Wind insurance claims
If the damage is so bad it needs be dealt with now, go ahead and call a contractor but take pictures and hang on to your receipts. / Ray Harless -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Many people are still repairing their cars and homes from the historic hail storm back in late July, and after this major wind storm the insurance claims are already coming in.

Jonathan Neal recently moved to Colorado Springs from Texas with his wife and nothing quite says welcome to Colorado like a tree on your roof.

“I think it went down about 9:00 this morning,” said Neal. “It was right when I got to work and she called me and said, ‘Call me immediately’ and she let me know what happened and she sent me a picture and I had to come as soon as I could.”

The Neal’s then called their insurance company to file a claim and they were not alone. FOX21 spoke with Patricia Szeredy, a Farmers Insurance agent; she says her phone has already been ringing off the hook.

“Very early on my cell phone started getting texts. I had customers reaching out to me that had trees falling on their roof, cars damaged. Szeredy said, “It started early this morning and it really hasn’t let up.”

She also says it’s important to get your insurance claim filed as soon as possible considering how big this wind event has been.

“Wind is very typically covered by any homeowner’s policy, a renter’s contents policies always cover wind and hail,” said Szeredy.

If a tree in your yard falls on the neighbor’s home or car, you’re typically liable.

Szeredy said, “The claims reps who deal with that all the time can figure that out and usually work with the neighbor’s insurance company, the other carrier, to determine the liability.”

She also says if you’re not sure if the damage costs will even meet your deductible, you’ll definitely want to talk to your agent before you get anything repaired.

If the damage is so bad it needs be dealt with now, go ahead and call a contractor but take pictures and hang on to your receipts.

Insurance companies suggest getting several estimates for your damage. If the contractor is not licensed, bonded or insured, don’t even ask them to come out.

Do your homework and search resources like the Better Business Bureau and always look for a company with a good track record.

“Somebody that’s been in town referrals from your neighbors are always good, referrals from your insurance carrier is probably even better to make sure that you get a reliable contractor that will work with your insurance carrier,” said Szeredy.

She also said to never feel pressured to sign anything or pay any money upfront. Insurance agents say reputable contractors do not work like that.

As for the Neal’s, they had to call a company to come cut their downed tree up and now they’re really making the best of it.

Neal said, “Now I’ve got a view of the mountains and couldn’t be happier.”

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