Insurers Offer Advice to Storm Victims in Okla.

April 7, 2005

An insurance trade association with responsibility for Oklahoma and Texas reported that the violent storm that struck Tulsa recently will cost tens of millions of dollars in insured losses.

“The full extent of the damage will not be known until adjusters can get into the affected areas and begin the process of surveying the damage,” according to Jerry Johns, president of Southwestern Insurance Information Service.

“We know there will be hundreds upon hundreds of vehicles and homes damaged by large hail,” he said.

“By way of comparison a 60 second hail storm in a densely populated area can cause $10 million in insured losses,” he added.

“There are some things that victims of the storm can do to hasten the process of claim settlement,” he advised. “These hints have helped people in other parts of the country get their claim attended to in a timely fashion.”

What to do after a storm

· Call your insurance agent immediately or your company’s toll free claim filing telephone number immediately to report vehicle or property damage.
· Make minor repairs to damaged property to prevent further damage or looting. Save receipts and present to the adjuster. Do not make major repairs until an adjuster has the opportunity to inspect the property.
· If you have an inventory of your personal property, have that available for the claim representative. Photographs or videotape documentation of damaged property is helpful but not required.
· Do not dispose of damaged property such as furniture until an adjuster has inspected these items.
· If flooding has occurred, disconnect all electronic equipment and appliances and move them to a dry place.
· Try and move damage household items to a dry area of the home or business.
· During severe storms many street signs are often destroyed by high winds. Be certain your property is identified with your address. Place a plywood sign with your address and the name of your insurance company in front of your property. If you are unable to stay at the site, leave a number where you can be reached.
· Carefully select a contractor to complete repairs on your property once a final settlement has been made by your insurance company. Ask the contractor for references and have those verified. Be cautious of a contractor who demands full payment for the work up front. Storm-damaged areas often attract unscrupulous contractors who may do less than acceptable work or leave town after receiving advance payments.

SIIS is a 52-year-old non-profit insurance trade association representing insurers writing the more than 85 percent of the premiums in Oklahoma. More information is available on the SIIS Web site at

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