After the storm: Steps Kansas City homeowners should take when their property is damaged

Posted at 4:08 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 18:01:15-04

When you've been in the insurance business for nearly two and a half decades, you've seen and heard it all - especially during severe weather season.

"It's all about being authentic in this business," explained Debbie Baker Krough, who's been in the insurance industry for 23 years. "I'll never lie to you and I'll never lie for you."

Trees falling onto homes. Roofs blowing off buildings. Floods in basements. The Brookside StateFarm insurance agent said if you find yourself in a scenario where your property is damaged, it's key to be proactive. 

"Make the policy fit you. It's not one size fits all," she said. "It is a policy that needs to fit you - your income level, your house, your things. Always call your agent first because we can clear up for you what is and isn't covered and how we should handle it. Second step is to secure as much as you can so we don't have existing, more complicated damage because you did not want to touch anything. Then if you pay or do some repairs on your own, save the receipts because they are very often reimbursable after you get past your deductible."

Another tip -- stay away from the scamming hail chasers. They often go door to door, preying upon the vulnerable. 

"If you don't know them, don't allow them in," said Baker Krough. "Speak to your claim rep first because that gives you the best opportunity. We always can give you several names of reputable companies that we are used to dealing with that can help."

And when it comes to getting damage covered preparation is key, so review your policy now before potential storms strike.

"Once it's game day, which is claim day for us, it's game on. What's in is what's in," she explained. "Many people misunderstand that a homeowners policy is a maintenance agreement. It is not. It is about named perils and helping us through the times things don't go right."

Because if you lack certain coverage when something happens, your policy won't pay for it after the fact.

Insurance Claim Tips:

  • Don't Delay! Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • You can't be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
  • Insurance restoration contractors advocate for you
  • Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
  • Beware of insurance company "approved" contractors
  • Always do your homework and understand your rights