Date: August 12, 2013
For more information contact: J.P. Wieske, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Severe Weather Prompts Commissioner to Remind
Consumers about Weather-Related Damage Coverage
Consumers should be aware of what damage their policies cover
Madison, WIUnpredictable weather throughout Wisconsin can result in severe property damage. Commissioner of Insurance Ted Nickel encourages consumers to review their policies to make sure they know what they are covered for in the event their property is damaged by a storm, tornado or flood./p>
"My thoughts are with the residents of Outagamie and Waupaca counties who have experienced property loss and now power last week," Commissioner Nickel said. "Check with your insurance company or agent to determine your coverage from the storms in addition to your basic dwelling and personal property coverage."
Commissioner Nickel specifically noted that the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance Web site has a Consumers Guide To Homeowner's Insurance and Personal Property Home Inventory (opens in new window) worksheet for consumers to utilize for their personal insurance needs. He also noted that there are specific insurance publications for small business owners, mobile home insurance, condominium insurance and information on how to settle property insurance claims. All of these publications can be found on the OCI Web site at http://oci.wi.gov/pub_list.htm.
Severe weather includes floods, tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, high wind, and hail. According to the National Weather Service, high wind can cause as much damage as a tornado, and hail causes more than $1 billion in crop and property damage nationwide each year.
"It's important to take photos after any severe weather event where you have damage to your property," noted Nickel. "Take photos of the damage and do not move or pick up anything until the insurance company claims adjusters are able to see the damage."
Many consumers may have misconceptions about what their policies provide coverage for in the event of weather-related damage. For example, flood insurance must be bought separately from homeowner's insurance and must be in place 30 days prior to a claim. Also, consumers who carry collision auto insurance without comprehensive coverage are not covered in the event of damage from hail, wind or flooding. The best way for consumers to find out what their policy covers is to check with their insurance company.
Contact your insurance agent or company for more information about property, dwelling and fire insurance. The OCI publications can be ordered free from the agency by writing to OCI Publications, P.O. Box 7873, Madison, WI 53707-7873, calling 800-236-8517 or visiting the OCI Web site at http://oci.wi.gov.
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.