Press Release, August 31, 2018, Storm Aftermath: Insurance Tips for Wisconsinites

​Last Updated: August 31, 2018

Date: August 31, 2018
For more information contact: Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer, (608) 267-9460 or elizabeth.hizmi@wisconsin.gov

Storm Aftermath: Insurance Tips for Wisconsinites

Madison, WI—Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel reassures support from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) for citizens facing damages from the severe storms and flash flooding continuing to affect Wisconsin.

"Our thoughts are with Wisconsinites around the state who are experiencing the stress of dealing with the aftermath of a series of severe storms," said Commissioner Nickel. "Many Wisconsin residents are not in the clear yet, with continued risks of rising lakes and rivers and saturated ground. Facing property damage can be overwhelming. After notifying your insurance agent or company, you should take time to make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. Remember, OCI and other state agencies are here and ready to help."

Governor Walker declared a statewide State of Emergency in Wisconsin due to an ongoing weather pattern causing unprecedented downpours, flash flooding, high winds and tornadoes. 

Commissioner Nickel recommends the following tips to those dealing with storm aftermath:

  • Notify your insurance agent and company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim.
  • Take photos of the damaged property.
  • Save samples of damaged material, such as carpeting, curtains, and upholstery.
  • Do not move damaged items until your insurance claims adjuster has had a chance to document them. If local officials require property to be moved or disposed of for safety reasons, the photos and swatches will help with your claim.
  • Make a list of damages and keep receipts to document the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Check your homeowner's insurance policy.
    • Most do not cover flooding or seepage through the foundation. A special flood policy available from the National Flood Insurance Program is required for this kind of damage.
    • Neither flood insurance nor standard homeowner's insurance policies cover damages from sewer backup or sump pump overflow. But some homeowner's policies have an option to purchase a limited amount of this coverage as an endorsement.
    • Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged in a flood. However, if you purchased collision-only coverage, you may not have coverage.
  • Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.
  • Avoid scams. Make sure to take your time, do your homework, and check that all contractors are licensed and legitimate. If you feel pressure to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate. Rebuilding your home or business is important, but quickly signing a contract with an unscrupulous party can make a bad situation worse.

OCI provides numerous helpful publications including:

Contact OCI

If you have a specific complaint about your insurance, refer it first to the insurance company or agent involved. If you do not receive satisfactory answers, contact OCI with questions at 1-800-236-8517, ocicomplaints@wisconsin.gov, or visit oci.wi.gov.


Created by the Legislature in 1870, 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.