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Resources for Storm Damage

Clean up continues for Minnesotans who experienced the devastation this past weekend after days of torrential rains, damaging wind and hail. Many consumers may be left wondering what they need to do to make and resolve insurance claims and to repair property damage.

“Minnesotans rebuilding after this weekend’s storms need to act now to file claims,” Commerce Commissioner Rothman said. “Consumers who were spared can take this opportunity to create an inventory of your possessions ahead of time and understanding what your insurance covers in the event of a storm or flood is absolutely critical.”

In an effort to help Minnesotans review their insurance needs and streamline their response after a disaster, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is urging consumers to visit its Disaster Center located on the Commerce website. This one-stop-shop was created to provide important information and resources that all Minnesotans should know and understand in the wake of damaging storms and how to prepare ahead of time.

Tips for consumers who have received storm damage:

The Claims Process – After you have suffered a loss to your home or property, this section contains questions you should ask and things you should know before filing a claim.

Know Your Rights – Learn what your insurance company must and cannot do when you file an insurance claim after a disaster.

Contact Your Insurer – Who to call at your insurance company after a natural disaster.

Public Adjusters – What Minnesota consumers should know before doing business with a public adjuster.

Auto Damage – From severe weather to icy road conditions, Minnesotans are no stranger to auto damage. Get all your questions answered about proper auto coverage and how to file an auto insurance claim.

Renters Insurance – If a tornado or flood destroys your apartment complex your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your family’s possessions. Renters insurance protects your personal property against damage or loss.

Rebuilding After a Disaster – Consumer tips about insurance, mortgages, and construction after a disaster hits your property.

Working With Contractors – The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reminds homeowners to do some homework before hiring a building contractor after a storm.

Disaster Finances: 101 – Keeping your finances in order after a natural disaster damages your property and possessions.

We Can Help – Contact our Consumer Response Team (CRT) to help answer your insurance questions, expedite your claims, and file complaints.

Tips for consumers on how to prepare ahead of time for potential storm damage:

Are You Covered? – If a disaster strikes, do you have the proper insurance coverage? Learn what is covered and what is not in case of a storm or flood.

Home Inventory – Make sure your possessions are fully protected by documenting them with a home inventory. Do you have an Android® or iPhone®? If so, there’s an app for that. Download a free home inventory app for your personal mobile device.

Flood Insurance – As the second largest natural disaster, floods are widespread and can cause much more than property damage. Without proper insurance, flooding can cause severe personal and financial losses. Learn more about flood coverage.

Of all the resources and information available on the Commerce Department’s Disaster Center, Commissioner Rothman particularly encourages all Minnesotans to learn more about Home Inventories. Among the tools on the Commerce website is a home inventory checklist consumers can use to take inventory of their belongings. In addition to walking consumers from room to room in their home, the checklist also encourages consumers to make a note of the brand, model number, serial number and what was paid for each item.

Creating a home inventory is easier than ever thanks to myHOME Scr.APP.book, a new iPhone and Android application from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The free myHOME Scr.APP.book app lets you quickly photograph and capture images, descriptions, bar codes and serial numbers, and then stores them electronically for safekeeping. The app organizes information room by room, and even creates a back-up file for e-mail sharing.

Rebuilding after a storm

The Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Response Team (CRT) is available to help consumers with questions, concerns, or complaints following a damaging storm, flood, or tornado. CRT experts can help you understand your rights, work with your insurer to settle a claim, and help you make informed insurance decisions after a flood or storm damages your home, auto, or property.

Phone: (651) 296-2488 or (800) 657-3602 (Greater Minnesota)

Fax: (651) 296-4328

Email: consumer.protection@state.mn.us

Address: Minnesota Department of Commerce, Consumer Protection and Education Division, 85 7th Place East, St. Paul, MN 55101

Paul Donald July 30, 2013 at 03:38 PM
A free app to help homeowners prepare ahead of time is Encircle (www.encircleapp.com). Most homes can be inventoried in an hour which is a wise investment of time for any homeowner. Encircle is available on the iOS and Android app stores.

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