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Texas Department of Insurance
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October 22, 2019

Insurance tips after recent severe weather

If your home was damaged in recent severe weather, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has specialists ready to answer your insurance questions. You can call the TDI Help Line at 800-252-3439. Staff are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“You need to get your claim started as soon as possible,” said Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan. “We can help you if you run into an issue contacting your insurance company or just don’t understand what you’re hearing from them.”

Tips for filing an insurance claim

  • Contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible.
  • Keep a list of everyone you talk to. Be ready to describe the damage.
  • Make a list of damaged property. Take pictures or video. Don't throw away damaged items until you talk to your insurance company or adjuster.
  • Take steps to protect your home from further damage. Cover broken windows and holes to keep out rain and prevent vandalism or theft.
  • Ask about additional living expenses if you can’t live in your home due to the damage. Your insurance policy may pay for some of those expenses.
  • Save proof that you paid the deductible on the claim. A new state law makes it illegal for contractors or roofers to offer to waive a deductible or to promise a rebate for your deductible. It also allows insurance companies to request proof, such a receipt or canceled check, that you paid the deductible.

Tips to avoid contractor scams

  • Get written estimates on company letterhead with clear contact information.
  • Get more than one bid to gauge which ones are too high or too good to be true.
  • Check references and phone numbers. Beware of contractors who only have out-of-town references or solicit door-to-door.
  • Don't pay in full upfront and don’t make a final payment until the job is done.

Resources

Help after the storm

Anti-Fraud toolkit for cities and counties

For more information, contact: MediaRelations@tdi.texas.gov

Last updated: 1/19/2021