Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips to Michigan Residents Following Severe Weather
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 28, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) Following heavy rain, widespread flooding, and tornadoes across the state, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is providing tips to assist residents when working with insurance companies to file claims and repair damages.
“Wind and rain can cause expensive damage to a home, so it is important that Michiganders understand their rights and responsibilities as they recover from severe weather and flooding,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Impacted Michiganders should carefully review their policies and work with their agents and insurers to see what coverage is available to them. DIFS is available to answer questions and assist consumers 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.”
Michiganders impacted by flood waters or other storm damage should:
- Contact their insurance company’s claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim. Have the policy number and other relevant information readily available. DIFS has prepared an Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet to make this process easier.
- If there is water damage to a home or other structure, consumers should tell their insurance company that there is water damage and they are looking to determine what coverage is available. Consumers should not simply state that the damage is due to a flood as there may be additional causes for water damage, such as a sewer backup or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
- Review insurance policies to understand their coverage. Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. There are certain insurance policies, including federal flood insurance, that homeowners would need to purchase to have coverage for flooding or water and sewer back-up resulting from storms or other natural disasters. It is important to discuss these options with your insurance agent or your insurance company well before flooding or damage occurs. Keep in mind that coverage through the federal flood insurance program typically takes 30 days to go into effect.
- Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss. Be sure to keep receipts for any purchases of supplies that are needed to protect the property.
- Document the loss. Take pictures or videos of the damaged items and do not get rid of the items until instructed to do so by the insurance company.
- If there is water damage to a vehicle, consumers should contact their auto insurance company. They may have coverage for the damage if they carried comprehensive coverage on their auto policy.
DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve any claim disputes directly with their insurance company. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS will help try to resolve disputes. To learn more and file a complaint, visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. Anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance coverage is asked to call the DIFS toll-free hotline 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.
The mission of DIFS is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.