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Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips Following Severe Weather, Flooding in Michigan
August 25, 2023
This release was originally issued by the State Emergency Operations Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2023
(LANSING, MICH) Following the severe weather and flooding that impacted many Michigan communities this week, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is providing tips and resources to assist residents with filing insurance claims and protecting themselves from fraud.
“As Michiganders assess damage and begin recovery efforts following the severe weather we saw this week, it is important that they understand their rights and responsibilities when filing insurance claims and how to protect themselves from fraud,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “If you were impacted by severe weather, carefully review your insurance policies and work with your agent or insurer to see what coverage is available. DIFS is available to answer questions and assist consumers 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.”
Anyone impacted by 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.
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.
Review insurance policies to understand their coverage and discuss with their agent or insurer if there are any questions.
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 storm-related rain water intrusion, sewer backup, or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
If there is damage to a vehicle, consumers should contact their auto insurance company. They may have coverage for the damage if they carry comprehensive coverage on their auto policy.
Protect themselves from fraud. After a severe weather incident, fraudsters claiming to be adjusters, contractors, and other service providers often go door-to-door purporting to offer services, like debris cleanup or building repairs, that will not be completed, or may be completed with poor-quality materials or shoddy workmanship. Contact your insurer before hiring a contractor, and be sure to check the service provider’s credentials, including licenses, references, and insurance. Also, remember that adjusters are paid by the insurance company and should never ask homeowners for any payment for their services that are covered by their homeowners or renter’s policy.
Additional disaster recovery information is available on the DIFS website.
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 the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services 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.