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For Severe Weather Awareness Week, Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips for Consumers

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779,
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442,


(LANSING, MICH) Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared March 17-23 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is offering insurance tips to consumers to prepare for seasonal severe weather.

“As we saw earlier this year, severe weather can hit any time and cause major damage to your property, but ensuring that you are adequately protected can help you recover more quickly,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Severe Weather Awareness Week is a good time to review your insurance policies to make sure that you have the right coverages to protect your property. If you have questions, contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442.”

Severe weather is especially common when rapid temperature swings occur during the spring warmup. These changing conditions can bring dangerous weather patterns that can significantly increase the potential for damaging severe weather such as high winds or tornados. It is important that Michiganders take the following steps to ensure they are properly protected:

  • Verify that they have the appropriate insurance coverage with their insurance agent or company and discuss any coverage needs. Though many types of storm damage are covered by homeowners and renters insurance, flood damage is typically not covered unless you have purchased flood insurance. Water and sewer back-up is also not automatically covered under a homeowners or renters policy so it is important to discuss coverage options with an insurance agent or insurance company before flooding or damage occurs.
  • Create a detailed list of personal possessions with photographs of each room on the property, and a thorough list of other valuables not seen in the photographs. These materials should be stored in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box, with a relative, or digitally online.
  • Make a list of important phone numbers including family members, emergency responders, insurance agents and insurance companies.
  • Store copies of all insurance policy declaration pages and insurance cards in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or online securely in a digital format, in case the originals are destroyed or lost.
  • Make sure to have a plan, such as a dedicated emergency fund, for paying an insurance policy’s deductible to help avoid severe financial strain in the aftermath of a disaster. A deductible is a certain amount of money that must be paid out-of-pocket before the insurance company will pay a claim after a loss.

If your property is damaged, you should:

  • Contact your insurance company's claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim. Have your policy number(s) ready and other relevant information easily available. To make the claims process even easier, DIFS has prepared an Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet.
  • Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss but do not make permanent repairs until the insurance company has inspected the damage. 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.
  • Protect yourself from fraud. After a storm, 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. In these scams, the work may not be completed, may be completed with poor-quality materials or shoddy workmanship, or you may be significantly overcharged for the work. Always contact your insurer before hiring a contractor, verify the credentials and licensure of these individuals, be present in the home when damage is inspected or repaired, and never sign a contract for work without understanding it first. Also, remember insurance companies pay the adjusters they employ and you should not be asked for any payment for their services. To report a scam or price gouging, contact Michigan's Attorney General at 877-765-8388 or online for further information.

DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve any claim disputes directly with their insurance company. If a resolution cannot be reached, contact DIFS Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or submit a complaint online at

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 or follow the Department on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn.