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Consumer Alert: What you need to do if you plan to file an insurance claim

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of people will soon be filing claims with their insurance company following the severe storms over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

If you sustained damage to your property, there are some things you need to do now, insurance professionals say.

  1. Document the damage by taking photos.
  2. Contact several contractors to compare prices.
  3. If you have to make repairs now, keep your receipts for the claim adjuster.
  4. Check your homeowner’s policy to see what they will cover. Believe it or not, some policies will cover things like spoiled food and other damages.Either way, be prepared to give the insurance company pictures of the damage and a your contractor’s estimate.
  5. If you request an insurance adjuster to inspect your home, be sure to have your contractor present during that meeting.
  6. Unplug electronics, appliances, etc. When the power does come back on, the “surge” could damage anything plugged in.
  7. When working with a contractor, don’t pay anything up front, get everything in writing, and don’t accept an offer for a contract to pay your deductible as an incentive to get your business.

If your claim is denied, don’t panic, the National Storm Damage Center said. You can meet with several insurance adjusters in order to get your claim approved.

Also, get your claim in as soon as you can.

Insurance companies usually will only allow you a small window to submit a claim.

State Farm also contributed to this report