NPR for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
ALERT: KERA News 90.1 is performing essential tower maintenance which may disrupt our over-the-air signal between July 12-14. Click here for the KERA News stream, or listen on our app or smart speakers with no disruption. Thanks for your patience!

How To Navigate The Insurance Maze After A Big Storm

Lara Solt
KERA News Special Contributor
Kaden Beck, 6, Kairi Beck, 8, and Joshua Tucker, 9, play at their old rental house -- now a construction site -- in Garland.

North Texas has been hit with some costly storms in recent months -- storms that have caused billions of dollars in losses. That includes tornadoes the day after Christmas and several recent hailstorms.  

Mark Hanna is with the Insurance Council of Texas and he talks about what you should do if your property has been damaged in a storm.

Interview Highlights: Mark Hanna ...

... on the first thing you should do following a severe storm: "In many of these cases you're without a vehicle and you need to call your agent or company, whoever you're dealing with, to file a claim, and actually do that as quickly as possible because you're surrounded by all these other people who are going through the same event. And as you find out, soon enough, after three devastating storms you start to find shortages of different things like rental cars and also the people with homes who are looking to rebuild again windows and roofs. It gets to a point where you have just so many finite number of construction companies."

... on what an insurance adjustor is looking for: "They're looking for everything - and they want the owner of the property to help them. There could be some things that they're gonna overlook. So, before the adjustor gets there, you as the property owner, whether it's a vehicle, a business, or a home -- look at it yourself -- that doesn't mean you need to get up on the roof, but you can certainly look around the sides the storm had come in from. It could be damage you hadn't see, there could be leaks somewhere inside of the house that they might not see if they go inside. You do the initial assessment, you take pictures, video, what have you, documents, document everything. Document every phone call to that adjustor, every conversation that you have with the adjustor. Try to get it in writing 'that you'll be here when?' OK, you'll be coming back when? What numbers have we decided upon, what numbers have we agreed upon?' Document it all."

... on what the uninsured can do to recover from losses: "It can be at a point that there is so much devastation that it is declared a national disaster and groups like FEMA will come in and there might be low interest loans, there might be some financial aid around. You're always going to see the Red Cross, you're going to see the Salvation Army, you're going to see churches come in, church groups. But again without insurance it's kind of hit or miss."

Mark Hanna is with the Insurance Council of Texas.


Insurance Council of Texas

Texas Department of Insurance

Texas Department of Insurance: After the Storm

From KERA: Build Your Own Tornado Kit