WINSTON, Miss. (Press Release) — The Winston County tornado’s path is littered with debris, but the biggest obstacles may not be visible on the property.
Insured property owners need to understand their policy requirements before moving debris or repairing buildings. By now, policy holders should have notified their insurance companies of the damage and reviewed coverage with a representative.
If policies will pay for debris removal, paying independent contractors could result in additional and uncovered expenses. If property owners hire people to remove storm debris, the workers need to haul debris to appropriate disposal sites and not just move it to the right of way. Volunteers, however, can move storm debris to the curbside or the right of way to be picked up by the local government. City or county workers cannot go on private property to pick up debris.
Make sure to keep a record of all conversations with insurance companies, creditors or relief agencies. Take photographs/video of the damage.
Be patient and assist claims adjusters assigned to the case. Small losses may be settled quickly; extensive claims will take longer.
Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by the insurance policy.
Work with a qualified tax expert to find out about potential tax breaks because of property losses.
Report questions or problems with a claim or insurance company to the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Services Division at 601-359-2453 or 1-800-562-2957.