The Alabama Department of Insurance has reached out to the state’s leading property insurers to provide a coordinated response to Wednesday’s storms, Commissioner Jim Ridling said.
“We want to hit the ground running to deliver an effective response to all Alabamians affected by these tragic storms,” Commissioner Ridling said. “We will work with the insurance companies, Governor (Robert) Bentley and his office, emergency responders, and all other agencies to make sure our friends and neighbors are taken care of in a prompt and fair fashion.
“As soon as the companies settle on locations for their disaster response headquarters, we will share that information with the public.”
Citizens can reach the Department by phone at 334-269-3550 or at 800-433-3966 (in-state toll free). The Department’s web site is http://www.aldoi.gov/, which has email links for questions and an official complaint form.
Once homeowners are available to return to affected areas, they should first contact their agent to file a claim. If the agent is not available, then they should contact the insurance company. Here is a list of claims hotline numbers for the major property and automobile insurance carriers in the state:
State Farm 800-732-5246
Cotton States 866-714-6902
Auto Owners 517-323-1200
Geico (auto) 800-861-8380
Commissioner Ridling also offered several tips to affected consumers:
Most homeowners policies will pay reasonable and necessary costs you incur for temporary repairs to covered property to protect it from further immediate damage or loss. Be sure to keep all receipts.
Sometimes a home is uninhabitable because of storm loss. Be sure to note what length of time your policy covers for additional living expense and what responsibilities you have regarding keeping records of such expenses.
Homeowners coverage does not cover damage to automobiles in garages or carports. It is covered by automobile insurance.
If you are renting property, the property owner's homeowners coverage does not cover your personal belongings. It is your responsibility to carry renter's coverage.