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State offers tips for preparing for potential spring flooding, severe weather

Barry Co. official ‘fearful’ spring weather may lead to more problems at Crooked Lake
Posted at 9:47 AM, Mar 02, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — With warmer temperatures on the way, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services encourages Michiganders to prepare for spring storms, flooding and potential water damage, the department said in a news release Tuesday.

“As we’ve seen in recent years, severe weather and flooding can cause extensive damage, even in areas that do not traditionally flood,” DIFS Director Anita Fox said. “Taking action now, before the spring thaw, can help get consumers get their lives back to normal as soon as possible after a severe weather event or flood.”

Tips for residents include:

  • Reviewing insurance policies to understand their coverage and contacting insurance agent or company to discuss any coverage needs
  • Preparing a detailed inventory of personal property with photos of each room in the home to help complete the claim process, including a list of other valuables and equipment that aren’t in the photos
  • Making a list of important phone numbers, including family members, insurance agents and insurance companies
  • Storing copies of all insurance policy declaration pages and insurance cards in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box or online in the cloud, in case the originals are destroyed or lost.

After severe weather or flooding causes damage, consumers should:

  • Contact their insurance company’s claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim
  • If there is water damage, consumers should tell their insurance company about it and that they are looking to determine what coverage is available. Consumers should not simply state that the damage is due to a flood as there may be additional causes for water damage, such as a sewer backup or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
  • Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss.
  • Document the loss. Take pictures or videos of the damaged items and do not get rid of them until instructed to do so by the insurance company.

DIFS encourages consumers to first try to resolve any claim disputes directly with the insurance company.

If a resolution can’t be reached, the department will help try to resolve disputes.