What Families Should Do During the Days Immediately Following Severe Storms

SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois residents begin the recovery process from Tuesday’s devastating storms, the Illinois Department of Insurance is reminding those impacted by the damage that help is available.

“We want to make sure that people know we are here to help,” said Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer.  “Our goal is to offer pertinent information to these families and provide some peace of mind during what is obviously a difficult time.”

Below are some tips to follow:

Who to contact after a disaster?

·         American Red Cross – 1-800-RED-CROSS or http://www.redcross.org/

·         Local Emergency Management Agency


After a loss – what should I do?

·         Immediately contact your agent and give detailed descriptions of the damage to your property

o    Your agent will report the loss to your insurance company or to a qualified adjuster who will contact you to arrange an inspection

·         Take photographs of the damaged property if safe access is available

o    This should be done before you begin cleanup efforts

·         Prepare a detailed inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property

o    Your list should include a description of the items, dates of purchase, cost at time of purchase and estimated replacement cost

·         If possible, safely make temporary repairs to protect your property from further loss

o    Save any receipts for supplies and materials you purchase as your insurance company will reimburse you for reasonable expenses in making temporary repairs

·         Maintain all bills and receipts related to repairs

o    Keep a record of all expenses, such as hotel and restaurant receipts


Services provided by your insurance company

·         An adjuster from the company may come to your home and prepare a written damage estimate

·         Be sure to get the name and telephone number of your adjuster

·         You should obtain a copy of the estimate report

·         Do not hesitate to ask questions



Hiring a Public Adjuster

·         Public adjusters may be hired by the consumer to help settle a complex loss negotiation with an insurance company

·         Be certain you understand what services the public adjuster will provide, and understand the fees he/she will charge

·         Illinois law requires public adjusters to be licensed with the Department of Insurance

·         Contact our Department to verify a public adjuster’s license


How to file a complaint with the Department of Insurance

·         Contact https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf or call 866-445-5346


Helpful Links:

Additional details – http://insurance.illinois.gov/Main/Consumer_Facts.asp

Property Insurance Consumer Guide – http://insurance.illinois.gov/Main/PropertyInsuranceConsumerGuide.pdf

Insurance Disaster Brochure – http://insurance.illinois.gov/HomeInsurance/disaster_brochure.pdf

Department of Insurance – http://insurance.illinois.gov/ or 1-866-445-5364


About the Illinois Department of Insurance

The Department’s mission is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry’s market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace. The Illinois Department of Insurance assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life, and homeowner. Consumers in need of information or assistance should visit the Department website at http://insurance.illinois.gov/ or call our toll-free hotline at (866) 445-5364.

Want to stay up to date with your Senator?

Sign up for the District E-Newsletter below: