Insurance companies offer post-tornado recovery advice
JEFFERSON CITY - Insurance agents are warning people hit by Wednesday's tornado to be careful about signing repair contracts.
"Unfortunately at these times whenever there's storm damage, sometimes you will find some 'fly-by-nighters' if you will. Contractors that come into town and attempt to prey on vulnerable individuals," said Matt Barton, CEO of the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents.
He said people should take steps to prevent any damage from worsening.
"If you have a leak in the house from the roof, you need to either tarp it or at least put buckets down to catch the water," he said.
Property owners should not throw away damaged materials because the claims adjuster will need to see the damage to asses it.
Barton said it's best to take pictures of a home's inventory and keep all receipts from repairs.
"It's not that the insurance company doesn't believe what you're saying or that you had those materials, but for filing purposes it's best to keep those receipts," he said.
Barton said homeowners should always research contractors and sub-contractors before hiring them to do work, making sure they have been around awhile and are familiar with the area. People should check the contractor's consumer reputation and make sure they are someone worthy of a contract.
Barton said homeowners should never sign the first contract presented, but make two or three calls before agreeing to anything. He said checking the company's website is a good way to determine how reputable a company is.