After the storm: What to do following a property loss

You never know when a storm may hit, but you can prepare ahead of time by learning how to minimize the damage and properly report a loss to your Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance agent.

Matthew Carrico, a Senior Property Claim Adjuster for Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, inspects a property in Shelby County, Ky. 

Thunderstorms, ice storms, floods, droughts, tornadoes – severe weather can pop up in the blink of an eye. In fact, insured losses due to natural disasters amounted a whopping $52 billion in the U.S. in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

You never know when a storm may hit, but you can prepare ahead of time by learning how to minimize the damage and properly report a loss to your Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance agent.

Keep in mind the following tips to help you weather the storm:

  • First and foremost, make sure everyone in your family is safe, and get medical care if anyone has been injured.
  • Contact the local authorities in the event of a theft loss or burglary claim. Obtain an incident report if possible, even if the damage is minor.
  • If your home is damaged, take steps to secure it and protect it from further loss or damage. Protect your property by sealing broken windows, putting tarps over cracks or openings in exterior walls or the roof, and do whatever else you can to prevent additional damage. Keep receipts for any materials you buy; those costs may be reimbursable if you have a covered loss.
  • Report the claim by calling your local Kentucky Farm Bureau Agent’s office or by calling the after-hours claims reporting hotline. You can also report a claim online by visiting the KFB member portal my.kyfb.com.    
  • If your loss is severe or has affected many rooms, start preparing a room-by-room inventory of damages and lost property. If you have the information, or remember it, include manufacturer names, model numbers, and purchase dates.
  • If possible, do not dispose of any damaged items – especially if an item may be responsible for the loss (examples of this could be a water heater or a stove). If a damaged item has to be disposed of because of personal safety or by order of the authorities, try to document it with photographs first.
  • In the event of a widespread catastrophe, begin the process of selecting your contractor. We suggest that you seek out contractors who have a proven track record in your area.  There are several things you can do to help ensure that you choose a reliable contractor:
    - Get references from any contractor you interview, and check those references thoroughly.
    - Contact your local Better Business Bureau for information about the contractors you’re considering.
    -  Don’t sign a contract until you’ve reviewed it carefully and have agreed to payment terms. Deliver a copy of your contractor’s estimate to your KFB claims representative, who will review it, connect with your contractor to discuss differences and make any appropriate adjustments. Our estimate will be based on typical labor and materials rates in your community.

For additional information about what will take place after you file an auto claim with Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, visit our claim FAQ page here.