Covering the cost of storm damage

WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Richard Kline of Wrightsville was planning to sell his house.

“But now that kind of came to a screeching halt,” Kline said.

Last weekend’s tornado ripped off Kline’s chimney and sent it flying across the highway. His fence didn’t have much luck either.

“You want to clean it up and they say not to touch it until they’re here so they see exactly what happened,” Kline said. “You’re kind of caught in the middle.”

He’s talking about the insurance company.

“Storms often create some anxiety. Most often the anxiety and the stress comes after the storm; concern about what’s covered and what’s not covered,” said Steve Horning, a State Farm agent.

Horning said if you find damage after a storm, first, make sure everyone’s okay. Second, do anything you can to prevent additional damage like board up windows. Take some pictures before finally calling your agent.

“Fortunately, with these storms that we’re currently experiencing, this type of damage that will result from these is going to be covered. Damage in roofs and windows, they’ll all be covered by the average homeowner’s policy,” Horning said.

Most policies in Pennsylvania will cover hail and wind damage. Still, having that conversation will help determine whether your damage meets your deductible or exceeds it. In some cases, paying out of pocket will make more sense than filing a claim.

“Insurance is there to put you back in the position prior to the loss and it comes with an expense,” Horning said.

But for Kline, that $1,000 deductible doesn’t seem so bad. His damages are estimated at $50,000.

“I would never be able to afford to repair something like that,” Kline said.

Flooding is not covered under a standard homeowner policy. If you do end up hiring a contractor, agents say make sure they’re licensed and check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints.

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