Des Moines - As the anniversary nears of the devastating derecho that hit Iowa on August 10, the Iowa Insurance Division continues to hear that work is still underway and there is still more to do. Some Iowans are waiting for work on their homes to be finished while others have suggested that materials shortages and availability of contractors are the hurdles to the completion of repairs.
“As policyholders pursue claims under their insurance contracts, we encourage Iowans to continue to work with their insurance company and agent as they move through the insurance claims process to obtain the necessary repairs. This can take time as both parties work to come to an understanding about what needs to be fixed and how much it is going to cost,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said.
It’s important for policyholders to know that if they find damage from the derecho, which was not previously claimed, they likely may still be able to file an insurance claim, but time is of the essence. The insurance company will address the claim based on the terms of the insurance contract which likely includes provisions that require claims to be filed within a specific time frame. It’s helpful if policyholders read their insurance contract carefully, document their efforts to get repairs completed, and contact their insurance agent to ensure they are meeting these important deadlines to the best of their ability.
“Policyholders should be cognizant of deadlines mentioned within their insurance contract. Insurers may use specific contract language to limit the amount of time to settle the insurance claim and to have the repairs completed, however, we have seen insurance carriers willing to grant extensions on a case-by-case basis given the unique circumstances caused by the derecho. We encourage any Iowans that may need to ask for an extension to speak directly with their agent and insurance company sooner rather than later to determine if an extension is necessary to complete the repairs. If this request is denied, consumers may wish to file a complaint with our office to allow us to review the facts concerning the claim,” Ommen said.