Coping financially with blizzard aftermath

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LITTLE ROCK – The heavy snow that fell across much of Arkansas on Christmas Day left behind broken trees, power outages and property damage, with many trying to figure out the next step in filing insurance claims.

Laura Connerly, assistant professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said for those ready to file insurance claims, there are three key points to keep in mind:

  • Know what your policy covers
  • Contact your agent as soon as possible
  • Make sure your insurance agency knows how to reach you.

The bottom line is that action before a disaster is important to keep losses to a minimum and to ensure consumers have the tools needed if a claim has to be filed.  Actions include establishing an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs, reviewing and asking questions of your insurer of what is covered and proper maintenance of property.

“Practice damage control,” she said. “Perform needed repairs to prevent additional damage.”

Consumers should also make an inventory of personal property and keep records in a safe place to help with any insurance settlement, Connerly said.
 
A fact sheet, “Managing Financial Losses from a Natural Disaster,” is available from your county extension office or can be downloaded at www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/PDF/FSHEC-67.pdf.



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