Tips for dealing with your insurance company over Ike claims

By LaKecia Shockley - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - "At least it got in between and not completely on it," says Tom Keith, an Allstate agent.

It was a close call for Tom Lowders' home.

Keith, his insurance agent, surveys the damage.

"We got lucky in the fact that we don't have glass breakage interior so we're ok there and you're safe."

Keith says, one of the first things to do is secure dangerous areas.

"A tree that's on the house can be removed for safety purposes...keep receipts...and I love to take pictures. Pictures are everything," says Keith.

Another tip - make sure to read your policy. Each policy is different.

Some things such as spoiled food from a power outage may not be covered.

"Loss of food because of the power outages that's totally unrelated. It doesn't necessary have to go through a deductible. So, that's something to think about as well," said Keith.

Texas Farm Bureau agent David Madden says preserving damaged areas is another key.

"That means things like putting tarps on roofs just to try to prevent any additional tear damages especially if you got trees that have fallen down on houses," said Madden.

Experts also say insured homeowners don't always have to file a claim.

"Some homeowners realize well hey I've got a $1500 deductible this is going to be two or three hundred dollars. It really isn't necessary to get the adjustors out and we really appreciate that," said Madden.

If all else fails and you don't know what's covered, there's still help.

"If in doubt file a claim and let the insurance company weed through it and determine if a person has coverage or not," said Madden.

Experts say if you have a problem with your insurance company, their first advice is to call your insurance company's hotline.

You can also call the Texas State Board of Insurance.