Tips to stay 'money smart' with storm damage

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - A spring storm rolled through the Centennial State Thursday, leaving plenty of destruction in its path. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) is offering five tips when handling insurance claims and repairs following a storm.

1. Start the claim process - Call your insurance company or agent and begin the claim process. Contact DOI if you need the contact information for your company or agent.

2. Document / mitigate the damage - If the damage to your home is extensive, start taking photos of the property and documenting what was lost. If the damage is repairable, mitigate further damage by placing tarps on roofs or boarding up windows.

3. Verify public adjusters - Public adjusters may contact you if you have suffered damage to your home. You are not required to hire a public adjuster, but if you do, make sure he or she is licensed and reputable – check references. If possible, hire a Colorado-based adjuster. DOI licenses public adjusters and consumers can call the Division to verify a license. Public adjusters work on behalf of a consumer and often charge a percentage of the claim amount. The fee is agreed upon in the contract between the public adjuster and the consumer. This cost is not included in the claim amount paid by the insurer.

4. Protect Yourself from Roofing Fraud - In the wake of a hail storm, roofing contractors and other construction contractors start door-to-door sales or phone solicitations. While most contractors are honest and reputable, some make false promises, insist on full payment before the work is complete, and may even create damage where none occurred. The DOI participates in the #NoRoofScams campaign with a number of other organizations such as the Better Business Bureau of Denver / Boulder, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Colorado Roofing Association, and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. The DOI reminds consumers to be on their guard for fraudulent roofing contractors: verify that the contractor you work with is authorized to do business in your area; do your homework and check references; and preferably hire a local Colorado contractor.

5. Contact the DOI – While claims need to be filed with the insurance companies, DOI can assist consumers with questions about insurance and the claims process. Call the Division at 303-894-7490 or 1-800-930-3745 (outside of the Denver metro area) or email - DORA_Insurance@state.co.us. You can also send an email by clicking this e-mail address: DORA_Insurance@state.co.us..

If you didn't suffer any damage with the recent storm, there are still precautions you can take for sever weather. Click here for more information and resources.