4.) Be sure to put all requests in writing. Whether it’s an email or a letter, be sure to send all requests to your insurance company in writing.
Even if you talk to an insurance adjuster over the phone, be sure to log that phone call (write down the date and time), and also send an email to the claims department summarizing what was discussed.
When you’re making a request to your insurance company, be very clear in what you’re asking for and what you need, and also explain why you need those things.
For example, if you have two deep freezers full of food that you lost, be sure to plainly state that you would like a reimbursement for the food since all of it is now spoiled, and provide them with photos and a total estimate of what that food was worth.
5.) If your insurance company is giving you a hard time, you have options. If your insurance company is refusing to cover things that are supposed to be covered under your current policy, be sure to ask to speak with a supervisor, or even a regional manager if necessary.
Don’t be afraid to go up the ‘chain of command’ if you’re not getting the help that you need.
Even though this is frustrating, try to remain calm, and kindly state that you are trying to work collaboratively with the adjuster, but are being denied coverage for damage that is included in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Be sure to log these phone calls, and also send letters and/or emails stating the date and time that you called, the name of the person you spoke with, and why you called.
If you’re still not getting anywhere with your insurance company, you can call the Kentucky Department of Insurance. They are a government agency, and you can file a complaint. There are three ways that you can file a complaint (online submission, fax, or regular mail):
> You can fill out an online form electronically (which is the fastest, easiest way). Click here to get started.
> You can print out a paper form, fill it out by hand, and then fax it to (502) 564-6090. Click here to print the paper form.
> If you would rather mail the paper form (instead of faxing it), send it to this address:
Kentucky Department of Insurance
Division of Consumer Protection
P.O. Box 517
Frankfort, KY 40602-0517
If you have questions, you can call them at (502) 564-6034, but please note that they do not take verbal complaints over the phone. All formal complaints must be in writing (via the online form or the paper form).
If your home has been damaged, but you’ve had a lapse in your insurance coverage, or your policy doesn’t cover all of the damage that has occurred, please know that there is still hope. If you’ve incurred a substantial amount of debt due to the tornado, there are ways to get help.
You may also be eligible for financial assistance from the government or from non-profit organizations depending on your financial needs.
If you try those options, and find out that you are not eligible, or that their assistance won’t cover all of your debt, bankruptcy might be a viable option to protect you from being sued by your creditors — and it would also help you discharge your debts to get a fresh start financially.
If you want to ask questions about any debt that you have as a result of the tornado, I can provide a free assessment to help you. You can text me or call me directly on my cell phone at (502) 435-2593. I am available 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm EST.
As you continue to work through this difficult time, please know that there are people who care, and who can help you. If you need emotional support, you can call or text ‘The Disaster Distress’ hotline at 1-800-985-5990, and you can click here to get more information from their website.
Remember to take things one day at a time — you will get through this. Together, we are Kentucky strong.
All the best,
Tracy L. Hirsch
Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney