Dealing With Tax And Insurance Issues After The Storm

Friday, December 14th 2007, 4:06 pm
By: News On 6

With thousands of people dealing with storm damage, it can be confusing trying to figure out what is and isn’t covered by insurance. The News On 6’s Margaret Stokes reports help is on the way to help get those insurance claims handled as quickly as possible.

Oklahoma has issued an emergency order allowing insurance companies to bring in adjustors from out-of-state. However, if you don't have the proper documentation an adjuster won't do you much good. First, you need to contact your insurance agent, and if they're not available, contact your insurance company as individual policies vary.

If you are unable to reach an agent or insurer refer to the Oklahoma Insurance Department's website. There you will find a toll free number to call for assistance as well as a list of numbers for the top ten providers.

Remember pictures say a thousand words, and in this case, could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket. Officials with the Oklahoma Insurance Department advise you to take pictures and videos of your property. They say keeping a thorough inventory list of property damage is your best bet. And, don't forget the refrigerator and freezer. Some policies do cover food damage.

The storm damage may also be something you want to keep in mind when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers may deduct, as an itemized deduction, losses which are not reimbursed or covered by insurance. Again, good record keeping is key. The IRS will want documentation of your claims.

If you don't have insurance, turning to an emergency management organization such as FEMA may help.