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What to do after a Minnesota thunderstorm damages your home

Severe weather season has reached Minnesota, as the recent round of severe thunderstorms that moved through the state proves. This could mean that the homes of some of our readers could sustain serious damage from wind, lightning, hail and elements of a typical severe storm.

For those in that position after the recent storms, or those who might need to file a claim with their homeowners’ insurance provider later this summer, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has some advice, as provided by KARE-TV.

The first thing you should do is document the damage to your home, so you know everything that is broken or damaged. Next, review your homeowners’ insurance policy.

Not every policy is the same, and coverage can differ, depending on the terms of your individual policy, though standard policies cover more damage caused by hail or wind. On the other hand, most policies will not cover what so-called “wear-and-tear” damage on a roof or siding. If you cannot find a copy of your policy, contact your insurance agent or insurance company.

Typical coverage will pay the cost of replacing the storm-damaged portion of the home, minus a deductible. When building codes require that the portion be upgraded, many insurance policies also cover the cost of doing so.

Debris removal may be covered in some cases, but often, homeowners are responsible for removal.

After filing a claim, you should receive a response from the insurance company within 10 days. The law requires insurers to handle claims fairly and be responsive.

If, after all of this, the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement, you may need the help of an attorney to get what you need to fix your home.

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