Disasters\Storms Preparation and Recovery
GeneralEarthquakesFloodsHurricanesIssacKatrinaMediation\ArbitrationWind Mitigation

Important Links

Mississippi Insurance Department Telephone Numbers

In State: 1-800-562-2957
Local: 601-359-2453
Call Center Hours: 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Disaster Preparedness Tips

PrepareInventoryReview Coverage

Step One: Prepare For the Worst

  • For personal safety during a hurricane, identify what storm shelter is available to you and prepare an evacuation plan. Choose two meeting places: one right outside your home; and one outside your neighbor hood in case you can’t return home.
  • Make sure you have bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, personal hygiene supplies, and a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Make a plan for your pets. Not all emergency shelters will take pets. Check with your local veterinarian for help with a plan.
  • If you need to evacuate your home, turn off all utilities and disconnect appliances.
  • Take proactive steps to protect your property from loss. Install storm shutters or cover windows prior to a hurricane. Be sure there is no loose siding on your home and no damaged or diseased trees growing over your home.

Disaster Recovery Tips

After The DisasterAfter A Claim Is Filed

After Disaster Strikes and Your Home is Damaged

  • Make sure your home is structurally safe. Be extremely careful inside your home. Debris may be hazardous, and the potential for collapse may exist. If you're told by authorities to stay out, stay out.
  • Notify creditors if bills have been lost or you're unable to pay.
  • Ask your utility company to stop billing if your home is unlivable or has been destroyed.
  • Prepare to file an insurance claim by gathering all relevant policy numbers.
  • File your claim as soon as possible. Call your insurance company or agent with your policy number and other relevant information. Your policy may require that you make the notification within a certain time frame. Be aware, if a widespread disaster has occurred, the company may set up special procedures.
  • Be sure you cooperate fully with the insurance company. Ask what documents, forms and data you will need to file a claim. Keep a diary of all conversations with insurance companies, creditors or relief agencies.
  • Be certain to give your insurance company all the information they need. Incorrect or incomplete information will only cause a delay in processing your claim.
  • If your home is damaged to the extent that you can’t live there, ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses.
  • Take photographs/video of the damage.
  • Make the repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your property (cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls).  Don’t have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. Be prepared to provide the claims adjuster with records of any improvements you made prior to the damage.
  • Inventory your home for damaged or lost items before your adjustor arrives. This will speed up your claim process.
  • Maintain any damaged personal property for the adjuster to inspect.
  • Ask the adjuster for an itemized explanation of the claim settlement offer.
  • Be patient and assist claims adjusters assigned to your case. Small losses may be settled quickly; extensive claims will take longer.
  • Save all receipts, including those from the temporary repairs covered by your insurance policy.
  • Be wary of contractors who demand upfront payment before work is initiated or payment in full before work is completed. If the contractor needs payment to buy supplies, go with the contractor and pay the supplier directly.
  • Get more than one bid. Ask for at least three references. Check with the Better Business Bureau about the contractor. Ask for proof of necessary licenses, building permits, insurance, and bonding.  Record the license plate number and driver’s license number of the contractor.
  • Work with a qualified tax expert to find out about tax breaks you may be eligible for because of your losses.
  • If you have any questions or problems with your claim or insurance company contact the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Services Division at 601-359-2453 or 1-800 562 2957.