6 ways to bungle a disaster insurance claim

Failing to avoid additional damage
Failing to avoid additional damage © muratart/

If a tornado or hurricane shatters your home's windows or otherwise exposes your home to the elements, you will need to do some repair work to prevent further damage.

Insurance policies usually contain language requiring homeowners to make such temporary repairs following a natural disaster, Wilson says.

Failure to take these protective measures can add to your woes. Wilson cites the hypothetical example of a storm with strong winds that damages a home's roof and windows but does not wreck anything inside.

"You don't make an effort to cover the roof or windows, and four days after the windstorm, a horrible rain hits and ruins your furniture and TV," Wilson says. "If you didn’t take action to make the repairs, some companies might deny or limit the new damage."

Don't let worries about the costs keep you from making necessary fixes, Wilson says.

"Most companies would reimburse for the temporary repairs following a loss," he says.


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