Joseph Sviatko, 410-468-2458

What to Do if You Experienced Property Damage During Winter Storm Riley and How the Maryland Insurance Administration Can Assist You

State Agency Available to Assist Consumers with Claims Process Issues

BALTIMORE - Winter Storm Riley left its mark on the mid-Atlantic region this past weekend. Homeowners and business owners may have experienced property damage as a result of the strong, gusty winds that caused tress and power lines to topple. Now that the storm is over, citizens will be faced with the insurance claim process and the repair phase for the damage.
“Although weather-related events such as Winter Storm Riley are beyond our control, consumers can take steps to help make the insurance claims and associated repair work a smooth process,” said Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr.  “Our team stands ready to assist impacted Marylanders as they navigate the insurance claims process after this storm.”
Tips for consumers include:
  • Know your policy – what’s covered, what’s excluded and what the deductibles are.
  • Watch this video on how to file a weather-related claim.
  • Contact your insurance company or producer immediately. Don’t let the bills or receipts pile up. Your policy may require that you make the notification within a certain time frame.
  • Take photographs or video footage of any damage.
  • Be wary of aggressive contractors or demands for up-front repair payment. If you have concerns, please contact the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). You can also file a complaint with MHIC. Complaints must be mailed or hand-delivered to MHIC, 500 N. Calvert Street, Room 306, Baltimore, MD 21202.  The form can be found here:
  • Provide complete and correct information to your insurance company or producer. Incorrect or incomplete information may cause a delay in processing the claim or otherwise negatively affect your claim.
  • If you have to relocate, even temporarily, make sure your insurance company or producer knows how to reach you. Read our consumer advisory on whether your policy will cover the cost of a temporary relocation.
  • Before you remove any damaged property from the premises, be sure an insurance adjuster or your producer has seen it first. An insurance company may deny a claim if you make permanent repairs before the damage is inspected. If a tree has fallen on your property, then read our consumer advisory about what to do.
  • Keep all receipts for emergency repairs and for temporary living expenses.
  • Make only those repairs necessary to prevent further damage to your home or business. Do not make permanent repairs without consulting your producer or insurance company, as unauthorized repairs may not be reimbursed.
  • Keep receipts of all personal property you replace.
  • Obtain estimates of the damage to the property from at least two contractors, if possible.
  • Make a detailed list of all damaged property.
  • If your insurance company denies any part of your claim, keep all of the paperwork they send you.
  • If you hire a public adjuster, understand that your insurance company is not obligated to follow what a public adjuster determines to be your loss. Read our consumer advisory on home improvement contractors, salesmen and public adjusters here.
If you are not satisfied with the offer from your insurance company, you do not have to accept it.  Contact the company and explain why you think it is not sufficient.  If you are still not satisfied, you may contact the Insurance Administration at 1-800-492-6116.
For more information, visit the Insurance Administration’s website and click on Insurance Preparedness for Natural Disasters.
About the Maryland Insurance Administration
The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent State agency charged with regulating Maryland’s $28.5 billion insurance industry. For more information about the Insurance Administration, please visit or follow us on Facebook at or Twitter at @MD_Insurance.
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