February 24, 2021

People now filing insurance claims, looking for contractors for winter storm damage

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As many people around the state recover from the winter storm,…

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As many people around the state recover from the winter storm, some homeowners have the difficult choice of choosing a contractor and filing insurance claims.

For some Texans, water and electricity remain an issue on the heels of the winter storm, but for others, the road to recovery has already begun.

Busted water pipes have caused damage to many homes throughout the state and insurance claims are already being filed.

“We’ve heard from about 18,900 customers across the state reporting damage, and the vast majority of that is because of frozen and broken water pipes. And it’s not concentrated in any one area really the customers reporting damage or across the state,” Chris Pilcic, State Farm spokesperson, said.

And for homeowners who are looking for contractors, make sure to receive bids from several companies.

“Make sure that you’re comparing apples to apples with a lot of those with the scope of work that they are quoting. And get those estimates in writing. That prevents you from turning around and them increasing the price on you later. It’s good to have that written estimate to look back on,” Monica Horton, Wichita Falls Better Business Bureau president, said.

Whenever homeowners do choose a contractor, Pilcic said to keep your insurance company in the loop as well.

“Anytime you’re doing any construction or upgrades around your house, have a conversation with both your contractor about different types of building materials that may prevent future damage, and also your insurance company and any opportunities that there might be for discounts,” Pilcic said.

For any business that you choose, Horton said to check the Better Business Bureau to make sure you get your money’s worth.

“They could have been in business for a long time and not have any complaints. Check and see what we have to say. If we have that contractor that has an f rating with us. We want those consumers’ bad experience that we’re reporting to prevent other consumers from having the same bad experience” Horton said.

These officials also said to check the references for those contractors as well to make sure you don’t have a bad experience either.

There is also a scam tracker on the BBB website to keep up with contractors.