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Property damaged by hail? Here are the next steps to take and how to avoid scams

Many across the River Valley are left with hail damage from Monday’s severe storms, so we spoke with an insurance agent about what you need to do if you have damage.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — If you had hail damage at your home or business after the latest rounds of severe storms, Fort Smith Shelter Insurance Agent Wade Gilkey says there are some steps you need to follow. 

“The first thing you need to do is contact your insurance company, contact your agent and get those claims," Gilkey said. “It’s very important.”

Once you contact your insurance company, he says you can begin the search for someone to repair your vehicle or home.

However, Gilkey says it's best to look for local help and ask your insurance company for any referrals because there are scammers who prey on the devastation.

“If someone’s asking to come out on the roof and they need you to sign a waiver allowing them to give you a free estimate, don’t sign anything until you’ve got the adjuster has time to come out and review the loss,” Gilkey said.

Gilkey also adds that insurance companies are getting an influx of calls right now. So it might take three to four days for them to file your claim and assess it.

“It’s going to take some time for our body shops,” Gilkey said. “It’s going to take time for a lot of our local roofers to get those schedules created and get the damages prepared. Patience is a virtue.”

With more storms expected later this season, some things you can do to prevent damage is making sure you have a place to park your vehicle in a garage and have your insurance nearby.

RELATED: Where did the largest hail hit in western Arkansas?

RELATED: Your Photos: Tornados and hail strike the River Valley

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