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Have Storm Damage? Here's What To Do Next

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis. (WCCO) -- With more severe weather on the way, you might be wondering what to do if you wind up with damage of your own.

It's a question Mark McKenzie in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, had to face Tuesday after a tree in his backyard was uprooted Monday and landed on his roof and garage.

"Really crazy. Then you're like, 'What do I do? Who do I call?'" McKenzie said.

Tom Wertish, the owner of Options Insurance in Chaska, says to rely on contractors they trust.

"Typically their insurance agent will know those contractors," Wertish said.

He warns about door-knocking roofers who show up after storms trying to persuade you to file a claim.

"If it's severe damage and you know that it's damage, then you file the claim right away," Wertish said. "If you're not sure if there's damage, we'll typically have a roofer or contractor come out and do an inspection."

Storm Damage in Western Wisconsin
(credit: CBS)

Wertish also strongly advises taking pictures of everything once you ensure no further damage will be done.

In cases like McKenzie's, a tree has to fall on a structure to be covered by insurance.

Where the damage is also trumps who owns the tree, so if a neighbor's tree falls on your roof, it's your problem.

McKenzie expects an insurance agent to be out Wednesday to take a look.

"Great relief because once you talk to somebody you're kind of like freaking out," he said.

Wertish says it's a good idea to go over your policy with your insurance agent.

Because storms are so common in Minnesota, there are often significantly higher deductibles for hail and wind damage.

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