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What to do if your house was damaged in the storm

Posted at 11:27 PM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-21 23:27:52-05

Couples like Mike and Ashleigh Cieri are thinking just that.  The picture window of the Cheektowaga couple's home shattered under the weight of the snow pressing against it.

"It sounded like our house was hit by a truck.  Our window was completely shattered in the front," said Mike.

And that isn't the only damage the couple is dealing with now.  There is a crack in their valuted ceiling that runs across the room, and down a wall.

Lori Kozuch with the Niagara National Insurance Agency says now that the snow has melted, claims are trickling in.  She says Western New Yorkers who have damage need to document it as quickly as possible.

"Start taking a video," she said.  "Or pictures or an inventory of damaged property.  Don't destroy it.  Put it aside.  Because in many cases the insurance company adjustor would like to see it."

Once you contact your insurance company, figure out what needs to be repaired and how much it will cost.

"Start collecting costs to replace the items.  Contracting estimates for repairs or replacement, turn those into your insurance company," said Kozuch.

She says she knows people can be hesitant to tell their insurance company what happened, but that companies are often more customer-friendly than people think, especially when it comes to huge storms like this.  In fact, the damage at the Cieri home even made national headlines.

"I had a lot of friends and colleagues and people saying did you see?  Your window is number 21 on the buzzfeed list!" laughed Asheligh.