Professional Insurance Programs

Commissioner Nickel Statement Following Governor Walker’s State of Emergency Declaration in Northwestern Wisconsin

Date: June 20, 2018

Madison, WI—Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel expressed concern for the residents affected by the recent severe storms and flooding in Northwestern Wisconsin.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the residents dealing with the aftermath of these severe storms,” said Commissioner Nickel. “Anyone facing property damage should check their insurance coverage. Unfortunately, in some cases, their insurance may not cover damage caused by a flood.”

Governor Walker declared a State of Emergency for Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, and Iron counties, where severe thunderstorms produced torrential rain, damaging wind, and large hail causing evacuation of persons, downed trees and powerlines, mudslides, and flash flooding that damaged roads and bridges.

“After a severe weather event such as this one, it’s important to record property damage as soon as possible,” continued Commissioner Nickel. “Photos of the damage should be taken and, safety permitting, nothing should be moved or picked up until the insurance company claims adjusters are able to see the damage. We also want people to be assured that we’re here and ready to help in this difficult time.”

Contact OCI with questions at 1-800-236-8517 or by email at For a specific complaint about your insurance, refer it first to the insurance company or agent involved. If you do not receive satisfactory answers, contact OCI.

Commissioner Nickel suggests the following tips in dealing with the aftermath of the storms:

  • Notify your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible to begin filing a claim. Make sure you provide a telephone and/or email address where you can be reached. Your insurance company may also have representatives on the scene to speed up the handling of claims.
  • Check your policy:
    • Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding or seepage through the foundation, which is covered under a separate flood insurance policy sold through the National Flood Insurance Program.
    • Most comprehensive auto policies provide coverage for vehicles damaged in a flood. However, if you purchased collision-only coverage, you may not have this coverage.
  • Pay attention to local news to find out if state and federal agencies are available on-scene to help with relief efforts.
  • Make a detailed list of all damaged or lost personal property. It will help to take photos of the damage. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items. Do not throw out any damaged property without your adjuster’s agreement. If local officials require the disposal of damaged items before the insurance company’s claims adjuster can inspect the damages, take photos and keep a swatch or other sample of damaged items for the adjuster (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, and chairs).
  • Separate damaged items from undamaged items.
  • To avoid scams, make sure to take your time. If you feel pressured to sign a contract quickly, take a step back and investigate. Rebuilding your home or business is important, but quickly signing a contract with an unscrupulous party can make a bad situation worse.
  • Contact your insurance company again if an adjuster has not been assigned to you within several days.



Press release from the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner
For more information contact: Elizabeth Hizmi, Public Information Officer, (608) 266-2493