Allstate offers claims tips after severe winter weather sweeps across the Southeast

(WTVM) - The dangerously cold temperatures, snow and ice that just swept across the Southeast region can cause significant damage.

Allstate customers whose homes or automobiles have been damaged by this winter weather can reach Allstate by calling 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676), contacting any Allstate Agent or visiting

Allstate and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety offer the following tips when people are checking their home or car for damage caused by a winter storm.

*If your home has sustained serious structural damage from snow collapse or falling tree limbs, be extremely cautious about entering the home. Debris may be hazardous and the structure could be unstable.

*Make temporary repairs to protect undamaged property. Save receipts for purchases on repairs until it is determined what expenses your insurance company may reimburse for as part of your homeowners policy.

*Avoid using sharp tools or ice picks to clear gutters or downspouts – they can potentially cause more damage to your property.

*Avoid injuring yourself, don't get on the roof, work on a ladder or work beneath a roof that has accumulated large amounts of snow. There is a danger of falling icicles or avalanching snow.

*Review your auto policy to determine whether you have coverage for falling objects or collisions. Contact your agent or insurance company with any questions.

*Watch inside your home for unexpected water leaks on walls or ceilings. Ice build-up in eaves and gutters following heavy snows can prevent drainage, causing water from melting roof snow to seep under shingles or tiles and into the home. If you suspect damage caused by "ice damming" call your insurance company.

*Report possible claims to your insurance company promptly. Have policy numbers ready when you call.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via, and 1-800 Allstate®, and are widely known through the slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®." In 2013, $29 million was given by The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners to support local communities. Allstate employees and agency owners donated 200,000 hours of service across the country.

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