Last week’s massive windstorm that tore roofs off houses and downed trees across the state also could rip a hole in your budget.

More than one million Michigan residents lost power from what's been called one of the worst weather events in state history, and while most are back on the grid, Lori Conarton, the communications director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan says after a disaster like this, con artists often are looking to move in. "They may come into an area after a storm and start knocking on doors and getting on your roof and telling you that you have damage. But...call your insurance agent to verify your benefits immediately after a disaster. Have them look at it first."

In a high-tech twist, many of those in affected areas may see pop-up ads for repair companies on social media sites, but Conarton says it's always best to get referrals from friends and family, or to check with the Better Business Bureau. She advises taking pictures of any damage, and to stay away from contractors who demand cash up front. Anyone who thinks they may be a victim of a scam is encouraged to contact Livingston County Central Dispatch at 517-546-9111 so the proper police agency can take the report.

Meanwhile, Conarton says most wind damage, including trees that fall onto cars or homes, will be covered by insurance policies, however, those who are renting properties may find themselves in a tough spot since surveys have shown only about one-third have renter's insurance. "They assume maybe, incorrectly, that their landlord will pay for any damage, and that's not the case. The landlord's coverage will cover the building, the structure, but not the contents in it."

She adds that while spoiled food from a power outage isn't typically covered by insurance unless a separate rider was purchased, items purchased to prevent further damage to homes, such as tarps and plastic to cover roofs and windows, are reimbursable, which is why you should hold onto all receipts. (Public News Service contributed to this report/Photo courtesy of Brighton Area Fire Authority)