Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene Caused Widespread Flooding, here is what to do

If you need to file an insurance claim following floods and you have a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), in many cases you can contact your private insurance company, such as Allstate Insurance Company, to help you begin the claims process.  Our clients can call us, and we will get you in touch with a flood adjuster.
Allstate policyholders who have purchased NFIP policies can file a claim by calling 800-54-STORM or by logging on to www.allstate.com or by contacting their local Allstate agent.
Here are some tips for starting your flood insurance claim: 
  1. Gather all relevant policy information and numbers.
  2. Call your insurance agent or company and make sure to mention that your damage is flood specific and you need to file a NFIP claim so your claim is processed appropriately.
  3. Make sure your agent and claims adjuster know how to contact you. If you are in a shelter and not easily reached, provide the name of a designated relative or point-of-contact who can reach you. 
  4. Remove water damaged items from the home as soon as possible. 
  5. Take lots of photos. Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items (i.e. cut swatches from carpeting, curtains, chairs) to prepare your estimate. 
  6. Inventory your home for damaged or lost items before your adjuster arrives. This will help facilitate your claim process.
Obtaining a flood insurance policy is easy.

Since a flood policy does not take effect until 30 days after purchase, we encourage residents to consider their home's risk for flooding and call us well before the waters rise.  You never know when a storm will strike, and 30 days is a long time to wait, so act now, before it is too. late.  Flood insurance can be as low as $10 a day to protect your home.  That is a small price to pay, considering that flood claims cost tens of thousands of dollars. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene has New York in her sites, so you need to be prepared for her before she hits.  Here are some important steps to take:

How to help protect yourself and your family in advance of a storm:

• Conduct a home inventory recording each of your possessions. It’s also helpful to keep track of model numbers and stores where items were purchased. Store your inventory, including photos and videos, in a safe place away from your home.

• Develop an evacuation plan that includes identification of safe areas, escape routes, meeting locations and plans for pets.

• Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit including a three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, radio and batteries, flashlight and first-aid kit.

• Remove any diseased and damaged limbs from trees to keep them from blowing around during a storm and causing property or automobile damage.

• Tie down any lawn furniture and toys that can become projectiles and damage your home, pool or cars.

• Purchase materials such as ¾-inch plywood that can be used to reinforce your windows, doors and garage doors. Install anchors and pre-drill holes for the plywood so you can install them quickly in the event of a storm.

• Install head and foot bolts in doors for extra protection.

Minimize your losses:

• Review your home insurance policy and coverage limits with an agent. Know what you are and are not covered for in the event of a hurricane.

• Find out if you have comprehensive auto coverage for damage to your car caused by falling objects or flood.

• Gather important documents such as insurance policies, birth certificates and identification. Make sure to place them in a waterproof container.

• Make sure you and your family are safe during and after the storm.

• Take steps to minimize further damage after a storm. Only use licensed professionals to take care of any damage.

Good Luck, and let's hope that Irene passes out to sea.  For more information, please visit my site: http://www.zabbiaagency.com/