Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sandy Flood Claims

Superstorm Sandy has been the largest storm to hit the area since 1936.  There are many people who have been impacted, and we are dealing with situations that many haven't come across before.  To help clients who have flood insurance, I put together this guideline on how the flood claim process normally is handled.  Some of the time frames might be extended because of the number of claims we are dealing with. I hope this helps.

Sandy Flood Claim Process

  1. File  flood claim with the company
  2. If you have contents coverage, 2 separate claims will be set up.  One for building and one for contents each claim has its own adjuster and deductible. 
  3. Receive a call from each adjuster to come to the house to do an inspection
  4. Take pictures, locate receipts and make a list of items that were flooded
  5. The inspection is usually done in 2 steps.  Adjuster should come out within 10 days for first inspection which is just a walk through. 
  6. Insured can get advances on their claim payments which takes about 7 days after the initial inspection.  The amount is based on the estimate for the total damage
  7. The Second inspection is done about 2 – 4 weeks later and is a complete inspection including measurements of all spaces involved.
  8. Once both inspections are completed and  the insured has given the photographs and the list of building and contents items to the adjuster, he forwards the paperwork to national flood
  9. National flood then reviews all the paperwork.  This can take 2 – 6 weeks.  If all is ok, they will request checks to be issued which takes another 2 weeks.  Checks are payable to insured and their mortgage company if applicable
  10. All in all checks will probably not be received until about 2 – 3 months after the claim

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy and frozen pipes

With over 200,000 homes still being without power, and the temperatures dropping to below freezing tonight, I thought that this would be important to share this information:

If the outside temperature approaches freezing, exposure to subzero air presents the greatest risk of pipe freezing. If you have lost power below are prevention tips to help safely prevent frozen pipes:
• Turn off or unplug electrical appliances and lights to prevent a circuit overload when power is restored.
• If you use a fuel space heater or generator, be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Make sure the space heater is used with proper ventilation.
• Never run a generator inside. Set the generator up outside and down wind from the living area.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to help reduce food spoilage.

If your home will remain unoccupied:
• Shut off the water supply and drain the water supply system.
• Consider draining the water heater and boiler.

If you intend to occupy your home:
• Water pipes located adjacent to exterior walls or within base-cabinets or in closets are susceptible to freezing. Leave the cabinet/closet doors open to allow air circulation around those pipes.
• Let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.
• Cracks or holes in outside walls should be sealed or otherwise blocked.
• Exposed pipes, especially those on outside walls should be wrapped and insulated in some manner. If building insulation is unavailable, consider other materials.
• If your house has a crawl space located under it, close all of the air vents located on the foundation wall. This will help protect the pipes located in that area.
• Detach all hoses and shut off the water supply to outside faucets.