How to make insurance claims after the storm
If your home or car have been damaged by this storm – what should you do? 7's Hank Phillippi Ryan shows you how to navigate making an insurance claim.
If a tree's crashed into your house – or the wind's blown off part of your roof…
Winchester homeowner: "Oh it's a shame."
Or ocean water gushed where it doesn't belong.
Westport homeowner: "This house, the next house up, is nearly surrounded by water."
Experts say first--stay safe. Then as soon as you can document the damage and call your insurance company.
Frank O'Brien, Vice President, State Government Relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America: "Take pictures, take videos, show the insurance agency and the company what really happened to your property."
But one problem some homeowners will face from Sandy: if water flooded your basement you may not be covered if you don't have special flood insurance.
Frank O'Brien, Vice President, State Government Relations, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America: "Most homeowners insurance policies and commercial insurance policies do not cover flood, that requires separate coverage under the national flood insurance program. Again, talk to your insurance agent, talk to the company, get the facts, there may be something they can do for you."
And if you lose power because of a widespread outage, most insurance policies WON'T cover food that spoiled. But if you lose power because a tree snapped a power line right near your property, that MAY be covered, depending on your policy.
Other things to keep in mind:
-- Save receipts for any temporary repairs and supplies to submit to your insurance company
-- Do not sign agreements with contractors or make permanent repairs until you get approval from your insurance company
-- Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your claim
The Governor's office tells me they have rapid assessment teams out right now evaluating the damage. If there's enough losses the state may be able to apply for federal assistance to help homeowners pay for repairs. Officials will know more later this week.