The thought of a tree falling on your home or your home flooding, is not a pleasant one, but with the current forecasts, such incidents may occur over the weekend. TLS spoke with Frank Adjustments, a Lakewood based Insurance Adjustment firm, who offered 6 Insurance tips ahead of Hurricane Irene.
1) Locate your insurance policy and verify that it is up to date. Keep it in a safe, accessible place.
2) Check your policy Dec page and see if there is a special ‘Hurricane Deductible’, which is usually written as a % rather than a flat $500 or $1,000 deductible.
3) It’s a pretty good idea to snap some photos of your home’s exterior including the roof and siding to document the condition of your home before the hurricane hits.
4) It’s a very good idea to snap photos of damage after it occurs to document the scope of damage in the event of a claim.
5) Emergency repair to your home (i.e. tarping a roof/ extracting water/ etc) is allowed even before the insurance company sees the damage. So photograph and repair as needed. However more than emergency repairs is not advisable until the insurance company can eyeball the damage.
6) Typically, a hurricane brings with it two forms of damages, one related to wind damage and the other related to flood damage. Unfortunately, many of us in Lakewood do not have Flood coverage through FEMA and will not be covered in the event flooding occurs in our area. Sadly, it is too late to purchase
flood insurance for this storm as there is usually a 30 day lag time before it goes into effect. Therefore it will be very important to present the claim properly in the event of damage so that you will not be denied.
Allow a professional public adjuster to review your policy language and your damage so he may properly advise you and present the claim to your advantage.
For example, if wind causes roof damage which results in water entering your home – you ARE covered as the cause of the loss is WIND. But if the groundwater level rises due to saturation and enters your home you typically are not covered. If the wind/rain claim is called in as “I have a flood in my house” you may be unfairly denied. Be sure to check with a public adjuster before you call in a claim.
For any insurance claim advice, feel free to call Frank Adjustments at (732) 905-9594.
“Everyone please stay safe & keep the Klal in mind when you Daven”.