Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

A Consumer Guide to Insurance for Natural Disasters

Posted on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

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Introduction
Natural disasters (including floods, nor'easters, etc.) affect the lives of many people in the United States every year.The hazardous effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community; or very large, affecting an entire city or county. People who understand disasters and know what to do before and after a disaster can significantly reduce the time and cost to return to normalcy. The purpose of this information is to provide an understanding of the types of natural disasters and the insurance available to cover the losses resulting from them.
 
Insurance for Your Residence
Depending on your type of dwelling, you will need to consider your insurance options to determine the most appropriate coverage. It makes good sense to purchase the type and amount of coverage that is adequate to protect your home and your family.

Owning a Home – There are various types of policies available to homeowners. In general, the homeowners policy combines property coverage with liability coverage. Dwelling policies only provide property coverage.

Rental – This policy covers the personal property owned by renters. It can also cover liabilities arising from accidents and injuries for guests..

Owning a Condominium – Condominium policies primarily provide content coverage to condominium owners. In addition, there are special provisions to cover the portions of the dwelling for which you are responsible as defined by the governing rules of the condominium.

Owning a Home on a Farm – If your home is on a farm, a farm owners policy may be appropriate to protect against loss. In general, a farm owners policy provides coverage for farm business exposures, and both property and liability coverages.
 
Insurance Available for Your Property
Before buying an insurance policy, you should check for the types of coverages and products available in New York State. You also need to know the types and limits of coverage you want to purchase. Coverage is available for:
 
Dwelling – This is the structure of the house. (That is considered a covered property.)

Other Structures – These are other structures that are separate from the house. Examples are detached garages or toolsheds.

Personal Property – The contents in your home are considered personal property. This includes furniture, appliances, clothing and computer equipment. Some personal properties are specifically excluded and are either not covered under the policy or have limited coverage. Examples are: money, jewelry and firearms.
 
Loss of Use – This is the cost of additional living expenses incurred, when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable, and the cause is due to a covered loss. Reimbursement, such as the cost of a hotel room, will be made to the insured to maintain a normal standard of living.
 
Information Source:
New York State Department of Insurance
25 Beaver Street One Commerce Plaza
New York, NY 10004 Albany, NY 12257
(212) 480-6400 (800) 342-3736
www.ins.state.ny.us

Tags: fire restoration, flood long island, insurance, insurance claim, disrepair, flood damage, disaster restoration, insurance industry, insurance industry long island

"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"

Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

The recent storms that hit the Northeast have caused major flooding and property damage to homes and businesses. The aftermath of the storms have property owners dealing with mold and moisture issues. 

Mold Basics...

The key to mold control is moisture control.
If mold is a problem is in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem. It is important to dry water-damaged areas within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 

  

Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment.  Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided.  Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.  Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.  There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing.  Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins).  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.  Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common.  They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.  Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.  Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.  This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional.  You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust.  The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present.  Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.  If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem.  If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

 

Mold Tips: 

Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible.  Dry all items completely.

Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely.

Absorbent or porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.  Mold can grow on or fill in the empty spaces and crevices of porous materials, so the mold may be difficult or impossible to remove completely.

Avoid exposing yourself or others to mold.

Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces.  Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting.  Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.

If you are unsure about how to clean an item, or if the item is expensive or of sentimental value, you may wish to consult a specialist.  Specialists in furniture repair, restoration, painting, art restoration and conservation, carpet and rug cleaning, water damage, and fire or water restoration are commonly listed in phone books.  Be sure to ask for and check references.  Look for specialists who are affiliated with professional organizations. For more information on mold, visit the EPA website.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

 

 

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What To Do After a Loss

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2010 @ 08:32 AM

Heavy rains and winds pummeled the New York Metro area this past weekend, causing major damage to many homes and businesses. If you experienced property damage, you need to know what to do after a loss. 

If you suffer a loss, the first thing to do is to notify your insurance company or its agent. You can do this by telephone, although it is a good idea to follow up with written notification. Remember, if you give the notice to your broker, rather than directly to the insurance company, you still have a responsibility to make sure that the insurance company receives notice of your claim.

It is also important to notify your insurance company promptly after any incident takes place that might result in a claim at some later date, even though no claim was made at the time the event occurred.

For example, if your dog bites a neighbor or a guest falls on your property, it should be reported to the insurance company even though you don't know whether any claim is actually going to be made against you. Your failure to notify the company promptly might allow it to deny coverage in the event a claim if filed against you at a later date.

It is also important to protect your property against further damages. For example, if the windows are broken, have them boarded up to protect against further vandalism or burglary. The cost of this type of protection is covered by, and would be reimbursed by your insurance company.

However, no permanent repairs should be made until your company or its representative has inspected the property. The company has the right to inspect the property in its damaged state, and can refuse to pay you for any damage that is repaired before inspection.

An adjuster will be sent from your insurance company to examine the damage and give you an estimate of the cost of repairs or replacement. You should also get an estimate from your own contractor to compare with the insurance company's estimate. Your contractor will probably charge a fee for this service but might credit that fee to your bill if you hire that contractor to repair and/or replace your property.

If you need assistance, your agent, broker or insurance company sales representative should help you fill out the claim form and help gather the materials you need to substantiate your loss.

In the event you are unfortunate enough to experience a major loss such as a fire or severe windstorm which has badly damaged or destroyed your home, and you are not in a position to negotiate a settlement with your company, you may want to consult an attorney or call a licensed public adjuster to act on your behalf with your insurance company.

Public adjusters are licensed by the Insurance Department. They represent you and not the insurance company. They will help you in taking inventory of your loss, securing your home from vandalism, contacting your insurance company, advising you on the extent of your coverage and help you secure the services needed to repair or rebuild you home. They will negotiate on your behalf with the adjuster from the insurance company.

A public adjuster may not charge a fee more than 12.5% of the recovery amount and must get a signed compensation agreement from you in which the amount of compensation is clearly stated. Such agreement may be cancelled up to midnight of the third business day after the date on which you have signed the compensation agreement. In addition, public adjusters may not solicit your business between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Another alternative to consider when an agreement cannot be reached between you and your insurance company is the appraisal process. Every homeowner, tenant, cooperative apartment and condominium policy issued in New York contains a provision whereby you and your company select a competent and disinterested appraiser. The two appraisers, in turn, select an umpire. Each appraiser must evaluate the loss and determine the value of each item. Any disagreements between the appraisers regarding the value of any items are submitted to, and settled by the umpire. The costs of this process are paid by the policyholder and the insurance company.

Source:  NY State Insurance Department

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Do You Have Water or Wind Damage?

Posted on Sun, Mar 14, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

24 Hour Emergency Water Removal, tarping, and Cleanup Services

One of the worst things that can happen is having a pipe break or water heater malfunction that causes a water intrusion to flood your basement or saturate your home or office.  Advanced Restoration's Disaster and Emergency Response Time minimizes  damage that can be caused by a flood.  Our water extraction services have assisted many homes and business throughout Long Island and New York City.  We extract water due to:

Advanced Restoration Corporation  is a DKI Member Company

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