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

Disaster Kleanup International Names New Director of Marketing

Posted on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 09:28 AM

disaster kleenup international,dki,disaster,disasters,mary smith,director of marketing,disaster restoration

                                           DKI: North America's Largest Disaster Restoration Organization

                                                             DKI Names Mary Smith as Director of Marketing 

Mary Smith is a marketing communications veteran with twenty years of experience in various industries including the fitness, wellness, and entertainment fields. She is well versed in marketing, public relations, event management, advertising, promotional products, and branding.

Previous to this role Smith held the position of Director of Marketing for Nautilus, the fitness manufacturing icon. She was responsible for creating a domestic and international marketing program and creative strategy for the company. She also managed all trade shows and special projects.

"We are very excited to have Mary join the DKI team. Her extensive marketing communications experience will be a perfect fit for DKI's direction and business needs. It is my feeling that Mary will very quickly become an asset to our growing leadership team," said Dan Cassara, DKI President and CEO.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa and received her Master of Science degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois.

Smith will be based in the company's National Headquarters in Wood Dale, Illinois.

About DKI

Disaster Kleenup International (DKI), LLC, headquartered in suburban Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Member Companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about Disaster Kleenup International, LLC, visit our website at www.disasterkleenup.com or contact Mary Smith at (630) 350-3000.

Tags: mary smith, property damage, dki, restoration, disaster kleenup international, disaster restoration, disasters

How Humidity Can Cause Property Damage to Your Home or Building

Posted on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 @ 09:06 AM

Humidity Property  Damage Mold Long Island New York Structural Drying Home Business Building

By Steve Graham, Networx

Humidity doesn’t just make you uncomfortable. It also causes problems and health hazards at every level of the home. Here is a bottom-to-top summary of some of the dangers of high humidity, and some solutions for each problem.

Underground problems

Humid weather simply exacerbates moisture problems that are often a concern in crawl spaces and basements. Moisture from the ground works with moisture from the humid air to generate condensation on walls and other surfaces, and create muggy basement smells and atmospheres. In turn, this can translate to mold and mildew issues. To avoid these problems, it is important to take steps to minimize moisture below the main floor of the home.

If humidity is an issue in any season, foundation vents should be left open all year to help the foundation dry out as much as possible. On the other hand, close basement windows and doors to keep out humid summer weather.

If humidity is an issue for a basement, insulate basement walls and run a dehumidifier. Rigid foam insulation is one good option, as it is essentially waterproof. However, it must be covered with drywall or another fire barrier. Attach a humidistat to the dehumidifier to control the humidity levels.

Crawl spaces should be covered with polyethylene or other thick, solid vapor barrier to keep moisture from the ground from creating bigger problems. Crawl spaces with moisture barriers also should have one square foot of vent area for every 1,500 square feet of crawl space area, according to Michigan State University (MSU) researchers. Crawl spaces without moisture barriers should have one square foot of venting per 150 square feet of space.

 

Mechanical system problems

Humid weather can also leave condensation on water pipes and toilet tanks. Again, this condensation can also lead to mold and mildew problems. If the toilet tank regularly beads with condensation, consider installing waterproof insulation inside the tank. Also wrap insulation around water pipes to minimize condensation.

 

Flooring problems

Moving up from the basement, the floor is the next likely victim of humidity problems. Mold and mildew can get into wood flooring or carpets, and may be hard to completely remove. It is best to avoid such problems by reducing humidity. Air conditioning systems reduce humidity while reducing the temperature, if they are installed correctly.

 

Mildewed carpet should be cleaned with an electric shampoo machine. If musty odors develop on carpet, either replace the entire carpet or have it professionally cleaned and dried off-site. Replace musty or damp padding.

If mildew develops on wood flooring, scrub it off with trisodium phosphate or quaternary disinfectants, then rinse and dry thoroughly, and add a mildew-resistant paint.

 

Storage Problems

Humidity can also wreak havoc on clothes, food and other stored items. Dry foods can draw in moisture and quickly go stale if humidity exceeds 60 percent. Cans may rust and leak in humid weather. Damaged or swollen cans should be tossed out. If humidity is an issue, keep stored food in an air-conditioned space.

 

Reduce humidity damage to clothing with chemical absorbents or through proper ventilation. Use silica gel packets or other moisture-absorbing materials if you plan to tightly close all closet doors and trunks. The other option is to leave closet doors open and use fans to improve air circulation. Also separate clothes within each closet to allow airflow between items.

 

Wall problems

Humid air can also build up in walls, which can become soggy over time, and may even attract mold and mildew. Interior and exterior paint can also bubble and peel under extended humid conditions.


To minimize such problems, boost wall insulation and consider vapor-retardant paints. Also caulk or weather strip all gaps and cracks around the walls, baseboards, doors and windows. According to MSU researchers, such sealing work can minimize moisture problems in walls.

 

Attic problems

Finally, attics can get hot and uncomfortably damp in humid weather. Be sure to properly ventilate the attic. If the attic does not have a vapor barrier (which may not be a necessity in many cases), it should have one square foot of venting per 150 square feet of attic, according to MSU research. For areas with vapor barriers, one foot of venting per 300 square feet of attic is acceptable.

Humid weather can cause a variety of home problems and hazards, but they can all be prevented or remedied with some care and diligence.

 

Tags: long island, property damage, water damage, new york, humidity, relative humidity

New York Gov. Cuomo Announces Storm Aid for Long Island

Posted on Wed, May 02, 2012 @ 09:59 AM

insurance journal,insurance,long island,new york,storm damage,storm aid,long island insurance,propwerty damage,advanced restoration,risk

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is providing $8.5 million to Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. The money will be used to pay expenses from damage done last year by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The storms caused widespread destruction across the state. Cleanup costs statewide are expected to exceed $1.6 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency usually covers 75 percent of eligible disaster response and recovery costs.

Earlier this month, Cuomo announced the state would pay $61 million to 25 counties to cover costs for emergency shelter, road, water system and infrastructure repairs and other clean-up projects. Cuomo added $8.5 million for Nassau and Suffolk counties last week. 

Article Taken from the Insurance Journal

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: insurance journal, storm aid, long island, property damage, insurance, new york, storm damage, long island insurance

Satisfaction with Homeowners Insurance Claims Experience Increases

Posted on Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 03:07 PM

marketwatch,insurance,insurance claim,insurance claims,property damage,property claim,property claims,insurance company,customer satisfaction

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Customer Satisfaction with Homeowners Insurance Claims Experience Increases, Despite Record Number of Storm Losses

 

Amica Mutual Ranks Highest in Overall Satisfaction among Property Insurance Claimants

 

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., April 2, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Despite a record number of catastrophic storms and some of the largest payouts ever in the U.S. property insurance industry in 2011, overall customer satisfaction with the property claims experience has significantly increased from last year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.

 

 

The study, now in its fifth year, measures satisfaction with the property claims experience among insurance customers who filed a claim for damages covered under their homeowners policy by examining five factors: claim settlement; first notice of loss; estimation process; service interaction; and repair process.

After four years of relatively stable customer satisfaction with the insurance claims experience, overall satisfaction in 2012 improves to 833 on a 1,000-point scale, an increase of 10 points from 2011. This increase is noteworthy, as the claims experiences measured in the 2012 study are based on claims filed during 2011, when there were 99 weather-related disasters in the country, 14 of which totaled more than $1 billion in damages each, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

"A period of tremendous volatility in the industry, caused by a large number of devastating storms, led us to anticipate that satisfaction would decline, but that clearly was not the case," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "The industry as a whole did well in not only handling the day-to-day claims, but also the large volume of claims associated with those major events."

According to the study, high wind claims, which include tornado and hurricane damage, accounted for 33 percent of all claims filed, an increase from 21 percent in the 2011 study. Yet, among those who filed a claim for high wind damage, satisfaction remained stable relatively unchanged with the 2011 study.

However, when examining the claims experience by region, there are mixed results in overall satisfaction in those regions with large increases in particular weather events. For example, satisfaction in the South Atlantic and Northeast regions, both of which had increases in high wind claims due to hurricanes in 2011, improved 36 points and 18 points, respectively, compared with the 2011 study. In contrast, overall satisfaction in the East North Central Region, which also had an increase in high wind claims due to tornado damage, satisfaction has declined by 14 points from 2011. In addition, an increase in hail-related claims in the West South Central has resulted in an eight-point drop in satisfaction year over year.

"The way in which carriers ramp up for a major natural catastrophe can have a major impact on customer satisfaction," Bowler said. "Having a plan in place to handle the increased volume of claims helps carriers, but so does having time to prepare for an oncoming storm. There usually is some advance warning for a hurricane, so carriers have a few days to prepare and be proactive with their customers. However, since there is little warning for tornado or hail storms, carriers are forced to react in trying to manage claims associated with this type of storm damage."

The study finds that a positive claims experience fosters significantly higher long-term loyalty among claimants, while a negative claims experience may cause claimants to be more likely to switch insurers. Among highly satisfied claimants (satisfaction scores of 901 or higher), 84 percent say they "definitely will" recommend their insurer, and 81 percent say they "definitely will" renew with their insurer. Conversely, among claimants with low satisfaction (scores of 550 or lower), only 12 percent say they "definitely will" renew with the carrier that handled the claim, and 18 percent indicate that they have already switched carriers.

Amica Mutual ranks highest in overall satisfaction with the homeowners insurance claims experience, achieving a score of 894. Amica Mutual also performs particularly well in all five factors. Auto-Owners Insurance follows in the rankings with a score of 873, performing particularly well in service interaction, while Nationwide ranks third with 872. USAA also achieves high levels of customer satisfaction, although it is not included in the rankings due to the closed nature of its membership.[1]

Bowler offers the following tips for homeowners insurance customers:

Read and make sure you understand your homeowners insurance policy and make sure the coverage limits are adequate to cover the replacement value of your home and its contents.

Big-ticket items, such as valuable art work, expensive jewelry or collectables, should be declared on your policy. Often, insurers will require an independent appraisal to verify valuations.

Maintain an inventory of the contents of your home--at least the 10 most expensive items--and store it in a safe place. Some insurance carriers offer apps to help with this process.

Take pictures or videos of the damage.

Try to be at your home when the adjuster arrives to asses the damage.

Ask your insurance carrier to explain how the claims and repair process will work, and how long it is expected to take.

The management discussion based on the study, available for download here, provides an in-depth examination of homeowners insurance claims and the claims process.

The 2012 Property Claims Satisfaction Study is based on more than 4,200 responses from homeowners insurance customers who filed a property claim between May 2010 and January 2012.

        Customer Service Index Ranking              J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings
        (Based on a 1,000-point scale)              For Consumers
        Amica Mutual                            894 5
        Auto-Owners Insurance                   873 4
        Nationwide                              872 4
        Erie Insurance                          864 4
        CHUBB                                   859 4
        Automobile Club of Southern California  848 4
        COUNTRY                                 847 4
        State Farm                              846 4
        American Family                         842 4
        NCNU Insurance Exchange (Formerly CSAA) 842 4
        The Hartford                            841 3
        Safeco                                  835 3
        Travelers                               835 3
        Industry Average                        833 3
        Allstate                                829 3
        Liberty Mutual                          824 3
        MetLife                                 823 3
        Farmers                                 818 3
        The Hanover                             812 2
        *USAA                                   895 5
        


NOTE: Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size: Foremost.*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings.

Power Circle Ratings Legend:5 - Among the best4 - Better than most3 - About average2 - The rest

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/ .

Media Relations ContactsJohn Tews, Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; [email protected] Perryman; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103; [email protected]

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

[1] USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings.

SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved 

 

Comtex

Tags: property damage, insurance claims, insurance, insurance claim, insurance company, property claim, property claims

RIA Provides Clean Up Tips for After Storm Damage

Posted on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 08:59 AM
restoration industry association,ria,restoration,insurance,disaster restoration,property damage, restoration contractor,long island,new york,advanced restoration,dki member companyThe Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for individuals impacted by the storms that have caused property damage to their homes and/or businesses.
  • Notify your insurance company of the loss.
  • Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
  • Secure buildings to prevent vandalism or further damage from weather.  Most insurance policies require homeowners to take reasonable action to protect a property from further damage. Tarp or board up open spaces only if safe and appropriate.
  • Shut off main water, gas and electricity supplies.
  • Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
  • Take photos of each room or area for future reference and insurance claims. This will provide a digital inventory of some visible contents. More information on what to do can be found in the Consumer section of the RIA website.    
  • If electrical appliances, including televisions and computers are damaged, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and/or do further damage to the appliance.  Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by contractors who know what they're doing.
  • When it is safe to enter a property, look for valuables and important papers (e.g., birth/marriage certificates, wills, tax records, etc.).
  • Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website to find a contractor.
  • Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes.
  • Wash your hands frequently -- especially before touching your face or eating.
  • Be careful of sharp items such as broken glass, nails, etc. while searching debris.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
  • Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.
  • Transport computers, art work and musical instruments to a dry environment.
  • Damaged papers and books can be frozen temporarily to prevent further disintegration until they can be restored by a professional.
  • Homeowners may hire any company they choose for restoration work, not just a company recommended by the insurance company.

 


The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has member firms worldwide. RIA provides industry leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for cleaning and restoration through certification, training and standards development. More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org.

 

Tags: property damage, restoration contractor, insurance, restoration, storm damage, insurance company, cleanup, storm damage cleanup, insuerance claim, ria, restoration industry

Filing An Insurance Claim Could Cost Homeowners Down The Road

Posted on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 @ 12:51 PM

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – Many people are spending the weekend picking up debris in their yards from the wind and snow. But with so much damage, homeowners are wondering if they should file a claim with their insurance company.

Most homeowners’ policies have coverage for wind damage. But what they must decide is whether it is worth filing a claim because it could really cost them.

The wind slapped Christy Wheeler’s Littleton home hard this week. The siding was ripped off, a section of the backyard fence is gone, and shingles were torn from her roof. Wheeler wasted no time calling in an insurance claim.

 

“I know definitely this is going to cost more than our deductible,” Wheeler said.

Her deductible is $1,000.

By the next morning State Farm claims agent Bob Blume was at her home. He measured and documented the damage. The roof is likely the most expensive part of the claim, but the snow posed a problem.

“The roof cannot be properly inspected by an insurance adjuster until it’s clear and dry,” Blume said.

It’s not clear how much all of the damage will cost to fix. But Wheeler estimates just the roof will cost about $5,000 or $6,000.

When filing a homeowner’s insurance claim insurance expert Carole Walker offers caution.

“If someone is filing a lot of smaller claims over a short period of time, that could put them at risk for losing insurance, because what the insurance company is looking at is how high risk are you,” Walker said.

Walker says it’s not the amount of the claim, it’s the number of claims. The average homeowner files one claim every 8 years.

The Wheeler family will wait for the snow to melt and the roof to dry and the claims agent to return for a total damage estimate.

Those who have a $1,000 deductible and the total damage is $1,200, the homeowner pays $1,000 and the insurance company only pays $200.

“The difficulty is we’re in an economy where a couple hundred bucks is a lot,” 4 On Your Side Investigator Jodi Brooks said. “But consider; we still have hail season ahead of us, and two or three claims could cost you in homeowner’s insurance premiums, or losing your insurance. It’s not an easy decision.”


Tags: property damage, insurance, insurance claim, insurance company, filing a claim

Flood and homeowner's insurance are not deductible

Posted on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 09:35 AM
 
 
 Q. I understand there is a tax deduction for mortgage insurance, provided that your income is less than $100,000 per year. Are flood insurance and home insurance also deductible if your income is under $100,000?

Mortgage insurance premiums paid on your personal residence or second home would be deductible as an interest deduction on Schedule A (itemized deductions) on Form 1040. The deduction phases out once your adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $100,000 for single and joint filers and $50,000 for married filing separately.

Flood and homeowners insurance are not deductible unless a portion of your home is used for business (for example, a two-family house). Based on the percentage of the property that is for business use, you would be allowed to deduct flood and homeowner insurance proportionately.

You must report rental income and expenses on business-use property on Schedule E of form 1040. — Eugene J. Varsalona is a certified public accountant in Little Ferry.

Q. When does it make sense for New Jersey taxpayers to do the work to amend a prior return? For example, we realized after filing for 2010 that total out-of-pocket medical expenses can possibly be deducted if they exceed more than 2 percent of adjusted gross income in New Jersey.

Individual income tax returns are amended on Form 1040X if you are amending a federal return and N.J. 1040X if you are amending a New Jersey return. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you can amend a return to correct the original return filed, make elections after the prescribed deadline, change amounts adjusted by the Internal Revenue Service or claim a carryback due to an unused credit.

Amended returns for both federal and state purposes must be filed within three years (including extensions) after the date the original return was filed or within two years after the date the taxes were paid, whichever is later.

Interest and penalties will be assessed against any balance due on the amended returns, so it is best to amend the returns as soon as an error is found.

I would recommend amending the N.J. 1040 if you determine that the out-of-pocket medical expenses exceed 2 percent of your New Jersey adjusted gross income. If you are entitled to a refund, you should claim it. — Thomas J. Braun is a certified public accountant in Park Ridge.

Tax questions? The Record's committee of local experts may be able to help. Accountants from theBergen County Chapter of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, who are volunteering their time, will answer questions in The Record's Business section weekly until April. Email [email protected] with "Tax Mailbag" in the subject line.

Tags: long island, property damage, insurance, new york, flood insurance, insurance claim

Flood and homeowner's insurance are not deductible

Posted on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 09:35 AM
 
 
 
insurance,insurance claim, flood insurance,property damage,long island,new york

Q. I understand there is a tax deduction for mortgage insurance, provided that your income is less than $100,000 per year. Are flood insurance and home insurance also deductible if your income is under $100,000?

Mortgage insurance premiums paid on your personal residence or second home would be deductible as an interest deduction on Schedule A (itemized deductions) on Form 1040. The deduction phases out once your adjusted gross income (AGI) exceeds $100,000 for single and joint filers and $50,000 for married filing separately.

Flood and homeowners insurance are not deductible unless a portion of your home is used for business (for example, a two-family house). Based on the percentage of the property that is for business use, you would be allowed to deduct flood and homeowner insurance proportionately.

You must report rental income and expenses on business-use property on Schedule E of form 1040. — Eugene J. Varsalona is a certified public accountant in Little Ferry.

Q. When does it make sense for New Jersey taxpayers to do the work to amend a prior return? For example, we realized after filing for 2010 that total out-of-pocket medical expenses can possibly be deducted if they exceed more than 2 percent of adjusted gross income in New Jersey.

Individual income tax returns are amended on Form 1040X if you are amending a federal return and N.J. 1040X if you are amending a New Jersey return. According to the Internal Revenue Service, you can amend a return to correct the original return filed, make elections after the prescribed deadline, change amounts adjusted by the Internal Revenue Service or claim a carryback due to an unused credit.

Amended returns for both federal and state purposes must be filed within three years (including extensions) after the date the original return was filed or within two years after the date the taxes were paid, whichever is later.

Interest and penalties will be assessed against any balance due on the amended returns, so it is best to amend the returns as soon as an error is found.

I would recommend amending the N.J. 1040 if you determine that the out-of-pocket medical expenses exceed 2 percent of your New Jersey adjusted gross income. If you are entitled to a refund, you should claim it. — Thomas J. Braun is a certified public accountant in Park Ridge.

Tax questions? The Record's committee of local experts may be able to help. Accountants from theBergen County Chapter of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, who are volunteering their time, will answer questions in The Record's Business section weekly until April. Email [email protected] with "Tax Mailbag" in the subject line.

Tags: long island, property damage, insurance, new york, flood insurance, insurance claim

What is an Insurance Claim? by WiseGEEK.com

Posted on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 @ 01:32 PM

insurance, insurance claim, insurance claims,property damage,disaster,restoration,long island,new york,insurance agent,property damage claim

An insurance claim is the actual application for benefits provided by an insurance company. Policy holders must first file an insurance claim before any money can be disbursed to the hospital or repair shop or other contracted service. The insurance company may or may not approve the claim, based on their own assessment of the circumstances.

Individuals who take out home, life, health, or automobile insurance policies must maintain regular payments called premiums to the insurers. Most of the time these premiums are used to settle another person's insurance claim or to build up the available assets of the insurance company. But occasionally an accident will happen which causes real financial damage, such as a automobile wreck or a tornado or a work-related accident. At this point the injured policy holder has the right to file an insurance claim in order to receive money from the insurance company.

In general, the insurance claim is filed with a local representative of the insurance company. This agent becomes responsible for investigating the specific details of the insurance claim and negotiating the payment from the main insurers. Many times a recognized authority (doctor, repair shop, building contractor) can file the necessary insurance claim forms directly with the insurance company. However, sometimes the policy holder may not want to file an actual insurance claim if the damage is minor or another party has agreed to pay out-of-pocket for their mistake.

After an insurance claim is filed, the insurance company may send out an investigator called an adjustor or appraiser. The insurance adjustor's job is to objectively evaluate the insurance claim and determine if the repair estimates are reasonable. This is to prevent possible fraud by contractors who may inflate their bills for additional compensation. Insurance companies tend to accept the adjustor or appraiser's evaluation as the final word on the insurance claim.

Some insurance claims may not be recognized by the insurance company for any number of reasons. If a claimant's premiums have not been paid in full, the policy itself may not be active. Another insurance company may have already agreed to pay for the damages listed in the claim. This happens quite often in automobile accidents where one party is held responsible. Another reason an insurance claim may be rejected is a failure to fall under covered conditions. Most insurance policies spell out specific areas which qualify for benefits. If the accident or damage claim was caused by carelessness or an unavoidable "Act of God", the insurance company has the right to withhold payments.

An insurance claim is the only way to officially apply for benefits under an insurance policy, but until the insurance company has assessed the situation it will remain only a claim, not a pay-out.

Tags: disaster, long island, property damage, insurance claims, insurance, new york, insurance agent, insurance claim, restoration, property damage claim

Insurance Claims: What To Do After A Disaster Due to A Storm

Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 @ 03:47 PM

insurance claim, insurance claims,insurance,property damage,storm damage,disaster,disasters,restoration,long island,new york

After the storm, besides making temporary repairs, there are several steps you should take that will aid in the filing of an insurance claim.
 
Make temporary repairs

  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further weather related damage. Cover holes in the roof, walls, doors and windows with plastic or boards. Be careful not to risk your own safety in making the repairs.
  • Save receipts for any material you buy. Your insurance company will reimburse you for the cost.
  • Beware of building contractors that encourage you to spend a lot of money on temporary repairs. Remember that payments for temporary repairs are part of the total settlement. If you pay a contractor a large sum for a temporary repair job, you may not have enough money for permanent repairs.
  • Don't make extensive permanent repairs until after the claims adjuster has been to your home and assessed the damage.
  • Avoid using electrical appliances, including stereos and television sets, that have been exposed to water unless they've been checked by a technician.
 
Call your insurance agent or insurance company
  • Report the damage to your insurance agent or insurance company representative. Ask questions such as: Am I covered? Does my claim exceed my deductible? (Your deductible is the amount of loss you agree to pay yourself when you buy a policy.) How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to structural damage?
 
Save receipts for additional living expenses. 
  • Most homeowners policies cover additional living expenses such as food and housing costs, telephone or utility installation costs in a temporary residence, extra transportation costs to and from work or school, relocation and storage expenses and furniture rental for a temporary residence. Your insurance company will usually advance you money for these expenses. The payments will be part of the final claim settlement. Let your insurance company know where you can be reached so that the claims adjuster can give you a check.
  • The maximum amount available to pay for such expenses is generally equal to 20 percent of the insurance on your home. So on a home insured for $100,000, up to $20,000 would be available. This amount is in addition to the $100,000 to pay for repairs or to rebuild your home. Some insurance companies pay more than 20 percent. Others limit additional living expenses to the amount actually spent during a certain period of time, such as 12 months, instead of a maximum percentage of the policy limit.
 

Preparing for the adjuster's visit

The claims process may begin in one of two ways.
  1. Your insurance company may send you a claim form, known as a "proof of loss form," to complete.
  2. An adjuster may visit your home before you're asked to fill out any forms. (An adjuster is a person professionally trained to assess the damage.) Usually, the more information you have about your damaged home and belongings the faster your claim can be settled.
  • Major disasters make enormous demands on insurance company personnel. Your adjuster generally will come prepared to do a thorough and complete study of the damage to your home. However, the large number of claims may place time restrictions on adjusters forcing them to "scope the loss." If your adjuster doesn't make a complete evaluation of the loss on the first visit, try to set up an appointment for a second visit.
  • Be sure to keep copies of lists and other documents you submit to your insurance company. Also, keep copies of whatever paperwork your insurance company gives you.
Personal Belongings:
  1. Make lists of the damaged items. Include the brand names and model numbers of appliances and electronic equipment. If possible, take photographs of the damage. Don't forget to list items such as clothing, sports equipment, tools, china, linens, outside furniture, holiday decorations and hobby materials.
  2. Use your home inventory or put together a set of records - old receipts, bills and photographs - to help establish the price and age of everything that needs to be replaced or repaired.
  3. If your property was destroyed or you no longer have any records, you will have to work from memory. Try to picture the contents of every room and then write a description of what was there. Try also to remember where and when you bought each piece and about how much you paid.
  4. Don't throw out damaged furniture and other expensive items because the adjuster will want to see them.
Structure of Your Home:
  1. Identify the structural damage to your home and other buildings on your premises, like a garage, toolshed or in-ground swimming pool.
  2. Make a list of everything you would like to show the adjuster when he or she arrives. This should include cracks in the walls, damage to the floor or ceiling and missing roof tiles. If structural damage is likely even though you can't see any signs of it, discuss this with your adjuster. In some cases, the adjuster may recommend hiring a licensed engineer or architect to inspect the property.
  3. Have the electrical system checked. Most insurance companies pay for such inspections.
  4. Get written bids from reliable, licensed contractors on the repair work. The bids should include details of the materials to be used and prices on a line-by-line basis.

This article was taken from Local10.com

 

Tags: reoprting a claim, what to do after a storm, property damage, insurance claims, insurance, restoration, disasters

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