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Disaster & Flood Resource Center

Disaster Preparation Tips

It is important to take steps to be ready for the potential damage that severe storms can cause. By doing things like checking your insurance policies, moving valuable objects to upper floors and inspecting any trees on your property before severe weather hits, you’ll be better prepared.

Make a home inventory of your personal property. Photos and video of your home, as well as sales receipts and the model and serial numbers of items, will make filing a claim easier. Add insurance information to your inventory information - the name of your insurance company and agent, policy numbers and contact information. Your insurance provider should be able to provide you with a sample inventory to use or you can use our Home Inventory Checklist (PDF) to help you get started.

See our Top 50 Storm-Preparedness Tips for more steps you should take to help make sure your home is storm ready and your property is adequately insured.

Flood & Flood Insurance Information

While floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, insurance coverage for losses from floods is not provided in standard homeowners or tenants policies. Insurance for flood damages is generally available under a separate policy issued through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and available to homeowners, renters and businesses. Learn more about Floods and Flood Insurance...

Filing a Claim After a Loss

Adjusters, Appraisers & Umpires

After you declare a loss, an adjuster will be sent by your insurance company to examine damage and provide an estimate of the cost of repair or replacement. If you reach an impasse in negotiating a settlement with your insurance company, you may want to consult an attorney or hire a licensed public adjuster to act on your behalf. If an agreement cannot be reached, your policy provides for an appraisal process. Every homeowner, tenant, cooperative apartment and condominium policy issued in New York contains a provision for you and your company to select a competent and disinterested appraiser. Your insurer will select one as well. The two appraisers, in turn, select an umpire. Learn more about adjusters, appraisers & umpires...

Protect Your Credit

While assessing property damage, calling your insurance company and applying for disaster assistance may be your top priorities following a disaster, steps to protect your credit should also be taken to keep late payments and debts from hurting your credit and credit score.

Protect Your Credit

Though calling your insurance company and applying for disaster assistance may be your top priorities following a disaster, steps to protect your credit should also be taken to keep late payments and debts from hurting your credit and credit score.

Contact your bank and other creditors. Most banks and lenders have recovery procedures in place for customers impacted by disasters. They may even reach out to let you know they're aware of the of the issue and what they may be doing for customers who are affected. Your creditors may be able to do even more for you if they know about your specific situation, such as payment assistance programs or temporary moratoriums on payment. Each lender is different, so contact all of them. Keep a detailed record of these conversations, and ask for it in writing if your creditor agrees to a major change to your payment agreement.

Add a personal statement to your credit report. You can file a statement with the three credit reporting agencies explaining that you were affected by a disaster and how it may have lowered your credit. This will not affect your credit score, but will let anyone who pulls your report know what happened.

Learn more about Understanding Your Credit Score...

Avoid Storm Recovery Scams

Protect yourself from scam artists who may try to take advantage of homeowners who suffered property damage in a storm, or who may claim to be part of disaster assistance efforts.

How DFS Can Help

Help with a Bank or Mortgage Issue

DFS works with banks and financial institutions to eliminate excessive fees, prevent foreclosures, and encourage loan and mortgage forbearance for those affected by disasters. We also work to help expedite endorsement of insurance claims checks by banks to homeowners in urgent need of disaster-related repairs. If you are unable to close on a loan or mortgage due to severe weather, we may also be able to help you avoid adverse consequences, such as late fees for changes in the terms.

Help with Insurance

DFS can answer questions about agents, brokers and adjustor's, the claims process (including hurricane and wind deductibles), policy cancellation, and non-renewal, and coverage for additional living expenses, (which you may be entitled to if you are displaced after a disaster). If your business has been affected by a disaster, we can also answer questions about coverage, business interruption insurance and off-premises service interruption coverage.

Contact DFS

Have a storm or disaster-related problem that you cannot resolve with your Insurer or Bank? Call our Consumer Hotline at (800) 342-3736 (Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM). Local calls can be made to (212) 480-6400 or (518) 474-6600 or File a complaint with DFS.

More Disaster Recovery Resources

New York Rising Recovery

New York State, working with the federal government, offers programs that assist eligible homeowners, rental property owners, and small business owners who are victims of Hurricanes Sandy, Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

If a federal disaster declaration is issued for a disaster, you can apply to FEMA for disaster assistance. You may apply for this disaster assistance whether you have insurance or not.

Storm Sandy Mediation Program

DFS has designated the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to provide mediation services for eligible homeowners, renters and business owners who either dispute their Storm Sandy insurance claims results or are dissatisfied with denials of their claims.

US Small Business Administration

National Flood Insurance Program

Visit our Homeowners Resource Center for more information about insurance, homeowner related scams, tenant's rights, mortgage and foreclosure assistance and more...

Updated 09/11/2014

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