FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES HURRICANE AWARENESS WEEK AND ADVISES
NEW YORKERS TO PREPARE FOR THE UPCOMING HURRICANE SEASON
Begin Hurricane and Storm Preparations Now
Superintendent Gregory V. Serio today recognized Hurricane Awareness Week by advising New Yorkers to begin preparations now for the upcoming hurricane/coastal storm season.
"At this time of year, I urge New York residents to take some basic actions to be prepared for the upcoming hurricane season," said Serio. "The Governor has proclaimed Hurricane Awareness Week from May 19-25 and this represents the perfect time for New Yorkers to take necessary steps to ensure personal safety and minimize storm-related problems."
Hurricane season, which started in June and ends in November, can result in tremendous property damage. These storms threaten not only coastal communities, but, all corners of New York State.
"I recommend that New Yorkers review their insurance policies and their coverages, because in any recovery process, individual insurance is the first line of defense," Serio added. "In addition, because standard homeowner policies do not include coverage for flood damage, it is important that homeowners and business owners review their need for flood insurance."
Flood insurance policies insure against damages due to:
- The partial or complete flooding of normally dry land from the overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- Unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source;
- Mud slides or mudflows that are caused by flood;
- The collapse or destabilization of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water, resulting from erosion, waves or water currents exceeding normal cyclical levels; and
Damage from sewer backup is covered only if it is caused directly by flooding. Some insurers that issue homeowners policies will sell, on an optional basis, sewer backup coverage.
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage to your home as a result of such perils as wind and falling objects, while policies for coastal area residents may have a separate windstorm and/or hurricane deductible. Coastal area residents may need a separate flood insurance policy for protection against wind-blown water damage.
Superintendent Serio recommends that consumers take necessary precautions before and after a hurricane and/or flood. To assist in proving a claim to your insurer, it is important to keep a written inventory of household possessions, receipts for the purchase of items, and/or a videotape or photographs of your household and possessions. If property damage occurs consumers should contact their individual insurer representatives as soon as possible. Also, every effort should be taken to protect their homes from further damage, such as covering any roof damage that has occurred as a result of the storms. Permanent repairs should wait until the insurance companys adjuster has inspected the property.
Flood insurance is available throughout New York State to homeowners and businesses in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For information about flood insurance and additional information on hurricane preparedness, consumers can contact the NFIP at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD or on their web site at www.fema.gov/nfip.
In addition, the Insurance Departments toll-free hotline offers assistance with hurricane-related insurance inquiries or complaints. The toll-free number is 1-800-342-3736. The Departments hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by insurance experts from the Departments Consumer Services Bureau. Also, visit the Departments Web site www.ins.state.ny.us for more information about storm preparedness.