New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 8/15/2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT AVAILABLE TO ANSWER INSURANCE CLAIM QUESTIONS AND COMPLAINTS IN THE WAKE OF NORTHEAST BLACKOUT
Department Hotline Available Through the Weekend

As of August 27, 2003 Please Call 1-800-342-3736 With Any Black-Out Related Insurance Questions from 9AM-5PM

             Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today announced that the Insurance Department is available to help New Yorkers whose property or businesses were affected by the blackout in the Northeast this week.

             Consumers are encouraged to call the Insurance Department’s statewide toll-free emergency hotline for assistance with any blackout-related inquiries or complaints. The Department’s Disaster Hotline, toll-free 1-800-339-1759, will be staffed from 8am to 8pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and throughout next week by insurance experts from the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau.

             The Department reminds New Yorkers with damaged property and interrupted business operations that they should be contacting their individual insurer representatives as soon as possible. They should also be making every effort to protect their homes and businesses from further damage, such as electrical surges upon restoration of service.

             Homeowners and business operators should review their policies for important information related to electric disruption. For example, homeowners coverage for power failure is generally excluded in a homeowners policy but there may be coverage available for damage occurring during the restoration of electricity. Similarly, commercial property policies generally exclude coverage for power or utility service failure if the failure occurs outside of the premises. There may also be waiting periods in policies before business interruption coverage is triggered. It is important for these property owners to confer with their agents to determine the extent of coverage available.

             Updated information will be posted to the Department’s Web site as soon as it becomes available. You can find the Department at www.ins.state.ny.us.


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