New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED 7/05/2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MILLS ACTIVATES DISASTER HOTLINE AFTER FORT ANN DAM BREAKS

        Superintendent Howard Mills announced today that the New York State Insurance Department’s toll-free Disaster Hotline has been activated in response to Governor Pataki's declaration of an emergency following the collapse of the Hadlock Pond Dam in the Town of Fort Ann in Washington County on Saturday evening, July 2.

        "Now that everyone is safe, we have made our agency’s Consumer Services Bureau professionals available to answer inquiries regarding insurance policies and coverage as well as assist with complaints," Superintendent Mills said. "But at the same time homeowners and businesses should also reach out to their private-sector insurance representatives to assess their level of coverage and begin the claims process."

        In announcing the emergency declaration, the Governor directed the implementation of the State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and authorized the State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) to coordinate the appropriate State agencies in assisting local governments in taking appropriate action to protect property and to assist those affected local governments and individuals in responding to, and recovering from, the dam break’s repercussions.

        The Insurance Department’s Disaster Hotline is staffed weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Consumer Services Bureau experts are available to those New Yorkers whose property was damaged. The toll-free number is 1-800-339-1759.

        When the Hadlock Pond Dam collapsed, tens of millions of gallons of water were released onto area roadways in and around the Town of Fort Ann. There was local flooding and road closures, along with the evacuation of homes.

        Flood insurance policies issued through the federal National Flood Insurance Program, rather than homeowners’ policies, would generally provide coverage for flood damages to property. Owners of damaged vehicles whose automobile insurance policies contain comprehensive coverage, also known as "other than collision," are covered for flood damages.


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