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Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today advised New York coastal area homeowners to prepare for the hurricane season by reviewing their homeowners’ policies. Hurricane season, which starts in June and ends in November, can result in tremendous property damage, so consumers are encouraged to educate themselves about their insurance needs by reviewing their insurance policies to make sure they are adequately covered.

Important aspects of coverage include:

  • Homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage to your home as a result of such perils as wind and falling objects.
  • Flooding is generally not covered under standard homeowners policies, but it available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Homeowner’s policies for coastal area residents may have a separate windstorm deductible. You many need a separate policy for protection against wind and wind-blown water damage.
  • Damage to automobiles from falling objects is covered if your automobile policy has comprehensive physical damage coverage for the damaged vehicle.
  • 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.

The Department reminds New Yorkers if property damage occurs they 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 company’s adjuster has inspected the property.

In addition, the Insurance Department’s toll-free hotline offers assistance with hurricane- related insurance inquiries or complaints. The toll-free number is 1-800-342-3736. The Department’s hotline is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by insurance experts from the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau. Also, visit the Department’s Web site for more information about summer storm preparedness.


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