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ISSUED: 11/05/2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DEPARTMENT ADVISES CONSUMERS TO PREPARE FOR WINTER STORMS

             Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio today advised New Yorkers to take the necessary steps in preparation for the upcoming winter storm season.

"Governor Pataki has declared November 4-10, 2001 Winter Preparedness Week in New York State. Consumers are encouraged to begin preparing for winter," said Serio. "Winter storm season 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 winter storm-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.

 

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