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Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today activated the Department’s Disaster Response Plan to help New York State residents who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Floyd.

Department experts are staffing a toll-free telephone line that consumers can call for assistance if they are having difficulty in obtaining claims settlements or if they are having trouble determining the extent of their coverage. The number is 1-800-339-1759.

The Department advised residents who have damage to their homes or vehicles to first review their insurance policies to determine the extent of their coverage and to then attempt to make contact with their insurance agent or broker. In addition, agents and brokers are encouraged to make an effort to help their customers during this critical time.

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover damages resulting from floods. Therefore, consumers with homes in flood-prone zones, such as coastal areas, are generally insured for flood damage through the Federal Flood Insurance Program, which can be reached at 1-800-427-4661. Homeowners in these regions should check with the person who sold them their insurance policy to determine if they are covered under the federal program. Consumers should be aware that there is a 60-day time limit to file Federal Flood insurance claims.

In general, homeowners insurance policies cover damage to your home as a result of such perils as wind, falling objects, snow and ice. Homeowners policies will pay for certain tree removal if the tree has caused damage to your home. In addition, food spoilage losses due to power disruptions are usually covered under the standard homeowners policy and automobile policies provide coverage for flood damage under the comprehensive (fire and theft) portion of the policy.

After a loss, it is important for homeowners to notify their insurance company promptly. Interim repairs—such as boarding up broken windows—should be done to protect property from further damage. Permanent repairs should wait until the insurance company’s adjuster has inspected the property.



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