Tips on how to effectively file insurance claims post Sandy
Jeanne Salvatore of Insurance Information Institute says to contact your insurance company right away
- Duration 10:16
- Date Nov 2, 2012
Jeanne Salvatore of Insurance Information Institute says to contact your insurance company right away
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Course another story we've been watching for you all we can continue to watch today is Hurricane Irene.
And Hurricane Irene hurricane sandy there -- so many happening in around here is that get them confused but.
Looking at hurricane sandy the road to recovery here in new York New Jersey in and this area in general is still.
A -- one but one of the things people need to look at now is how to go ahead and file insurance claims for losses that they do have a right to claim insurance for so.
We're gonna go over nodded our next guest Jeanne Salvatore -- BP and consumer spokesperson of the insurance -- for May.
An institute to talk about that -- thanks so much for being I appreciate it.
So what are some of that what are some of the tips that you have for people who are in this sort of position now that so many in in the tristate area will look for now looking different benefits yellow the first claiming that everybody should do is get in touch with their insurance agent.
And let them know the extent of the damage because insurance companies are going to perform a form of triage -- gonna go to the worst case first.
So you want to -- is -- of an accurate description of the damage so if -- home has been completely destroyed.
Jeff Skilling left them know that and also let them know where you are currently living if you had to evacuate.
But if he had just a little bit of damage also let them know that because the whole process will work a lot smoother for everybody if you can give your insurance company that type of information and is there any sort of a deadline that you have to file.
An estimate for these damages.
Well right now people should be thinking about it many adjusters will get in basically as soon as it is safe today's selling because Grammy for -- but they can't even get.
To their house and I know let alone get have been accurate assessment of how much damage has been done -- -- house this -- it just happened this week and so on but people do need.
To get in touch with their agent as you know when they can -- mean.
If you have to if you aren't -- different location and your hearing that there's a lot of damage at home -- -- you -- it's not safe to get home.
Simply call your agent let them know that.
You just want to start to make contact because the other thing is if your home is damaged -- you can't live -- it.
You're also entitled to something called.
Additional living expenses this is when there's damaged due to -- -- catastrophe like wind or fire.
Then you can have a money to stay in hotel.
Or extra expenses of living with somebody else thank you -- -- that you get clients -- -- so flustered by the general issue what they're dealing with at home that they don't even think.
About doing this you know about contacting their insurance agent and it seems like it for many people that -- last thing on their mind but -- -- -- my.
Be the -- -- -- -- this is a very it's upsetting I mean your home -- status -- whole experience has been been very upsetting for a lot of people want people even -- it was a terrible terrible tragedy.
So people do in any take care of themselves.
But it is important that they do think about filing that claim because the insurance monies going to go a long way towards the recovery of this area.
-- a -- a look at some of the other tips that you would offer as I know that 11 thing that you mentioned was how people.
Can best go about taking pictures to survey the damage to make sure they get through that an accurate portrayal of that absolutely one of the things you want to do is to.
Document the loss see you want to make lists.
You want to take photographs he had a video -- you can do that as well.
We always recommend that everybody has a home in -- -- this is a list of all their personal possessions if you've done that.
This is a good time to take it out.
If those people who haven't been damaged and don't have a home inventory this isn't good wake up call that it's a very important document to have.
-- affect the Insurance Information Institute has a free -- And free software to make this really -- and that is this for the home itself or what it is I know what renters insurance they essentially tell you take the apartment flip it upside down whatever falls out is what you're insuring hasn't worked with homeowners.
Well its four -- your your -- Personal possessions is why you wanna have a home inventory but that analogy flipping the house upside down also pertains to homeowners insurance because not only.
You flip the house -- -- and show what's -- it put your you ensuring the house as well hello it's right it's both -- the house and what's in it.
And now what about those who can't return to their house at what do you advise them to do it's very get ball -- Well once again -- why that contacts important but if you've incurred expenses keep receipts and because if you're entitled to additional living expenses one of the things you can need to to.
Is to give those three -- to your insurance company.
One of the things that makes the whole process a lot easier is if -- organize so if you do key.
Receipts for damage.
Receipts for money that you might have spent but also keep a record of we've spoken to.
Almost set up a nice file for yourself up for the claim.
That -- organized you are the easier it is and then -- Flood insurance Lotta times is included in most of these plans so what do they including how to people differentiate between what they -- can't claim.
Well home and renters insurance basically covers -- disasters floods flooding is not covered them that if they disasters that are covered.
Are things like wind and fire.
Falling objects all the trees that are falling on homes those -- all covered under standard home.
And renters insurance too big disasters that are not covered one -- flood and the others earthquake obviously earthquake didn't pertain in this situation.
But you can get separate insurance for both of those and flood insurance you can get from the National Flood Insurance Program.
But if you have a claim.
Well you have to do is contact the same agent or company that sold to your home.
Or renters insurance and they can help you with the flood insurance claim and then unfortunately a lot of times -- we -- disasters and tragedies like this dance followed very shortly after so.
What are some red flags of people should look out for how can they protect themselves against insurance.
-- there's unfortunately a number of scams in particular after disaster a lot of construction workers contractors.
Face -- just basically.
Cooks were not talking about legitimate companies are talking about people that go door to door.
Who asked for large to process.
They scare people into giving that money over and then they're never seen before.
You never see them again you never see your money again -- they start the work.
And then -- they then they never finishing and you have no way of finding them.
So right now.
You know people don't want to give first -- don't give any money to anybody but secondly don't sign a contract.
With anybody to have work done because it might not being your best interest.
Instead all you really want to do now start the claims process.
If you are approached by somebody take their business card.
If somebody gives them some of those good.
Fine take that information and then you can -- them properly.
This what you wanted to is make sure that their life sends.
You wanna check their references.
-- animation they have a certificate of insurance see you want to take your time and that some carefully and.
Either many cases you know I had spoken too few people myself what she didn't have insurance on their homes that were -- in the storm now.
Is there ever a time where are getting insurance isn't worth say or are -- recess sources available to -- that.
Make insurance more affordable to people who maybe think it may not be worth it had.
-- if you what's your take on the if you have a home or an apartment you really should.
Insurance I -- if you have a home.
Most likely going to be required as a condition of the mortgage know a lot of renters say I don't have a lot of stuff I don't need renters insurance.
But it's a relatively inexpensive policy mean you can get a policy for less into our dollars.
For the year and that is it that it provides protection for all of your personal possessions the additional living expenses.
An even liability coverage so it's something that really people should consider getting.
And what do you recommend people do if they maybe weren't so organized in the onset -- -- -- and now you know a lot of their belongings are gone ruined her.
Yeah how what's the best way are there any tips.
To sort of go back retrace your steps and gather that itinerary this if he didn't make it start -- well your insurance company can be very good resource.
So I asked them what you need.
What type of documentation asked them that -- start with that and then you could figure out how to get that documentation.
They also have they might have some suggestions for you as well.
I mean they got to a lot of disasters C insurance an -- this is our business to handle catastrophes.
And its claims adjusters are used to these questions so people should really take advantage of their expertise and asked them what they what they need.
And if they have -- tips to make it easier record setting yet imagine percent of these people receipts photographs most of the things you would use as proof of having on something in having that have been let your possessions in the house.
A lot of got washed away well you can call it the credit card company they will give you.
If -- you know they will send.
Passed bills so there are ways of of retracing that but also you can take photographs of the damage so if you go to your house after the fact and take photographs.
Of exactly what was damaged or damage outside -- house this will also help with the claims process that Steve Salvatore -- Always great having -- we really really appreciate it great tips for everybody out there.
Where people go to find out more and you guys have a website -- and here we have really great web site it's Debbie Debbie W dot hi hi hi dot ORG.
There's all kinds -- information.
For consumers on how to file a claim how to avoid scams.
And we have.
Free software with that -- taking inventory software.
And we also have -- your plan which is on disaster planning and and that was a website -- sat up there on the screen -- giving visit if you -- -- -- more information.
Kids out there from the in institute.
Insurance Information Institute -- -- Thanks let -- I.