NY1 For You: A Flood Of Insurance Claims Follow Sandy
As recovery for Hurricane Sandy gets underway, countless New Yorkers who wonder if they will recoup any losses should deal with filing insurance claims. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.
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The damage from Sandy is devastating and widespread and everyone from homeowners to small business owners are wondering if their insurance will cover it.
"Never saw something like this in my life," says a New Yorker. "I never thought this storm would bring destruction like this."
When all is said and done, some estimates predict Hurricane Sandy will have caused tens of billions of dollars in personal property damage.
"This is probably going to be a top-10 insured disaster," says Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute.
The primary concern for homeowners is flood and wind damage and many wonder what is covered under home insurance versus Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Wind damage is going to be covered under your home or renter's insurance policy but you're going to need to have flood insurance to be covered for flooding," says Salvatore.
Those who were displaced from their homes due to physical damage to the residence, not including power outages, are covered under most standard home and renter's insurance policies for what is called "The Cost of Additional Living Expenses."
Then there is all the other damage — trees fallen on houses, cars smashed into property, fires. This damage, regardless of whether it originated on one's property, will be covered by home or renter's insurance if one's property was damaged.
"Trees or falling objects those are all covered under standard homeowner's policies," says Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute.
For small businesses, depending on the type of coverage, there is business interruption insurance, which compensates a business owner for income lost following a disaster.
The first thing everyone should do, from individuals or business owners, is call the insurance company and let them know the extent of the damage. Then they should document their losses, take pictures and make lists.
Most importantly, they need to keep track of everything. They should make a log and write down all the names and numbers of everyone they deal with.
For more extensive tips and more, visit www.iii.org.