Hurricane Michael: Flood Response Update & Recovery Tips
Tallahassee, Fla. – Insurers are prepared to surge catastrophe teams into the affected communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Michael as soon as emergency officials give access, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“Insurers’ top priority is getting checks into the hands of policyholders so that families can get back into their homes, cars back on the roads and businesses reopened,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI regional manager. “Insurers are working closely with emergency personnel to coordinate the response and recovery process to assist anyone affected by Hurricane Michael.”
Policyholders in the impacted regions are encouraged to contact their insurance agent or company as soon as possible to get the claims process started. To expedite the process, those who have evacuated should save all receipts from hotels and restaurants as these expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under Additional Living Expense coverage.
What is Covered
Generally, wind-related damage due to Hurricane Michael will be covered by a homeowners policy, while flood and wind damage for cars is covered under the comprehensive portion of the automobile insurance policy. Business owners should check with their insurance company or agent regarding specific details of business interruption coverage under their commercial policy.
Flood damage is typically covered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rather than homeowners insurance. However, cars, trucks and other vehicles damaged by flood water are typically covered under an auto policy’s comprehensive coverage. A flood insurance policy may also cover mudflow, but it must meet specific criteria defined in the policy issued through the NFIP.
If you sustain flood damage, but do not have a flood policy, there could be resources available to help you through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For more information, contact FEMA at 800-621-3362 or www.fema.gov.
What If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance?
You should still contact their insurance agent or company as there may be property damage that is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. You should also contact FEMA as Federal Disaster Assistance may be available in the form of grants and loans if a flood has been declared a federal disaster. If you receive Federal Disaster Assistance for a flooded building, you will need to obtain flood insurance in the future, which is one of the requirements for federal grants and low-cost loans. You will also need to maintain the flood insurance for the life of the loan. To learn more about federal disaster assistance, contact 800-621-3362 or www.disasterassistance.gov.
Prepare Your Property For Flooding
- Review your property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.
- Inventory your household items, and photograph or videotape them for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place.
- Keep the name, address, and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
- Protect your property by covering all windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors.
- Keep all receipts for any repairs so your insurance company can reimburse you.
- Check with your insurance adjuster for referrals to professional restoration, cleaning and salvage companies if additional assistance is needed.
PCI Flooding Recovery Tips
- Shovel or scrape mud off walls, floors and furniture, then hose from the ceiling down before the mud dries.
- To prevent mold and odors, clean walls and floors with diluted chlorine bleach.
- Electricity and water make for a dangerous combination. Take the proper precautions to avoid electric shock.
- Dry wood furniture outdoors away from direct sunlight.
- Use public water only after it has been declared safe by an authorized official.
- FEMA: 800-621-3362 or www.fema.gov
- NFIP: 888-379-9531 or www.floodsmart.gov.
- PCI member company Toll-Free Policyholder Claim Phone Numbers.
2018 Hurricane Season Resources
- Online Magazine: http://bit.ly/HurricanePrep2018
- 2018 Insurance Checklist: http://bit.ly/InsuranceChecklist18
- 2018 Hurricane Fact Sheet: http://bit.ly/HurricaneFacts18
- 2018 Insurance Claim Tips: http://bit.ly/InsuranceClaimTips
- Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value: http://bit.ly/replacementvscashvalue
PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write $220 billion in annual premium, 37 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 44 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 30 percent of the homeowners market, 35 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 37 percent of the private workers compensation market.
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