If you have been affected by the recent hurricane or flash flooding:
- Follow evacuation orders: Always follow directions from local officials and comply with all evacuation order. It’s important to take them seriously as the timing of these floods can be unpredictable.
- Move to higher ground immediately: If your home floods, get to higher ground as soon as possible. However, you should avoid seeking shelter in a closed attic as you may risk becoming trapped by rising floodwater.
- Avoid contact with floodwater: Try to avoid contact with floodwater that enters your home. Avoid rooms, including the basement, where floodwater has touched or submerged electrical outlets or cords. Since electricity can conduct through water, you may be at risk for electrical shock.
- Don’t drive through standing flood water: Cars can float and skid even in water that seems shallow. Never drive through standing water.
If you have sustained any damage to your properties, follow these tips to have fast efficient handling of any claim and to reduce :
- Assess the damage to the best of your ability and prepare to give an accurate description of the amount and type of damage.
- Notify Fidella Insurance Agency (732-222-4500) as soon as you can. The insurance contract requires you to notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible after a loss. Make sure to give us your current contact information so that an adjuster can be deployed quickly.
- Make temporary repairs are necessary to prevent further damage, theft, and vandalism. Mitigating the damage is probably a condition of your coverage. DO NOT make permanent repairs to your damaged property unless the adjuster has reviewed your claim and given you permission to repair your property.
- Take Videos. Photograph or video your damaged areas prior to making temporary repairs if possible. Do this as extensively as you can. The more documentation you have the better. This documentation will help you with your claim. Especially now with COVID-19 precautions, virtual testimony will probably be extremely valuable.
- Try to get 1-2 detailed, written estimates for permanent repairs from a reliable contractor and give it to the adjuster. Check with the BBB before getting any estimates so you are using only reputable contractors and restorers. It is a good idea to have a list of reputable companies BEFORE a storm.
- DO NOT sign any contract without discussing it with your insurance company or adjuster. Remember that your insurance company is NOT bound by the contracts you sign.
- Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property. Be sure to keep a copy for your records. Do not discard any items before the adjuster has time to inspect them.
- Keep ALL receipts and invoices for EVERY expense that you incur, (including tarps, boards, cleaning supplies, etc.). Make copies of all papers, receipts, invoices, etc. and store them in a safe place. A good idea is to take a picture or scan any physical receipt you receive so you can store it digitally as well.
Be wary of unlicensed or unscrupulous persons who may pose as adjusters or contractors. Public adjusters, in particular, may pose a problem since they don’t work for any company. Unlicensed public adjusters have not demonstrated their competency to adjust claims nor have then posted the required surety bond. If you contract with a public adjuster, they are authorizing the claim check to be made payable to both themselves or a mortgagee and the adjuster.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact Fidella Insurance Agency.