Hamm offers advice to consumers impacted by flooding
Posted on 3/31/2009
BISMARCK, N.D.-As flooding continues throughout the state, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm today highlighted some important issues as North Dakotans move toward the recovery process.
"If you have suffered property damage as a result of flooding, seepage, sewer back-up, power outages or the weight of ice, sleet or snow, you should notify your insurance agent as soon as possible," Hamm said.
Documentation will be key to working through the recovery process. This is true whether you have insurance coverage for your loss or not, or whether you end up pursuing financial assistance through other avenues.
Advice for consumers:
Collect and have on hand the name of your insurance company, your policy number and a telephone number or email address where you can be reached at all times.
Contact your insurance agent or company to file a claim. Take photos or video of all damaged property, including standing floodwater levels.
Separate damaged from undamaged property. Local officials may require the disposal of damaged items. If you dispose of items, keep a swatch or other sample of damaged items for the adjuster.
Make a list of damaged property or lost items. When possible, include purchase dates and value with receipts.
Protect any undamaged property.
If your primary policy (homeowners, condominium owners, renters, farm owners or business policy) does not provide coverage for specific events, document this fact. Ask for a letter or statement from your company or agent detailing what is and is not covered.
If you have a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy in addition to your primary policy, the process is the same and you should initiate a claim with both policies. Be advised that NFIP will need documentation on any claims paid to you under your primary policy. Therefore, keep records of any correspondence, damage assessments and claims payments you receive from the primary insurance policy.
"I cannot stress enough the importance of documenting the loss and all communication with your insurance company," Hamm said. This documentation will be important if and when President Obama signs a declaration for individual assistance.
Commissioner Hamm continued, "It is my expectation that over the coming weeks, insurance agents and companies will work hand-in-hand with policyholders to address their issues and answer any questions that they have."
If you encounter problems or have questions, please contact the North Dakota Insurance Department at 1-800-247-0560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.