Navigating Superstorm Sandy Insurance Claims for Property Damage and Business Interruption

Sandy’s Aftermath Provides Frustration; Let Us Provide Tips

Now that Superstorm Sandy has come and gone, many are faced with the aftermath. Victims are dealing with damage estimates being too low and feeling they were not as protected as they had thought.

Here are some important tips and information for those impacted by Sandy.

Generally homeowner policies cover property damage from fire, wind and fallen trees but not for storm surge.

FEMA has extended the timeframe for flood insurance claims from 60 days to one year.

In addition, hurricane deductibles should not apply to wind damage, which could be as much as 5% of a property’s insured value since regulators in affected states have said Sandy was no longer a hurricane when it made landfall.

Damage below the ground level will generally not be covered by flood insurance unless the damage pertains to heating, air conditioning or water systems. Also, relocating expenses probably will not be covered by flood policies.

Know what your policy says and to be aware of the exclusions. Many are surprised to learn that their spoiled food due to the outage is not covered by their homeowner’s policy.

In addition, anti-concurrent causation clauses may be used to deny a claim of loss when a covered cause (like wind) and uncovered cause (such as flood) both contribute to the loss.

It is important to know what caused the damage so the appropriate insurance coverage applies.

This can unfortunately lead to battles between the insurance companies.

Remember that just because the insurer gives an estimate of the damage does not mean it is accurate.

Unusually computer models are used and costs that are programmed in them do not accurately reflect the price of materials in the area after a devastating storm.

Be sure to take photos and videos of the damage and to keep a list of the damaged materials, including the serial numbers.

Also, keep a log of all your communications with the insurer.

If you have any expenditures, keep your receipts.

There are several options available if you have been denied your claim or have been offered a lower figure than what you had expected.

Feel free to call us for a free consultation and policy review. We are experienced fighting for individuals against this country’s largest insurance companies and corporate wrongdoers.

Source WSJ

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