Superstorm Sandy: What to Expect From Your Insurance

Posted on: October 31st, 2012 by SamTabes No Comments

Superstorm Sandy has taken a massive toll on millions of Americans this Halloween season in about a third of the country and many will be postponing the trick-or-treating tradition due to power outages and remnants of windy rains.  Millions are still without electricity and complete restoration is expected to take a few more days.  Americans are missing work, losing out on child care, dealing with serious injuries, paying for flood and tree damages and just hoping that their homeowners insurance, renters insurance or health insurance will help pick up some of the tab.  Unfortunately, gaps in coverage will cause a lot of people big problems and they will likely end up paying more out of pocket than they had hoped.

The article “Sandy’s Aftermath: Minimizing the Storm’s Costs” on money.usnews.com gives some straightforward advice on how to keep costs down before you have to deal with another massive storm like Sandy.  It’s important to be sure you understand what’s in your homeowners and renters insurance policies so you won’t be surprised when you end up with the bill.  Determine if you need any additional riders such as flood insurance, which isn’t always part of a standard homeowners insurance policy.  It’s likely that many of the victims of Superstorm Sandy do not have flood insurance.  Also, by taking pictures and taking inventory of your valuables, you can make it significantly easier to file a claim when needed.

Thousands of Americans do not have safe access to their homes as they wait for power to come back or deal with severe flooding.  This is why it’s important to have a plan in place of where you can get shelter if you end up homeless from a natural disaster.  The community works hard to provide shelter to those in need, but if you have a plan in place, it can make the process much smoother for everyone.  Contact friends and family beforehand and mention that you would like to use them as a resource if possible.  Having them mentally prepared for your visit can be very helpful.

Have an emergency kit ready to go as well.  The kit can include items such as a flashlight, cash, important documents, non-perishables, water, and a first aid kit.  Along with the first aid kit, have your health insurance information handy in case there is a major injury and you or a loved one has to go to the hospital.  Hospitals are not in the practice of turning patients away, especially in times of disaster, but having health insurance information available can assist in a smooth transaction at the the time of check-in for a serious injury.

Expect delays in insurance reimbursements and payments from Superstorm Sandy.  This is due to the sheer volume of claims that will be made over the coming weeks.  Most insurance companies are well trained in dealing with disaster situations and have a plan in place to get payments made quickly.  But being patient and acknowledging the possibility of delays can make the waiting period much less stressful.  Hope some of this information is helpful and Americans can find the time to enjoy this Halloween season safe and warm.  We’re eeping all victims of this nasty superstorm in our thoughts.

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