Expert Tips on Storm Aftermath

The aftermath of Superstorm Sandy has left many homeowners in devastation. Some may have recently bought a new home while others have lived in the same home for 30 or 40 years. Whatever the case may be, the most important thing is that you and your family are safe.

When it comes time to build again or to repair any damage, there are a lot of things to take into consideration before deciding what and how to report your homeowners claim. Dayton Ritz & Osborne has been faithfully serving and providing the East End community with insurance coverage since 1875—one of the few firms that can compare the Hurricane of 1938 to our recent storm.

I spoke to George Yates, one of the partners at Dayton Ritz & Osborne and he offered me insight as to how homeowners should proceed with claims, as well as a few helpful tips:

Take photos—Photos are crucial when filing a claim and can really help the adjuster assess the damage.

Make an inventory list in detail of all the damage.

If you’re filing a flood claim, mark the “high water” level of where the water came into your home or building.

Move any damaged items off to the side for the adjuster to take a second look at. In addition to the photos you have already provided this will allow the adjuster to quote an accurate amount for the claim.

Report the claim to your insurance company only after you have met your deductible. There is no need to clutter the phone lines and add extra paperwork, if you have not already met your deductible.

Be patient—there are an overwhelming amount of claims and some cases are more severe than others.

Note that there are no special hurricane deductions for “Sandy.”  Companies are using a standard flat deduction to assess the claim.

I also learned that deductibles vary according to your specific policy. It’s important to read it over and understand all the guidelines and rules. Every area was affected differently and some people may have lost their homes completely. If you were one of the lucky homeowners who only had minimal damage, allow the adjusters the time to work with those who need immediate attention. A tree down, broken fence or other minor damage does not compare to some of the devastation we have witnessed in the papers or on the news. Some people are still without power and it has been very difficult for them to get in contact with their insurance companies, LIPA or Cablevision, but each company has an “800” number. Dialing this number is the best route to take if you’ve been waiting for hours and not getting through to your company.

If you’re not happy with the outcome of your insurance claim, perhaps it’s time to shop around and make sure you and your home are well protected. Become proactive and educate yourself about New York and Long Island’s specifics.

During times of devastation, we really need to work together and help those who need it the most. Please check page 44 for a listing of drop off locations for the victims of this terrible natural disaster.

 For additional listings of insurance companies and home repair resources, please visit danshamptons.com.

Dayton Ritz & Osborne is located on Main Street in East Hampton, 631-324-0420 and Bridgehampton, 631-537-0081 info@droins.com

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