Insurers offer advice to flood victims in Southeast

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- With rain continuing to hammer the Gulf Coast, The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) has urged property owners to take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings from the heavy rains.

“This system continues to bring major flooding to several areas along the Gulf Coast and the Panhandle,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI’s regional manager. “If you have damage from these recent storms, it’s important to contact your insurance agent or company right away to get the claims process started.”

As we prepare for the peak of hurricane season, the current weather system serves as a good reminder for all residents along the coast to get prepared. “There are things as homeowners you can do to get prepared for rising waters,” said McFaddin.  “Make sure you review your insurance policy, take a home inventory of what’s inside your home and keep your insurer or agent’s number handy.”

Insurers are available to answer questions and help families and businesses begin the recovery process. Once you file your claim, there are a number of things you can do, such as photograph the damage and make an inventory of what was lost and damaged to help expedite the recovery process.

“If your vehicle was damaged in this recent round of rain, contact your insurance company or agent immediately to see if you have coverage,” said McFaddin. “Generally, water damage to a vehicle is typically covered under an auto policy’s comprehensive insurance coverage.”

PCI Flooding Tips Precautions:                                                                                    

  • Review your property insurance policy, especially the “declarations” page, and check whether your policy pays replacement costs, or actual cash value for a covered loss.
  • Inventory your household items, and photograph or videotape them for further documentation. Keep this information and your insurance policies in a safe place.
  • Keep the name, address, and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurer and agent in a safe and easily accessible place.
  • Protect your property by covering all windows with plywood or shutters, moving vehicles into the garage when possible and placing grills and patio furniture indoors.
  • Keep all receipts for any repairs, so your insurance company can reimburse you.
  • Check with your insurance adjuster for referrals to professional restoration, cleaning and salvage companies if additional assistance is needed.
  • Make sure watercraft are stored in a secure area, like a garage or covered boat dock. A typical homeowner’s policy will cover property damage in limited instances for small watercraft, and separate boat policies will provide broader, more extensive property and liability protection for larger, faster boat, yachts, jet skis and wave runners. Additional information can be found on PCI Hurricane Headquarters or Flooding Headquarters.