In these days following the storm Sandy, those who suffered damages will begin filing insurance claims. The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking is issuing guidance to both residents and the insurance industry to assist with this step in storm recovery.
“The days following a natural disaster can be very stressful for those who suffered damages and are now navigating the insurance claim process,” said William P. White, the District’s insurance commissioner. “We encourage residents to consider DISB a resource during the recovery period and to contact us for assistance.”
Before calling your insurance company, residents are advised to try to locate your policy number and other relevant information to expedite processing your claim. If you can, take photographs or video of the damage before clean-up or repairs. After you’ve documented the damage, take steps to prevent further damage to your property (cover broken windows, leaking roofs and damaged walls). To view more tips on filing claims and contact information for insurers operating in the District, follow this link.
The insurance department has issued guidance to the District’s insurers reminding them of the laws and rights of residents and to encourage insurers to provide prompt and immediate relief to those policyholders impacted by the storm, including the temporary suspension of premium payments and suspension of vacancy provisions for those temporarily displaced. To view the full insurer guidance, follow this link.
In addition, although initially labeled “Hurricane Sandy” the District of Columbia did not sustain hurricane force winds associated with the Sandy storm therefore insurers may not impose a hurricane deductible on any claims submitted by District residents.
The department advises residents to contact us at (202) 727-8000 if you suspect fraud or feel that you are being treated unfairly by your insurance company.