Month: November 2012

After the Storm

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After the Storm

Valuable Contacts

SAFETY:

  • If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it’s safe before returning home.
  • Be alert for tornadoes, which are not unusual after a hurricane with certain weather conditions.
  • Stay away from flood waters.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and evacuate. If you have any concerns, have the gas system checked by a professional.
  • Do not touch wires or outlets; Check for frayed cords and for cracked or broken prongs and plugs.
  • Turn off the main electrical circuit switch. Be careful to stand on a dry surface and do not touch the metal handle of the switch box. Use a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or a piece of dry wood to open the metal door and throw the switch. Share your concerns with a licensed electrician.
  • If your home has been flooded, check for animals that may have entered the property.
  • If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.

CLEANING UP:

  • Before you start cleaning up debris, prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Clean up any flammable or poisonous materials that may have been spilled.
  • Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
  • Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
  • Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
  • Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
  • Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping

CLAIM PROCESS:

  • Hold off on permanent repairs until you’ve received approval for reimbursement.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
  • Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
  • Keep all receipts and Take photos
  • Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you’ve examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.

After a Flood

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After a Flood

  • The danger caused by floods isn’t over when the water recedes, so don’t attempt to return home until authorities say it’s safe to do so.
  • If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Watch out for snakes that may have come into your home with flood waters. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
  • Raise wall-to-wall carpeting to allow air to circulate through it.
  • When plaster walls have dried, brush off loose dirt. Wash with a mild soap solution and rinse with clean water.
  • Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
  • To prevent metal objects from rusting, clean immediately, wipe with a kerosene-soaked cloth and apply a light coat of oil.
  • Allow clothing and household fabrics to dry before brushing off loose dirt.
  • Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
  • Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
  • Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping.
  • Before the house is aired out, scrub all woodwork and floors with a stiff brush.

Saving Family Photos

Often when people are interviewed after a major disaster, they express profound sorrow over the loss of family photos. Houses and everything inside them can usually be replaced but photos, which contain years of memories and family history, cannot. These tips may help you preserve your water-damaged photos.

  • Most prints, negatives and slides can be air-dried. Put the image or picture side face up and avoid touching the front surface.
  • Hang items on a clothesline, using wooden or other non-abrasive clothespins or use a fan to circulate the air. If using a fan, do not aim it directly at the photos.
  • For a framed photo, place the frame glass-side down and remove backing materials. Remove the photo and air-dry it. If the photo is stuck to the glass, don’t remove it. Keeping the glass side down, try to dry the frame with the photo inside.
  • If photos are covered with mud or dirt and are still wet, they may be gently rinsed in clean, cold water.
  • If negatives are stuck together or if your photos are badly damaged, consult with a photographic conservator at your local museum or historical society.
  • Consider keeping digital copies of all photos outside your home, perhaps in safety deposit box or at the home of a trusted family member or friend.

Valuable Contacts:

SAFETY:

  • If you have evacuated, wait until authorities tell you it’s safe before returning home.
  • Be alert for tornadoes, which are not unusual after a hurricane with certain weather conditions.
  • Stay away from flood waters.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns to examine the premises. Do not attempt to turn the lights on until you are sure it is safe to do so.
  • Sniff for gas leaks. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and evacuate. If you have any concerns, have the gas system checked by a professional.
  • Do not touch wires or outlets; Check for frayed cords and for cracked or broken prongs and plugs.
  • Turn off the main electrical circuit switch. Be careful to stand on a dry surface and do not touch the metal handle of the switch box. Use a piece of heavy rubber, plastic or a piece of dry wood to open the metal door and throw the switch. Share your concerns with a licensed electrician.
  • If your home has been flooded, check for animals that may have entered the property.
  • If your car has been submerged, let it dry out thoroughly before trying to start it.

CLEANING UP:

  • Before you start cleaning up debris, prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed personal property. If you can, videotape or photograph the damage.
  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
  • Clean up any flammable or poisonous materials that may have been spilled.
  • Pump water gradually from flooded basements to avoid structural damage.
  • Shovel out mud while it is still moist.
  • Clean out heating and plumbing systems.
  • Boil any water you use for drinking or food preparation until the water supply is declared safe.
  • Throw out any food or medicine that has come in contact with flood waters.
  • Take wooden furniture outside to dry, but keep it out of direct sun-light to prevent warping

CLAIM PROCESS:

  • Hold off on permanent repairs until you’ve received approval for reimbursement.
  • Save remnants of damaged or destroyed property for your insurance company adjuster, and do not sign agreements with contractors or anyone else until you have a chance to meet with your insurance adjuster.
  • Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
  • Keep all receipts and take photos.
  • Your pre-disaster home inventory will be of great assistance to you at this point. After you’ve examined everything and determined the extent of damage, call your independent insurance agent as soon as possible to file a claim.

When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

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When You Travel, Do You Need Special Insurance?

Travel- whether you’re hitting the road, hopping a plane or taking a cruise, you’re spending some time away from home and usually are spending some money to do it. But what happens if your trip is interrupted by inclement weather, or an unexpected illness? Travel insurance and specialty medical coverage can give you peace of mind from the moment you book the flights or start the car.

What coverage is available?
There are two broad types of travel-related coverage for those leaving the United States:
Travel insurance covers the loss of the prepaid travel costs of a trip (like flights, hotels, etc.)should it be canceled, interrupted, or postponed. It also can reimburse unexpected expenses incurred due to a sudden change in travel plans due to illness or other causes.

Specialty medical coverage protects against personal insurance risks when someone is outside the United States.

The Insurance Information Network of California notes that trip insurance providers sometimes require a physician’s verification if a trip must be canceled before it occurs for illness. It advises buyers to check whether the travel coverage is “cancel for any reason protection”, or more limited coverage.

Trip interruption insurance is another variation. It can provide reimbursement for extra food and lodging costs if a traveler becomes ill during the course of a trip. Some plans cover medical costs. Trip delay insurance covers expenses a traveler incurs in resuming a planned trip or returning home after being quarantined in another country. Often these various coverages are bundled and sold together in a package.
 
Traveling abroad?

Short-term medical insurance may be appropriate for the millions of U.S. residents who travel outside the U.S. every year. Those who travel outside of America may be going beyond the boundaries of their medical insurance without knowing it, according to Clements International, a provider of international insurance policies.

Travelers may wish to consider short-term medical insurance if they’re traveling outside of the United States for an extended vacation or business trip. To determine whether it’s necessary, it’s advisable to check if a domestic health insurance policy covers out-of-country travel. If not, short-term medical insurance provides coverage for illnesses or medical evacuation that occurs while traveling outside of the United States.

International travelers face the same insurance risks (and sometimes additional risks) while outside the country that they do while stateside. Life insurance issued in the U.S. may not be available on the same basis while a person is traveling for an extended period as when not traveling. It’s prudent to check on the validity of life insurance coverage as part of the travel-planning process.

Check with your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent about what type of insurance protection might be needed if taking an overseas trip.

You can contact Carrie Crockett at Schechner Lifson Corp 908-598-7848 or carriec@slcinsure.com for a Travel Insurance quote today.

Encourage Your Insured’s to Register with FEMA

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Encourage Your Insured’s to Register with FEMA

Agents should encourage their clients in significantly impacted areas to register as soon as possible with FEMA for any Individual Assistance (IA).  Insured’s should not wait for their company to deny a claim as this could have an adverse effect. If there are ANY doubts about coverage, get the insured registered.

Agents should also advise any residents or businesses to make sure they contact a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) or call FEMA to register for any uninsured loss that may not be covered. Since a presidential disaster declaration was made, individuals may be eligible for Individual Assistance (IA).  If there is any doubt, the insured should register NOW. There is only a 60 day window to do so.

Individuals who do not register, and later find that their claim was denied by the insurance company, may face further hardship.

Those registering can call 1-800-621 FEMA (3362) or visit http://www.disasterassistance.gov/.  Businesses may also be eligible for SBA loans and should be encouraged to contact FEMA as well.