USAA, a leading insurance provider to the military community, offers the following tips to those affected by Sandy:
Make Temporary Repairs
- Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage — for example, by boarding up windows.
- When it’s safe, photograph debris or destroyed items before having them removed or repaired.
- Save receipts for what you spend, and submit them to your USAA adjuster for reimbursement consideration.
- Beware of contractors who ask for a large amount of money upfront and contractors whose bids are very low. They might cut corners and leave you with problems after they're gone.
- Don't make permanent repairs until a claims adjuster has assessed the damage.
If You Need to Relocate, Keep Your Receipts
Keep records of all additional expenses. Homeowners insurance policies generally provide coverage for additional living expenses if your home is damaged by a covered disaster. Review your policy coverage under My Documents at usaa.com to see the extent of this kind of coverage and how long it will last. Additionally, it’s important to review and update your contact information on usaa.com, especially if you have temporary contact information.
Prepare For the Adjuster's Visit
After a catastrophe, because of the large number of claims, USAA prioritizes inspections by the severity of the damage to the insured properties. An adjuster will come out as soon as possible. The more information you have about your damages, for a example, a description and date of purchase — the faster your claim can be settled.
Don’t start a water-damaged car
In events of widespread flooding, water-damaged vehicles will likely result in total losses - especially if the water has risen to a level even with the dashboard. Take the following steps if your vehicle has sustained damage due to flood waters:
- Don’t start your car – If the water has breached the interior of the vehicle, it’s important not to start your car. Doing so may cause further damage to the vehicle.
- Check your policy – Car owners should review their policy. Flood damage to automobiles is generally covered under the comprehensive portion of a policy. Flood damage is not covered when the owner has only liability coverage.
- Report a claim – If your car has sustained flood damage, it’s important to call your insurance company immediately. Most insurance companies allow policy holders to report a claim online, through a smartphone app, or over the telephone.
- Call your insurance carrier – Call your insurance company when rushing water sweeps your car away. Your insurer will be able to work with appropriate personnel to attempt to recover your vehicle – the VIN# may help expedite this process.
More news and advice can be found on USAA’s Disaster and Recovery Center at usaa.com/help.
USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 9.3 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their eligible family members. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit usaa.com.
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