When It's Time To Read Your Insurance Policy And Call Your Insurer

Aug 29, 2011

As power companies continue to assess the damage to their networks, property owners are assessing the damage to their homes.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, state officials say they're working with insurance companies to aid their response. Now that Irene has left, residents across the state are dealing with the damage left behind.  "The thing you should do right away is call your insurance companies." That's Gerard O'Sullivan with the state's Insurance Department.  He says the state has temporarily licensed roughly 2,300 out-of-state insurance adjusters to come into Connecticut to help process claims.   There are a few things to note.  If a tree fell in your yard, call a tree service and get ready to pay for it. If a tree fell on your house or your car, that's when you call an insurer. "It's only going to kick in if it damages a structure.  And again even if it does damage the structure some companies will only pay to remove the tree off of the structure, they won't pay to have it carted away.  Some companies do have $500 to $1,000 coverage to get rid of the tree, but with some of these huge trees in New England, that's not going to be enough to pay to have that tree completely removed." O'Sullivan also notes that damage from flood water typically isn't covered by basic homeowners insurance.  For those without power, refrigerators and their spoiled contents could be the basis of a claim.  But he says check out your deductibles first and see if a claim makes sense. Finally, O'Sullivan says that if you've not suffered property damage, now might be a good time to document your possessions in case you ever do. To learn more from the state about property insurance in the wake of Irene, go to ct.gov/cid. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.