AUSTIN, Texas- As the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico continues to head towards the Texas and Louisiana coast, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) encourages residents in the area to listen to emergency officials. Weather forecasters are calling for the system to bring lots of rain to areas that are still recovering from last month’s flooding event.
“It’s important to take the time now to prepare your property, simple steps could save you time in the recovery process,” said Joe Woods, PCI’s vice president of state government relations. “Many in these potentially impacted areas, including myself are doing what we can to prepare for torrential downpours which could cause dangerous flooding. If your home is near water or in a low-lying area, make sure you seek higher ground to avoid rushing waters. Do not drive in rushing water, remember to ‘turn around don't drown.’ Right now, insurance companies are working with those in the field who were impacted by the last round of storms, and once emergency officials say it’s safe adjusters will move into the affected areas and assist customers.”
Prepare your Property
• 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.
PCI Flooding Tips:
• Shovel or scrape mud off walls, floors and furniture, then hose from the ceiling down before the mud dries.
• To prevent mold and odors, clean walls and floors with diluted chlorine bleach.
• Gradually pump flooded basements (about one-third of the water per day).
• Electricity and water make for a dangerous combination. Take the proper precautions to avoid electric shock.
• Dry wood furniture outdoors away from direct sunlight.
• Use public water only after it has been declared safe by an authorized official.
While the typical homeowners policy does not cover flood damage, there are resources available to help consumers. The Federal Emergency Management Agency can be contacted at 800-621-3362 or www.fema.gov and consumers who have flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can contact either their flood insurance agent or the NFIP itself at (888) 379-9531 or www.floodsmart.gov.
Follow @PCIAA on twitter where we will share important tips and safety information use #floodsafety #turnarounddontdrown
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) member company Toll-Free Policyholder Claim Phone Numbers.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can be contacted at 800-621-3362 or www.fema.gov