For Immediate Release: July 03, 2013
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
Press Contact: Matt Anderson, 212-709-1690
GOVERNOR CUOMO DEPLOYING DFS MOBILE COMMAND CENTER TO HERKIMER COUNTY TO HELP VICTIMS OF MOHAWK VALLEY FLOODING
Trained Staff at DFS Mobile Command Center Will Help Victims with Insurance Issues
Victims Also Urged to Call DFS Disaster Hotline at 1-800-339-1759 for Assistance
Governor Cuomo Outlines Resources and Advice for Victims Dealing with Their Insurance Company
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is today deploying the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center to Herkimer County to help homeowners and businesses affected by recent heavy rains and devastating flood damage in the Mohawk Valley region. Governor Cuomo also outlined resources and advice for victims who are dealing with their insurance company to help them get the relief to which they are entitled as quickly as possible, including the availability of a DFS Disaster Hotline at 1-800-339-1759.
“We’re taking swift action to help victims get the relief they need to start rebuilding their lives, homes, and businesses,” said Governor Cuomo. “It’s also vital that insurance companies do their part by moving quickly to expedite claims for those who were impacted by this terrible natural disaster.”
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services said: “Dealing with a natural disaster can often be overwhelming for victims, but if they take a few simple steps right now it can make a world of difference in speeding up their insurance claims. We’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure that families and businesses swiftly receive the relief they deserve from their insurance companies.”
Mobile Command Center Deployment, DFS Disaster Hotline
At Governor Cuomo’s direction, DFS representatives are deploying to assist victims with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by recent heavy rains and flooding in the Mohawk Valley. The Department’s representatives will be inside the agency's Mobile Command Center, which will be stationed at the following location today (July 3) from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.:
· Mohawk Village Hall
28 Columbia Street
Mohawk, New York
Impacted families and business are also urged to call the DFS Disaster hotline for assistance at 1-800-339-1759, which is available on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The hotline will remain open and available on the July 4th holiday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Governor Cuomo will also deploy the DFS Mobile Command Center to additional locations in the coming days to help continue reaching victims of this natural disaster. These additional locations will be announced shortly.
Resources for Victims, Advice for Dealing with Insurers
Governor Cuomo also today outlined resources and advice for impacted families and businesses dealing with their insurance companies. These include steps to help ensure that their claims are processed promptly, as well as information on how to file a complaint if they cannot resolve a dispute with their insurer.
· File Claims Promptly Homeowners who experienced property losses are urged to file insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers if possible and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.
· Making Necessary Repairs. Homeowners should protect their property from further damage after a loss, but should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses.
· Keep Records of Dealings with Insurance Representatives. Homeowners should cooperate fully with their insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with insurance representatives, including the representatives’ names, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits. They should also follow up in writing with the representatives to document their understanding of any conversations they’ve had with the representatives.
· Inventory Your Belongings. Provide your insurer with a detailed room-by-room inventory of damaged personal items and property. Include any receipts, credit card or other documents showing the items’ values.
· Flood Damage. Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is generally only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance. Additionally, homeowners should also read their policies carefully to make sure they understand what damage is covered and under what circumstances. For additional on flood insurance, please visit the Flood Insurance Resource Center on the DFS website at http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/flood_info.htm.
· Keep Your Receipts If You Relocate During Repairs. If you need to temporarily relocate while your home is being repaired, make sure to keep receipts and other records of your expenses during that time.
· Filing a Complaint. Homeowners unable to resolve disputes can contact DFS to file a complaint at: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/fileacomplaint.htm.
· Information on Homeowners Insurance. Additional information can be found at the Homeowners Resource Center on the Department of Financial Services’ website at: http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/home_resources.htm.