For Immediate Release: July 25, 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 North Tonawanda to Help Victims of Niagara County 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 deploying the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Mobile Command Center to North Tonawanda to help those affected by recent flooding in Niagara County. DFS representatives will be stationed at the Mobile Command Center and available to assist impacted homeowners and businesses from across the 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.
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 flooding in Niagara County. The agency's Mobile Command Center will be stationed at the following location and at the following time:
Friday, July 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
North Tonawanda City Hall
216 Payne Avenue
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.
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 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.