Press Releases – May 21, 2019
With the Memorial Day weekend finally here, most Connecticut residents can turn their thoughts from snowstorms to baseball, beach vacations, and backyard barbecues, but Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais also wants state residents to prepare for some of the less pleasant possible summer visitors, like hurricanes and tornadoes.
“We have been relatively lucky for a while, but we still need to be prepared for natural disasters,” Commissioner Mais said. That includes reviewing your insurance policies so you know what’s covered, getting flood insurance if you don’t already have it, and preparing a home inventory and a disaster plan including a go bag.
Flood damage is generally not covered by a standard homeowners or renter's insurance policy. Floods are the most common disaster in the US, and just one inch of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. If you don't have flood insurance and are considering purchasing a policy, remember there is a 30-day waiting period if you buy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you purchase a private flood policy, be sure and ask about the waiting period. For more information on floods, please visit Insurance Department Flood Insurance Page
Review your insurance coverage and make sure you are familiar with your policies. If you have questions, contact your insurance agent or insurer.
“Understand what your homeowner’s policy covers and be mindful of any recent additions or upgrades you may have made to your property and whether your coverage is still adequate,” Commissioner Mais said. “If you don’t have a home inventory of your possessions, now is a good time to create one. Sit down with your agent before a storm strikes to review your coverage needs, including your deductibles, or contact the Department with any questions or concerns.”
In case the worst does happen and a storm hits, it may help to have a “go bag” prepared. A go bag should include:
- Cash: If the power goes out, credit cards won't work. Keep cash on hand for replenishing supplies.
- Medications: Pharmacies might be closed, and hospitals could be overwhelmed. It is imperative that you pack any necessary medications and assume you may not have access to refills for several days.
- A battery-powered radio: If electricity is out and cell towers are down, this is the best way to know what's happening.
- A gallon of water for each family member and pet: Widespread power outages could make tap water unsafe to drink.
- Important documents: Social Security cards, passports, birth certificates, driver's licenses and more could all be lost or destroyed in a flood, wildfire or any natural disaster. Keep copies of these documents in a waterproof container or digital image saved online. Include a copy of your insurance policies so you can quickly file a claim once the danger has passed.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), insurance departments across the country and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will answer the questions that will help you prepare your Go Bag via a Twitter chat at 2 p.m. ET, June 18.
[Hashtags: #YourRiskIsReal, #WhatsInYourGoBag and #GoBagPacked.]
Consumers can find several helpful resources on the Department’s “Be Prepared - Hurricane Season” page, including mobile apps for creating an inventory, FAQs on filing damage claims, information on federal flood insurance and more. The page even has a link to the National Hurricane Center storm tracker for current storm activity. There is also a resource section for insurance companies to access the Department’s emergency casualty adjuster licensing program.
Connecticut residents with questions can also call or email the Insurance Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Email us at email@example.com
- Ask a question or file a complaint online
- Call the Consumer Helpline at 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.
- Sign up for e-alerts to get the latest news, warnings and rate changes that may affect your premium
- Download consumer FAQs on health, homeowner and auto coverage
- Use the Department’s Speakers Bureau for public events.
- Visit our Web site and follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube